Vegan Sources of Nutrients (and how to incorporate them into your daily diet)

Many people argue that going vegan prevents them from getting the essential nutrients that they need for their bodies to cope. For example, my family has a history of anemia; a common myth is that they can only get the amount of iron they need from meat products such as liver and beef. But this isn’t the case – people with almost any dietary needs can follow a vegan lifestyle. Here are some examples of vegan foodstuffs that contain the vitamins/nutrients/minerals that are necessary for the human body to survive.

Calcium:
~ Broccoli – 75g of broccoli is equal to 75mg of calcium. Broccoli can be used in almost any meal – try it with boiled potatoes or in a vegan pasta bake.
~ Soy milk – 100ml of soy milk contains 140mg of calcium. ALL plant-based milks are rich in calcium, but soy milk is my personal favourite; just use it where you’d use cows milk! I personally prefer using it in hot drinks.
~ Almonds – 25g of almonds provides you with 50mg of calcium. I love using almonds in baking, and they’re great with vegan brownies/vegan chocolate desserts!
~ Leeks – 50g of leek = 30mg of calcium. Leeks are great in stews and soups; potato and leek soup is awesome as a lunch or dinner meal.
~ Tofu – 100g of tofu contains 150mg of calcium. Tofu is an extremely versatile ingredient – you can use it in desserts, as an egg subsitute, as a stand-in product for meat in recipes, the choice is yours!
~ Oranges – 1 medium orange is equal to 50mg of calcium, and is a great snack on its own. Oranges can also be used in smoothies and fruit salads.

Iron:
~ Spinach – 100g of spinach contains 2.7mg of iron. Spinach can be used in curries and in pasta.
~ Asparagus – 100g of asparagus = 2.1mg of iron. Asparagus is great in salads, cut up in pasta or even in a vegan roast.
~ Garlic – 100g of garlic contains 1.7 mg of iron, which is amazing considering almost anything can be flavoured with it. Try roasting potatoes alongside it, or using it to season other vegetables, such as mushrooms or carrots.

Protein:
~ Pumpkin seeds – 1 ounce of roasted pumpkin seeds provides 5.2 grams of protein, which is more than half of the protein found in an egg. Pumpkin seeds are a tasty alternative to most sugary snacks, and are extremely healthy!
~ Asparagus – 100 grams of asparagus contains 2.4 grams of protein. Asparagus is also the number one plant source of vitamin K – wrap a few spears up in rashers of vegan bacon for a simple but fancy meal.
~ Tofu – 100g of tofu contains 8g of protein; and there are very few things you can’t do when it comes to actually cooking it. Scrambled tofu is an excellent substitute for scrambled eggs, as well as being totally cruelty free!
~ Cashew nuts – 100 grams of cashew nuts = 18 grams of protein. Cashew nuts are amazing with rice noodles and in Japanese style food as a protein-rich substitute for meat.

Magnesium:
~ Avocados – 100g of avocado contains 29mg of magnesium. Avocado on toast is a healthy snack that is incredibly simple to make – just make sure the bread is vegan beforehand!
~ Coconut – 100 grams of coconut is equal to 32mg of magnesium. Coconut is great in vegan cakes and is delicious with rice noodles.
~ Tofu – Tofu is good for almost any nutrient; 100g of tofu = 30mg of magnesium.

Good luck, and happy vegan-ing!

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