I sometimes get asked where do you get your protein and honestly if you have a healthy balanced vegan diet you will not be lacking in any food group, vitamin or minerals. Everything you need for a healthy body and mind can be gained from a plant based diet. When my daughter said she wanted to go vegan I rang the doctor to ask if she could have a blood test to make sure she wasn’t deficient in anything. Do you know what the doctor said to me? She said if your daughter is on a healthy balanced vegan diet then she is probably eating a healthier diet than most of the children that come into my surgery. That really backed up what I thought about her going vegan as obviously I don’t want her to be lacking in any essential vitamins. What I would say is if you are going vegan for health reasons then you will need to plan your meals. There is no point going from an unhealthy carnivorous diet to an unhealthy vegan diet. See below for some suggestions on plant based protein sources without the cholesterol.
If you are eating meat then you are ingesting the vitamins needed second hand. Some think eating meat will make them as strong as an ox but the ox eats grass and like other large animals they get everything they need from the earth. Some of the strongest animals on earth survive and thrive on a plant based diet. Such as Elephants, Rhino’s, Hippo’s, Horse’s, Manatee’s and Gorilla’s. B12 is an essential vitamin that we can’t get from a natural food source. Many vegan foods are fortified with B12 and you can also take a supplement. But many meat eaters can also be deficient in B12. You don’t get B12 from the animal itself. Many farm animals are given a B12 supplement which is then passed on to whoever eats them.
So lets talk about Omega 3’s because obviously you need to eat fish to get them right ? Wrong! There are other great sources of Omega 3’s such as Flax, Chia and Hemp seeds these can be added to smoothies or used in baking. Also Walnuts, just one ounce of these will give you a days supply of Omega 3’s. Soy is another great source, it comes in so many different forms such as milk, tempeh and tofu. Omega 3’s are fatty acids that are really important, they keep our hearts healthy and prevent inflammation related diseases and are essential for our brain. (Information from http://peta2.com)
So what about calcium. We have been sold a lie that cows milk is essential for our bones. The only thing cows milk is good for is a baby cow. So unless your a baby cow then I’d leave the cows breast milk alone. Did you know we are the only species on earth that drinks another species breast milk? Pretty gross isn’t it when you think about it. So where can you get your calcium. Good sources of calcium are green leafy vegetables, Tofu, sesame seeds, tahini, pulses, brown and white bread (calcium is added to bread in the UK) and dried fruits. There are so many good plant based milks around these days that there is just no need to contribute to such a cruel industry. As I have said before my favourite is oat milk, namely oatly especially in my tea. (source of info https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/eat-well/the-vegan-diet/)
I hope you have found this useful.