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A Vegan Diet- How to Obtain Crucial Nutrients

A Vegan Diet- How to Obtain Crucial Nutrients

By Lia Threat

Click aqui para español- >Una dieta vegana: cómo obtener nutrientes cruciales
Those who choose to follow a vegan lifestyle may do so for several reasons- a general detox, a specific health goal, or moral, religious, and ethical beliefs. Veganism- the practice of refraining from all foods of animal origin, including dairy, eggs, and even honey, may include challenges to obtaining vital essential nutrients daily without supplementation. Micronutrients lacking in a vegan diet include vitamin B6, B12, choline, vitamin D, and iron. Supplementation for these nutrients may be necessary, and your health practitioner can run labs to assess any deficiencies.

B6
Plays a role in creating those “feel good” brain chemicals, helps maintain red blood cell function, and regulates hormones and the nervous system. Plant sources: fortified cereals, fruit, nuts, and whole grains.
B12
Essential for energy production, and a deficiency may be related to various forms of anemia. Plant sources: soy milk, breakfast cereals, mushrooms, seaweed, and other fortified foods such as flaxseeds.

CHOLINE
Required for brain health- nerve impulses, cell signaling, and fat metabolism amongst other functions. Especially important for the neurological growth and development of a fetus, babies, and young children. Plant sources: wheat germ, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, legumes such as peanut and soy, and sunflower lecithin.

IRON
Responsible for carrying oxygen throughout the body, DNA, and hormone synthesis. Also, it functions as an antioxidant. Plant sources include seaweed, spirulina, dark leafy greens like Swiss chard/spinach (best consumed with a source of Vitamin C); lima beans, kidney beans, cowpeas, potatoes (with skin), peanut butter, soybeans, herbs and spices, and fortified cereal and grain products.

VITAMIN D
Functions like a hormone regulating many different systems throughout the body. It is best to obtain this sunshine vitamin through direct sun exposure to the skin. Plant sources include mushrooms and fortified foods like orange juice, cereals, and bread.
With careful planning and supplementation, it is still possible to acquire the nutrients needed but be mindful that plant sources are not always the most optimal sources of specific nutrients.


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Lia Threat

Writer/Escritora

@wellnesswithlia

Wellness

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