Essential nutrients for vegans: A comprehensive guide to plant-based health

Essential nutrients for vegans: A comprehensive guide to plant-based health

As the popularity of veganism continues to soar, more individuals are adopting plant-based lifestyles for ethical, environmental, and health reasons. While a well-balanced vegan diet can offer numerous health benefits, it's crucial for individuals to pay close attention to certain nutrients that may be lacking in plant-based foods. Here are some of the key nutrients essential for vegans to maintain general health.

Protein

One of the primary concerns for those considering or practicing veganism is meeting their protein needs. Contrary to common misconceptions, plant-based diets can provide an ample supply of protein. By relying on rich plant sources of protein like beans, lentils, tofu, tempeh, quinoa and nuts, vegans can meet their daily requirements for muscle health, immune function and overall general health.

Calcium

Calcium is vital for maintaining strong bones and teeth. While dairy products are the most common source of calcium, vegans can obtain this essential mineral from fortified plant milks, tofu as well as leafy greens (such as kale and broccoli). Ensuring an adequate calcium intake is crucial for preventing osteoporosis is later life. For additional calcium to supplement when dietary intake is inadequate, consider Herbs of Gold Calcium K2 with D3, an innovative calcium supplement specifically formulated with menaquinone 7 (vitamin K2) and vitamin D3 to support bone health.

Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 is essential for supporting nervous system health and function, blood health and haemoglobin synthesis. It is predominantly found in animal products, making it crucial for vegans to obtain it through either fortified foods or supplements. While plant-based sources of B12 are limited, fortified cereals, plant milks and nutritional yeast can contribute to meeting the daily requirements of this critical nutrient. A supplement like Herbs of Gold Activated B12 Spray can also help. This delicious mixed berry flavoured spray provides this important nutrient in a high strength activated form (as methylcobalamin), and readily absorbs under the tongue.

Iron

Iron is necessary for oxygen transport in the blood. Plant-based iron sources include lentils, beans, tofu, spinach and fortified cereals. However, the iron from plant sources is non-heme iron, which is not as easily absorbed as heme iron found in animal products. To enhance absorption, pairing iron-rich foods with vitamin C-rich foods, such as citrus fruits, can be beneficial. Herbs of Gold Organic Iron MAX can also assist when dietary intake is inadequate. This a one-a-day iron supplement formulated with Ferrochel™, a proprietary form of iron which helps prevent dietary iron deficiency.


Zinc

Zinc is crucial for immune function, wound healing and skin health. Plant-based sources of zinc include beans, lentils, seeds, nuts, and whole grains. However, vegans may need to consume slightly higher amounts of zinc, as plant-based sources contain phytates, which can reduce zinc absorption. Zinc supplements, like Herbs of Gold Ultra Zinc, supports zinc levels in the body when dietary zinc intake is inadequate.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is essential for bones, and while sunlight is a natural source, it may be challenging to obtain a sufficient amount, especially in regions with limited sunlight. Vegans should consider fortified foods like plant milk or supplements to ensure they meet their vitamin D requirements. When dietary intake is inadequate, a vitamin D supplement, like Herbs of Gold Vitamin D3 1000, can be useful. This one-a-day capsule contains a vegan-friendly vitamin D derived from lichen, supporting bone health and bone mineralisation.

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