Lifestyle makeover- switching to Vegan Lifestyle!
5 things to remember before switching to vegan diet
May it be for compassion, health or spiritual reasons, making up your mind to go vegan is a decision that needs kudos. It is a step towards sacrificing not only the pleasure of your taste buds but also many vitamins and nutrition that was incorporated in your meals without any proper planning and effort. Not that vegan diet is less nutritious. However, one can’t deny the fact that it needs wise as well as fun planning to ensure what’s on your menu is providing all that you need. If you take care of few points mentioned below, you can turn your vegan life into the most healthy and satisfying experience ever!
- Ensure you fulfill your daily Protein requirements
Protein, the main building block of human body, is one of the most important nutrients for your health. It provides your body with a structural framework, keeps your immune system strong, maintains proper pH and fluid balance and builds body’s tissues. As per DRI (Dietary Reference Intake) an average sedentary man needs 56 grams of protein per day and an average sedentary woman needs 46 grams of protein per day. Adopting a vegan lifestyle mandates keeping a log of your protein intake. Make sure you take at least 3 servings of protein per day, which can be derived from a variety of vegan sources like beans, legumes, soy milk, nuts, nuts butter, quinoa, oatmeal, tofu, tempeh, and the list goes on. There are plenty of raw materials out there. It’s your job to plan and blend them into delicious recipes bearing in mind the significance of protein in your everyday meal.
- Ensure you are good on Vitamin B12
Vitamin B12, yet another important hero of your health. Vitamin B12 cannot be ignored because it’s deficiency can lead to a variety of ailments like anemia, nervous system damage, infertility, and bone and heart diseases. Studies have shown that vegans are at risk of Vitamin B12 deficiency because of reduced amount of intake. Don’t forget that the only dependable vegan sources of B12 are fortified milks, soy and cereals. Thus vitamin B12 supplement is almost mandatory.
3. Make sure you replace your source of calcium
Though inadequate intakes of calcium do not produce noticeable symptoms in the short term, over the long term, it will have health consequences, such as causing low bone mass (osteopenia) and increasing the risks of osteoporosis and bone fractures. You can get well-absorbed calcium from bok choy, broccoli, collards, Chinese cabbage, kale, mustard greens,okra, calcium-fortified plant-based milk, soybeans and soynuts. While preparing your meals don’t miss to add green leafy vegetables and soy based products.
4. Make sure the iron in your diet is absorbed properly
There are 2 types iron. Heme, which is from animal foods, and non-heme, which is from plants. It has been found that heme iron is easy to absorb by your body than the non-heme iron. Thus as a vegan you have to ensure that you are having maximum absorption of iron by eating smaller amounts throughout the day. Make sure your diet is awash with legumes, soybeans, nuts, blackstrap molasses, tomato sauce and collard greens. Other tips for maximizing iron absorption is to avoiding coffee and tea when eating high-iron meals and cooking in cast-iron skillets.
5. Good news about Zinc
Studies have shown that people relying on plant sources for zinc adapt to lower zinc intakes by increased absorption and retention. Modern food-processing methods such as soaking, heating, sprouting, fermenting seem to minimize the effects of phytate that inhibit zinc absorption. Thus including food like yeast-based breads, sourdough breads, tofu, tempeh, sprouts, and presoaked legumes will ensure that your overall immune system is intact and the charm and glow of your skin and hair is retained.
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