Published at Sunday, July 21st 2019, 12:34:48 PM. Health News. By St1ffM.
Vitamin D also plays an important role in bone health. Vitamin D is added to cow's milk, some brands of soy and rice milk, and some cereals and margarine. Be sure to check food labels. If you don't eat enough fortified foods and have limited sun exposure, you may need a vitamin D supplement (one derived from plants).
Vitamin B-12 is necessary to produce red blood cells and prevent anemia. This vitamin is found almost exclusively in animal products, so it can be difficult to get enough B-12 on a vegan diet. Vitamin B-12 deficiency may go undetected in people who eat a vegan diet. This is because the vegan diet is rich in a vitamin called folate, which may mask a deficiency in vitamin B-12 until severe problems occur. For this reason, it's important for vegans to consider vitamin supplements, vitamin-enriched cereals, and fortified soy products.
Protein helps maintain healthy skin, bones, muscles, and organs. Eggs and dairy products are good sources, and you don't need to eat large amounts to meet your protein needs. You can also get sufficient protein from plant-based foods if you eat a variety of them throughout the day. Plant sources include soy products and meat substitutes, legumes, lentils, nuts, seeds, and whole grains.
Omega-3 fatty acids
Omega-3 fatty acids are important for heart health. Diets that do not include fish and eggs are generally low in active forms of omega-3 fatty acids. Canola oil, soy oil, walnuts, ground flaxseed, and soybeans are good sources of essential fatty acids. However, because the conversion of plant-based omega-3 to the types used by humans is inefficient, you may want to consider fortified products or supplements or both.
Iron and zinc
Iron is a crucial component of red blood cells. Dried beans and peas, lentils, enriched cereals, whole-grain products, dark leafy green vegetables, and dried fruit are good sources of iron. Because iron isn't as easily absorbed from plant sources, the recommended intake of iron for vegetarians is almost double that recommended for nonvegetarians. To help your body absorb iron, eat foods rich in vitamin C, such as strawberries, citrus fruits, tomatoes, cabbage, and broccoli, at the same time as you're eating iron-containing foods.