Vegan diet is, simply said, based on foods that don’t contain animal products. So, no meat, eggs or dairy products. It is definitely much easier to be a vegetarian, because they do eat dairy products and eggs, and it’s easier for them to replace some essential minerals and vitamins mostly found in animal products, such as vitamin b12 and protein.
It is really important to get some essential minerals and vitamins. B12, for example, is contained in animal products and has to be replaced with different supplements. B12 keeps your nerve and blood cells healthy, and deficiency leads to tiredness, constipation and weakness. Other symptoms include various problems with nerves or even depression.
Another really important thing that should be replaced in your diet is the protein. Protein is very important for the growth and regeneration of your cells. Since it is mostly found in animal products, you need to find other sources. Soy is probably the most popular protein replacement, but it can also be found in lentils, quinoa and many other foods. You should take between 0,8 to 1 gram per every kilogram of your body weight.
Several minerals are highly important, for example calcium. All dairy products contain high levels of calcium, but it can also be found in some other foods, for example in almonds, kale, soy products and many other tasty foods. Milk replacements are generally great sources for calcium, including soy and almond milk. Almond milk can be easily made in your own kitchen.
Iron comes in two main variations, as easily absorbed and the one that cannot be so easily absorbed by your body. Animal based products contain easily absorbing iron. Iron can also be found in kale and other dark green leaf vegetables, sunflower seeds and legumes. It is important that you take enough natural sources of vitamin C with it, because vitamin C promotes the absorption of iron in your body, among other things.
So many things are said about soy. Soy is a great source of numerous essential things every vegan needs, but the problem is that soy is usually over-processed. Using natural soy flakes instead of overly processed soy foods is one way of using its qualities. If you don’t have one, buy yourself some good cookbook and make your own food instead of buying different products.
Both vegans and vegetarians should always read all labels. Numerous products claim to be for vegans, but contain gelatin or some other animal related substances. Ice cream toppings, marmalade and some other sweets also often contain gelatin, or even colors that are made by grinding dried insects. So, read the labels and enjoy in your new life.
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