6 Nutrients Beginner Vegans Should Pay Attention To
Vegan diets are nothing new, but to beginner vegans, they can be tricky to get just right. These 6 nutrients are often difficult to find in significant quantities in a vegan diet if you aren’t careful. Here are some tips and recipes to help new vegans eat well.
The first thing you’ll usually hear when you go vegan is that you aren’t going to be getting enough protein. This couldn’t be further from the truth. With a properly varied diet, vegans can enjoy plenty of sources of protein.
- Beans, legumes, peas, soy, and lentils are all easy to incorporate into dishes and can take on different textures and flavours.
- Grains like quinoa are also great to add to soups, salads, and stews for extra flavour and heartiness.
- Nuts and seeds are nutritionally dense, with protein, good fats, vitamins, and minerals.
All of these foods come in different textures and preparations, making it easy to base dishes off of them, as with our Meatless Meat Pie, or add them as a tasty garnish or snack. Beginner vegans might find that they have a lot more foods to choose from than they thought!
Iron deficiency is also a common issue, even among people who do eat animal products. However, with meat being such a significant source of iron in most people’s diets, going vegan can put a strain on your body. It’s incredibly important to make sure that you’re getting enough iron in order to avoid iron deficiency anemia which can leave you feeling tired and lethargic. However, it’s not enough to just eat iron-rich foods — even iron supplements aren’t meant to be taken on their own. For the best absorption, and you’ll notice that this is a pretty obvious theme, variety is key. Be sure that you’re also getting sufficient sources of vitamin C. Vitamin C helps the iron from vegetarian sources to better get absorbed. You can find vitamine C in plenty of fruits and vegetables, some great sources are citrus fruits, strawberries, kiwis, broccolis, potatoes and tomatoes.
If you’re worried about iron or protein, here are some tasty vegan recipes that are high in iron and protein to keep your body in tip top shape:
- Quick Tofu and Vegetable Stir-Fry
- Japanese Soup with Noodles and Seaweed
- Indian-Style Tofu Sauté
- Meatless Meat Pie