Key Ingredients for a Healthy Vegan Diet
All too often those choosing to live a Vegetarian or Vegan lifestyle don’t ensure they are eating a diet rich in macro and micronutrients. Having a healthy vegan diet isn’t hard but there are crucial points that need to be factored in.
Macronutrients are your fats, carbohydrates and protein. Micronutrients are your minerals and vitamins. It’s the micronutrients that are often neglected and can affect your wellbeing and ability to thrive on a vegan diet.
There are four nutrients in particular that can have a significant impact on energy levels, brain function and inflammation.
If brain fog, fatigue, dry itchy skin and achy joints are getting you down, there is a fair chance your body may be running short on key nutrients, some of which are are not easily obtainable in a vegetarian and vegan diet.
So! Here is what you need to be mindful of getting enough in your plant based diet to stay healthy and feeling and functioning your best which is after all what we are all about here at MGO.
Vitamin B-12: This vitamin is essential in cellular metabolism and plays a vital role in energy production. B-12 is typically only found in animal foods and deficiencies of B-12 in vegetarians are pretty common unfortunately.Vitamin B12 also helps prevent a type of anaemia called ‘megaloblastic anaemia’ that makes people tired and weak. If you are eating a plant-based diet, you will need to supplement to ensure you don’t develop a deficiency or load up on Spirulina or Nutritional Yeast! We love savoury yeast and use it across so many of our meals, specifically those for our vegetarian and vegan customers. Nutritional yeast is inactive yeast so it doesn’t impact upon Candida growth. It is absolutely chock full of B-12 and damn it is seriously yummy.
Iodine: This trace element is essential for proper thyroid function. The thyroid plays a key role in regulating metabolism and studies have found that vegetarians and vegans are at risk for iodine deficiency. Sea veggies are an incredible source of iodine in it’s most natural form. Skip the iodized salt, that stuff is rubbish. Reach instead for some Dulse flakes or Wakame and sprinkle it over your meals or add to your soup to boost flavour and nutrition. It doesn’t taste like fish food!
Omega-3 fats: These fatty acids are essential for health. Studies have found omega-3 consumption to provide a variety of health benefits including preventing heart disease, reducing inflammation, lifting depression and improving cognitive function. Hemp seeds and chia seeds are awesome little powerhouses of fatty acids. Chia seeds contain MORE omega 3’s gram for gram than salmon! Again, we pack them both into our meals and snacks to ensure that everybody is getting a good daily dose of these essential fatty acids.
Vitamin D: Critical for optimal health and nearly everyone is deficient. Low levels of vitamin D are associated with inflammation, chronic illness, depression and heart disease. Vitamin D deficiency can also cause sleep issues such as insomnia. Sunlight is the best way to get vitamin D, but if you unable to get some sunshine, eat lots of dark leafy greens or consider taking a supplement. A green smoothie a day will make sure your D levels remain strong.
Of course plenty of healthy fats and protein are obvious parts of this equation. It’s all about synchronicity, everything is intertwined and if you neglect one little nutrient it impacts upon another and another……
It’s really not hard to make sure as a vegan or vegetarian you remain nourished and that you are avoiding the common pitfalls of this style of eating.
If it all sounds to hard to you though, you know we’ve got all the bases covered for you.
For all things vegan and plant based food, you should definitely check out Vegiehead as she is the queen of healthy vegan.