5 nutrients that you cannot get from a vegan diet
While a vegan diet is surely healthy, it can lead you to deficiencies in various essential nutrients.
More and more people are going vegan over the last few years. Cutting down on meat and dairy intake is not only kinder to animals, but also linked to a wide array of wonderful health benefits. Precisely, it can reduce oxidative stress, support mental health, control diabetes, prevent the risk of some cardiovascular disorders, and more. However, there is another side which we should also consider! When eating plant-based foods regularly, you may be missing out on certain key nutrients – and surprising as it may sound, we are not talking about proteins. Without further ado, let’s have a look at some of those nutrients that you cannot get from a vegan diet.
Vitamin B12: Vitamin B12 is a water-soluble nutrient that can be found in only animal foods. Also known as cobalamin, it plays a significant role in blood circulation, brain functions, the development of nerve cells, and more. A deficiency of vitamin B12 can trigger several issues such as fatigue, weakness, weight loss, memory loss, etc.
Zinc: Although zinc can be found in some plant-based foods, the amount is a lot lower than your requirements. Also, the phytic acid in those plants restricts your body’s ability to absorb the nutrient. So, vegans are at a high risk of zinc deficiency which is linked to various issues such as poor immunity along with diarrhea, slow wound healing, hair loss, etc.
Vitamin D: Vitamin D is an essential nutrient that your body produces when exposed to sunlight. However, if you stay indoors most of the time, you can rely on some animal-sourced foods such as cow’s milk, tuna, salmon, etc. So, as it’s not present in a moderate amount in plant-based foods, you cannot get enough vitamin D from a vegan diet. A deficiency of this nutrient is linked to various issues such as osteoporosis, impaired brain functions, weakness, heart diseases, etc.
Creatine: A molecule that is stored in the muscles, creatine is found only in animal-sourced foods. This nutrient supports muscle building, thus helping in promoting your strength and endurance. Although it can be produced by the human liver, some studies have shown that vegans are likely to have a lower amount of creatine than others.
Heme iron: Heme iron is a special type of iron that is found only in meat. This nutrient is highly important as it promotes the functioning of various organs in your body. Also, it improves your body’s ability to absorb non-heme iron from plant-based foods. Therefore, vegans are more likely to run low on this nutrient.
Apart from these, the list also includes carnosine, taurine, omega-3 fatty acids, riboflavin, Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), etc.