A vegan diet contains vegetables, grains, nuts, fruits, and plant-based foods. The vegan diet is good for heart health, weight loss, and it also lowers the risk of chronic diseases as well as certain types of cancer.
A few studies have indicated that people who eat vegan foods may have to deal with depression, low energy levels, hormonal disturbances, etc. Thus, they must modify their diet, focusing on certain nutritional foods that can help them fill the shortages of vitamins, proteins, and minerals. In this article, we will discuss the deficiencies of the vegan diet and also the foods that should be included.
Nutritional Deficiencies Common in Vegan Foods
1. Iron deficiency
Vegans are deficient in iron which can lead to health problems such as anemia, fatigue, and dizziness. The deficiency can be determined by a blood test. Consuming beans and other green vegetables that contain vitamin C will help you fill the gap.
2. Vitamin D deficiency
If the human body lacks vitamin D in huge amounts, it leads to a decrease in bone density. It also affects the function of the thyroid gland, which in turn is responsible for the metabolism of the body.
It also plays a crucial role in the absorption of calcium in the body and maintains bone density. A simple blood test will help you find the level of vitamin D. For vegans, mushrooms and plant-based milk substitutes like soy milk can be consumed.
3. Deficiency of omega-3 fatty acids (DHA)
The presence of omega-3 fatty acids promotes anti-inflammatory processes and is able to reduce the risk of heart and vascular diseases. Unsaturated fatty acid helps control symptoms of depression.
DHA, an essential omega-3 fatty acid essential for brain development and function, is limited in the vegan diet. So seaweed oil, Brussels sprouts, and chia seeds are helpful.
4. Carnosine deficiency
Since turkey, chicken, beef, and pork meats are the richest sources of carnosine, vegans have less carnosine in their muscles than non-vegetarians.
Carnosine is a type of protein (antioxidant), helps lower acidity in muscle tissue, and is important for muscle function. It is also able to reduce muscle fatigue, thus improving physical performance.
Unfortunately, there are no plants that provide carnosine, but vegans can add several vegan beta-alanine supplements to their diet, in order to fill the shortage.
5. Vitamin B12 deficiency
Vitamin B12 is essential for the health of the nervous system. It increases the number of red blood cells in our body and the deficiency can turn into fatigue, tingling in the feet or at the fingertips of the palm. To get enough vitamin supplements, vegans can include nutritional yeast, plant-based meats, or fortified grains in their diet.
6. Zinc deficiency
Zinc is an essential mineral for humans because it fulfills the functions of the immune system and metabolism. It has a significant effect on your sense of taste and smell.
The nutrient is found in beans, nuts, cashews, chickpeas, lentils, tofu, chia seeds, ground flax seeds, wholemeal bread, hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds and quinoa. So, make sure that your routine diet contains foods rich in zinc.
It does not implyYes that everyone following the vegan routine has nutritional deficiencies. If your body needs these vitamins and minerals, talk to a doctor or nutritionist and you will eat a balanced diet accordingly.