3 Tips on How to Balance Nutrition in a Pure Vegan Diet

Adopting a vegan lifestyle is not as difficult as it once was, thanks mostly to increased global awareness. People can now go vegan without worrying about getting all the necessary nutrients. However, that assumes they know how to make up for excluding all forms of animal-derived food from their diet. Keeping awareness and healthy vegan living in focus, here are three tips on balancing nutrition while living on a purely vegan diet.

Know the Shortcomings

Although protein is the primary nutrient that could be lacking in a vegan diet, it’s not the only concern. Before we can balance any diet, we must know what it lacks. Generally, a vegan diet is not as rich in the following nutrients as an omnivorous diet:

  • Essential amino acids (Proteins): Alanine, cysteine, isoleucine, lysine, leucine, methionine, proline, phenylalanine, serine, tryptophan, tyrosine, threonine, valine, etc.
  • Calcium, iron, zinc, iodine, selenium
  • Vitamins: B2, B3, B6, D3, B12,
  • Omega 3 fats
  • Choline

Now that we know what vegan diets lack in sufficient quantity, it’s time to look at the vegan sources that can help us balance those deficits.

Sources of Essential Amino Acids and Proteins

You can find all the essential amino acids that make up the proteins we need daily from vegan sources. To thrive on a vegan diet, as many of the following as possible should be a part of your daily menu:

  • Nuts: walnuts, Brazil nuts, and almonds.
  • Seeds and grains: quinoa seeds, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, legumes, spelt, and teff.
  • Fruits: cranberries, apples, apricots, kiwis, avocados, figs, olives, raisins (dried grapes), and oranges.
  • Vegetables and squashes: parsley, asparagus, sweet potatoes, onions, carrots, pumpkins, peas, and cabbage.
  • Beans: kidney beans, white beans.
  • Leafy greens: watercress, spinach, kale, seaweed, Bok choy, and mustard greens.
  • Mushrooms and healthy yeasts (saccharomyces cerevisiae).

When in confusion about how to include everything in a day’s meal, just make yourself a customized Buddha Bowl or order one from your nearest vegan restaurant. If you are unsure about vegan options available close to your location, Google ‘vegan food near me’ and go through their menu to see whether they have a Buddha Bowl available.

Sources of Other Essential Nutrients

Seitan, tofu, and tempeh are excellent sources of whole proteins for vegans, but they also balance their diet with ample iron, calcium, and phosphorus. Calcium-fortified fruit juices, plant-based milk, and yoghurts will be crucial if you want to compensate for the lack of calcium.

Finally, choline is an essential nutrient for cerebral, neural, and menstrual health, which is to be derived from cauliflowers, tofu, and quinoa (the plant). Everything else is already covered in the list for amino acids, so now you can balance your meal accordingly.

There are several other sources of vegan nutrients, but the ones mentioned so far are known to be the most potent sources of nutrition that the average vegan diet may lack. If you do manage to eat most of the foods mentioned above regularly, you won’t ever need to worry about nutritional deficiencies that some vegans still suffer through, unfortunately.

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