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Nutrition Tips For Vegans
Vegetarian; It is defined as people who consume vegetable food, animal foods (such as red meat, chicken, fish, milk and milk products, eggs, honey) in limited or no consumption. Vegetarian diet includes options such as lacto-ovo vegetarian diet, lacto vegetarian diet according to its limitations. In the vegan diet, all animal foods, meat products, dairy products, eggs, honey, etc. foods are not consumed.
Veganism differs from vegetarianism in that it is not consumed in dairy products and foods such as honey. It is an important issue whether nutrients such as protein, calcium, iron, zinc, vitamin B12, vitamin D and fatty acids are adequately and balanced in vegan nutrition. Let’s examine the nutrients these nutrients contain and their importance to us.
Amino acids in the composition of proteins determine the bioavailability of the protein. Bioavailability is the ratio of using the nutrient found in the food the body receives, to define roughly. In animal-derived proteins, this rate is higher than in plant foods. In individuals who do not consume animal food, possible protein deficit should be supported by conscious nutrition.
Protein needs can be met by using vegetable-based foods together. For example, intake of legumes such as cereals and lentils in the same meal supports the need for protein.
Consumption of soy and soy products will provide serious support in terms of protein needs.
Foods such as beans, chickpeas, shelled foods and seeds, nuts and nut paste, wheat will increase the amount of protein in the diet.
Vitamins are compounds that cannot be produced in the body and they are the nutrients that need to be met with external nutrients.
Soy milk, breakfast cereals and B12 supplemented foods are important for vitamin B12 intake.
Vitamin B12 supplements are recommended, especially for pregnant, lactating vegans and their babies.
The most common mineral substance in the body is calcium. The body’s benefiting from calcium; It depends on the body’s need for calcium, the type of food, and the amount of calcium taken.
Dairy products, etc. For vegans who do not benefit from the high amount of calcium contained in animal foods, calcium-fortified soy products will be the savior.
Again, since green leafy vegetables are rich in calcium, they must be added to the vegan diet. For example, a salad made with broccoli, parsley, dill and lentils or chickpeas at lunchtime will be a light and nutritious choice.
Adding oats with a good amount of calcium to meals such as lunch or breakfast will both enrich our diet with calcium and make our meal enjoyable with different oat recipe options.
Vitamin D deficiency is an important health problem not only for vegans but for all age groups. Although the richest sources of vitamin D are animal foods such as fish liver oil, butter, it should be remembered that the most important source of vitamin D is sunlight. In addition, herbal sources such as cereals and legumes are also good sources of vitamin D.
Reinforced soy milk, juices, yogurt and breakfast cereals provide an important benefit in this regard. Therefore, paying attention to the food label of the products we will consume will help us make a more conscious choice.
As with proteins, animal foods contain more useful forms of iron in our bodies than vegetable foods. Since iron is an important mineral for our body, this issue should be considered.
Options like dried beans, dark leafy vegetables, prune juice are a good source of iron for vegans.
In fact, vegans often consume diets that contain high levels of vitamin C. This increases the absorption of the iron content in the diet. In other words, we can say that vitamin C provides more benefit than iron in foods we consume.
However, consumption of tea and coffee and consumption of calcium-rich meals reduce the absorption of iron. In other words, we benefit less from the iron in the foods we consume. Therefore, it is important to be careful to consume a high iron meal 1-2 hours after consuming these foods.
Foods such as enriched breakfast cereals, dried fruits, beans, lentils, sesame, nuts can be consumed as a source of iron. Consuming these foods together with vitamin C sources will affect our iron intake positively.