It seems like more and more people are becoming vegans or vegetarians around the world these days. Wither you do it for ethical or health reasons, we think everyone should make their own decisions about their diet and their body. If you have been a long time veg, or are thinking of giving a new diet a try, we have 3 important nutrients for you to watch out for if you are nixing the meat:
In general, B12 is found in most animal products. Beef, chicken, cheese and other dairy products are rich in it. If you eliminate these things from your diet, you can have a low B12 level. Low B12 can cause anemia, severe fatigue and nervous system damage. There are some great vegan sources of B12 such as soy products, nutritional yeast, almond, and coconut milk. If you are vegetarian you can get enough of this nutrient by eating milk, yogurt, cheese, and eggs. Wither you are vegan or vegetarian, we recommend taking a supplement or making sure to eat B12 fortified products to avoid any risks.
Iron is another nutrient that vegans and vegetarians tend to lack. Symptoms of low iron include fatigue, frequent infections, pale skin, hair loss and restless leg syndrome. Luckily there are tons of veggie-friendly sources of iron including lentils, soybeans, quinoa, brown rice, pumpkin, cashew, and leafy greens. So we suggest either watching your diet, taking a supplement, or both!
While protein is a key nutrient, vegans and vegetarians might worry a little too much about protein. Getting all 3 of the nutrients we are discussing are very important to living healthy. Surprisingly, many vegetables have protein. Nonetheless, if you don’t watch your diet, low protein can cause a slow metabolism, fatigue, muscle and joint pain, and slow wound healing. There are tons of ways to get enough protein if you are vegan or vegetarian. Some great sources of protein include legumes, soy products, tempeh, seitan, brown rice, and vegetables like spinach. There are also a plethora of protein shakes on the market if you need some extra protein in your life. Especially if you exercise regularly, you might want to invest in some protein powder.