There are many reasons why someone would choose to follow a vegan lifestyle, from animal welfare, better health and even saving the planet. But, most people get their information and “data” from someone, who knows someone on social media (not that reliable). The truth is, following a vegan lifestyle WILL NOT save the planet. Following a vegan lifestyle is not necessarily healthier for you. And lastly, what I think most people agree on is that factory-farming of animals is cruel, the animals are unhealthy and less nutritious and this should be illegal.
The purpose of this post is to inform my readers of vital nutrients that you simply cannot get from following a wholefoods vegan diet. I have to point out, WHOLEFOODS. What I mean by wholefoods, is that you are consuming as little processed foods as possible, no supplements and focused on eating fruits and vegetables. This is an important point to make, because since we live in a highly advance culture and we have access to supplement companies, people are free to buy specific nutrients as they please. But, the way I view a healthy “diet” or way of eating, means that what you eat should provide ALL of the vital nutrients that your body requires to thrive. The hard truth is that still is not possible following a vegan diet.
So this post is to inform anyone following a vegan diet, or thinking about it on what nutrients will be lacking, and MUST be supplemented for optimal health.
VITAL NUTRIENTS MISSING FROM A VEGAN DIET:
- B12 – this vitamin is critical for overall health and longevity. B12 plays an integral role in brain function, preserving DNA, energy production, detoxification, and the forming of red blood cells. B12 is found in foods such as liver, beef, eggs and salmon. There is no B12 in plants.
- EPA/DHA – these are the essential fats important in brain health, cardiovascular health and reducing inflammation in your body. Plants do not contain EPA/DHA, your body must convert ALA into EPA/DHA which can be effective by a number of variables. EPA/DHA is found in most fatty fish, and even grass-fed beef.
- Vitamin D3 – Vitamin D is important in virtually every process in the human body. From strengthening bones, regulating calcium and phosphorous and supporting your immune system. Our bodies synthesizes vitamin D from sun exposure (granted you don’t have on sunscreen). The only other place to get this crucial vitamin is from animal foods such as salmon, mackerel and sardines.
- Creatine – This amino acid is essential in reserving energy in muscles, and your brain. Creatine also supports lean muscle mass and strength. Again, not found in plant foods.
- Carnosine – a vital nutrient found only in animal foods, acts as a powerful antioxidant, increase athletic performance and protects again various diseases.
- Vitamin A – plant foods contain beta-carotene which is pre-cursers to Vitamin A, that our bodies need to convert. In most people, this conversion is inadequate. Animals foods contain pre-formed Vitamin A, easily absorbs when eaten.
The above list contains essential nutrients that most of us are even lacking with our current diets, vegan or not. It is imperative that we eat a wholefoods, nutrient-dense diet to maintain optimal health. It is clear that simply eating plants is less than optimal given that fact that the above vital nutrients simply are non-existent in plant foods. Whatever nutrition structure you choose, it should provide all the nutrients that your body requires. For me personally, my diet must make me feel strong, have stable energy, stable moods, lacking any discomfort in my digestive tract and provides all of the nutrients my needs absent of supplements. I believe if will all simply pay attention to the signs our bodies give us, we’ll know exactly what it needs.
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Thanks for reading!