Where do you get your protein? Aren’t all vegans skinny and weak? How are you healthy if you only eat salad?
As a healthy long time vegan, I get asked these silly questions all the time, but at the beginning of my forever journey of becoming a vegan, I was worried about getting all the nutrients I needed. These non-vegans weren’t right, were they? As much as I went vegan for ethical reasons, weren’t meat, dairy, and eggs a very important part of a nutritious and healthy diet?
Even the Government recommends daily allowances of meat, dairy, and eggs. At the beginning, it was a little confusing. Could I get all that my body needed just from plants? The answer is a resounding………YES!
So where do I get what my body needs? What, as vegans, in the way of nutrition, should we be concerned about the most?
6 Easy Ways (you might not have thought of) to Fill Recommended Daily Nutrition
B12 can be a concern for vegans. I can’t say enough about how perfect nutritional yeast is for your B12 needs. This flavor enhancer, nutty, cheesy, gift from the gods is a special kind of nutrient rich food. One tablespoon contains more B12 than the recommended daily needs for most people. So what exactly is nutritional yeast and what do you do with it?
Nutritional yeast is a species of yeast with the official name of Saccharomyces Cerevisiae. It’s grown specifically to be used as a food product. Even though it’s the same type of yeast used to bake bread, they are very different. Most are fortified with all the B Vitamins.
Sprinkle this delight on popcorn. Make a cheesy sauce. https://veganbitchcancook.com/cheesy-sauce/ Flavor potatoes and other vegetables. We covered our steamed cauliflower and broccoli with this amazing nutrient packed flavor superstar for dinner tonight. Use as a thickener in soups and stews. This super antioxidant is not only a B12 powerhouse, it’s also loaded with other B vitamins, is a complete protein (all nine essential amino acids), and has needed trace minerals like zinc, selenium, and manganese. You absolutely cannot go wrong with fortified nutritional yeast. Your taste buds will love the flavor. Your body will love the nutrition.
How can vegans live without protein rich steak, ribs, and chicken wings? It’s easier than you think! Plant-based protein is healthier and better for you than saturated, fat filled, cholesterol riddled animal products. Common plant-based proteins most people seem to know include the following.
- Peanuts – 20.5 g per ½ cup
- Lentils – 8.8 g per ½ cup
- Almond Butter
- Veggie Burgers
What you might not be aware of is the multitude of places to get your protein fix like some of these great selections.
- Potatoes – 8 g per large potato
- Chia Seeds – 2 g per tablespoon
Your possibilities are endless. No one needs meat, dairy, or eggs.
Milk does a body good or so the commercial tells you. In reality, dairy milk is a carcinogen, loaded with unwanted hormones, antibiotics, and pus. Sounds great doesn’t it? Calcium is key for bones and teeth, but it’s also important for your muscles, hormones, nerve function, and ability to form blood clots. So now that you’re a vegan, just where do you get your calcium from?
Calcium is in many more foods than you think. Fortified, milks, juices, and cereals are great sources of calcium.
How much calcium do you need? According to the National Institute of Health, the daily requirements are similar for both men and women.
- 1000 mg/day for men and women ages 19-50
- 1000 mg/day for men ages 51-70
- 1200 mg/day for women over 50
Where else can you find great sources of calcium?
Surprisingly, you can also find calcium in oats, kale, tempeh, collard greens, tahini, dried figs, broccoli, almond butter, and so much more.
#4 VITAMIN D
The sunshine vitamin that most seem to be afraid of nowadays is a must for your health. We’ve all heard that Vitamin D is good for your bones, but recent scientific studies are proving it’s far more necessary for optimal health. Vitamin D is essential for your skin, hair, mood, cardiovascular system, and as many researchers are just recently finding out, many of your vital and important bodily functions.
Sunshine is my best friend, but I am part Native American, so I love to tan my skin and it makes me feel wonderful. Vitamin D is made at its peak performance via the sun. For those of you that shy away from the sun, Vitamin D is found in fortified juices, milks, and cereals. Mushrooms are a good vegan source. Believe it or not, sitting them outside for 15 minutes in the sunshine raises their Vitamin D amount. Cloudy climates/lack of sunshine play a pivotal role in Vitamin D deficiency. Look into a good vegan supplement. Many people, omnivores alike, are deficient in Vitamin D, especially during the winter months. A whole host of symptoms such as dry and itchy skin, lack of energy, weakness, and hair loss are common in Vitamin D deficiency. It’s really almost at epidemic levels. A simple blood test will determine if you’re up to par when it comes to sufficient Vitamin D intake.
How the hell do you get enough iron if you don’t eat red meat? Won’t you die of anemia after being tired all the time? Sure, red meat contains iron, but this carcinogen also contains heavy amounts of saturated fats, cholesterol, and many unwanted medications given to farmed animals.
You can easily get your daily requirements of iron by plant-based sources. Sounding like a broken record on lists of nutritious foods, a lot of these same plants are excellent sources of multiple vitamins and minerals.
Legumes, pumpkin seeds, cashews, figs, dried apricots, quinoa, and fortified cereals are all great selections to meet your iron needs. Don’t forget collard greens, tomato sauce, and raisins to round out your choices.
As a side note, add great sources of Vitamin C rich foods, like peppers, pineapple, kale, broccoli, and papaya to help iron’s absorption into the body.
Iron intake does not have to include corpses to be healthy.
The sixth and certainly the most important way to fill recommended daily nutrition is most likely the hardest and easiest at the same time.
Investigate. Find new recipes. Do your research! Surf the internet and read all you can. The world wide web of information in at your fingertips. Of course, just because it’s posted on Facebook, doesn’t make it all fact!
Check some books on veganism, plant-based foods, and healthy living out of your local library. Find vegan meet up groups in your area. Support great vegan websites like www.https://leafysouls.com and sign up for their newsletter.
This is your homework assignment. You want to be the best you can be. You have to put the work in. It’s not that difficult. You will be pleasantly surprised that vegans don’t just live on grass and salad. You’re eating and cooking world will open up with ideas, inspirations, and the knowledge that veganism is the only way to go for the animals, your health, and the welfare of Mother Nature and Planet Earth.
Many people seem to be afraid of how hard it is to be a vegan. That stops them from researching, exploring, and trying new ideas. It’s not really that hard.