Updated: Apr 19
25 percent of Americans between the ages of 25 and 34 claim to be vegans or vegetarians, according to a 2019 story in The Economist. Additionally, according to research by the food-focused website Chef's Pencil, interest in veganism reached an all-time high in 2020.
Important nutrients are required for any kind of healthy diet. Even while you may have had plenty of them when you consumed dairy and meat, as a vegan, you'll need to discover new ways to include them in your diet.
Protein: There are other sources of protein besides animals. Tofu and edamame are two examples of soy products that are high in protein. Other excellent sources include chickpeas, lentils, nutritional yeast, and seitan (a product manufactured from gluten).
Vitamin B12: A vitamin B12 deficiency can leave you feeling lethargic and frail. However, since vitamin B12 is absent from plants, it can be difficult for vegans to get enough of it. Stock up on fortified cereals, fortified rice, and soy beverages to get your dose, or take a supplement. The recommended daily amount for most adults is about 2.4 milligrams, but check with your doctor to see what's right for you.
Essential fatty acids: A deficiency in essential fatty acids has been linked to issues with the health of the brain, including cognitive decline and depression. Put a lot of whole grains and leafy green vegetables in your diet to receive enough vital fatty acids (e.g., kale, spinach, and collards). Additionally, consider having a small handful of unsalted nuts like almonds, walnuts, or pistachios as a snack (just watch your portions; nuts are high in calories).
Iron: The best sources of iron are red meat and egg yolks. But they have excessive cholesterol levels as well. Dried fruits, tofu, and black-eyed peas are excellent plant sources of iron (fresh fruit has iron, too, you just get more iron from dried fruit because you eat more).
Vitamin D: Ten to fifteen minutes a day of sun exposure, as well as fortified orange juice and soy, can improve your vitamin D levels.
It's not necessary to be a strict vegan. You'll feel better about making the adjustment if you make your own road map and are realistic about your goals.