Vegan, Vegetarian Possible Deficiencies, Ways to Prevent Them

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Vegan, Vegetarian Possible Deficiencies, Ways to Prevent Them

How to prevent deficiencies on a vegan diet is of much interest to those who follow such diet. Vitamin D deficiency vegan diet can cause unhealthy side effects.

Veganism happens to be the practice of abstaining from the use of animal products, particularly in one’s diet, and an associated philosophy that does reject the commodity status of animals.

How how to prevent deficiencies on a vegan diet?

  • Vitamin B12: Omnivorous diets usually contain enough B12 to meet most people’s requirements.
  • Omega-3s: Omega-3 fatty aid in heart health and brain as well.
  • Iodine: The thyroid, a butterfly-shaped gland in the neck, converts iodine into thyroid hormones.
  • Iron: Iron happens to be a mineral with several important functions throughout one’s body.
  • Vegan diets do have several health benefits, but they may not contain all the required nutrients. To avoid a deficiency, a person needs to be sure to consume a variety of nutritious plant-based foods and also take supplements.

A well-planned vegan diet is rich in fruits and vegetables and usually low in highly refined foods.

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Vitamin B12

Omnivorous diets typically contain enough B12 to meet most people’s needs. As vegan diets do not include animal products, vitamin B12 deficiencies may occur.

A deficiency in vitamin B12 can cause megaloblastic anemia. This does involve the bone marrow producing oversized, undeveloped red blood cells, leading to low red blood cell levels.

It can also occur from a deficiency in vitamin B9, also known as folate.

Omega-3s

Omega-3 fatty acids to heart and brain health and not getting enough omega-3s can affect the skin, causing swollen, itchy rashes or scaly, dry patches.

  • Nuts, such as walnuts
  • Seeds, such as chia or flaxseeds
  • Plant oils, such as canola oil
  • Fortified foods, such as cereals or juices

Also Read, Common Nutritional Deficiencies of a Vegan Diet.

Iodine

The thyroid, a butterfly-shaped gland in the neck, converts iodine into thyroid hormones — triiodothyronine and tetraiodothyronine, known respectively as T3 and T4. These hormones do help regulate crucial biological functions such as metabolism.

Having an iodine deficiency could lead to hypothyroidism. Symptoms include:

  • an inability to tolerate colder temperatures
  • fatigue
  • weight gain
  • a goiter

Some vegan sources of iodine are:

  • Iodized salt
  • Soy milk
  • Seaweed
  • Cranberries
  • Potatoes
  • Prunes

Iron

Iron happens to be a mineral with several important functions throughout one’s body, including helping blood cells carry oxygen and also supporting brain health.

Iron deficiencies can lead to anemia and restrict oxygen delivery to cells around the body.

Other symptoms of an iron deficiency include:

  • stomach problems
  • tiredness
  • weakness
  • difficulty concentrating or remembering
  • increased susceptibility to infections

Plant-based sources of iron include:

  • Nuts
  • some dried fruits, such as raisins
  • beans
  • lentils
  • spinach
  • peas
  • iron-fortified cereals

Some people require an iron supplement, especially females of childbearing age.

Vitamin D3

Vitamin D helps absorb calcium for healthy bones and also protects against chronic bone conditions, such as osteoporosis. Vitamin D deficiency vegan diet can be unhealthy.

The body does make vitamin D from sun exposure. Few foods naturally contain the vitamin, but manufacturers fortify several products with it, including cereals and milk.

Animal products are the only natural source of vitamin D3, but vegan supplements are available. A person having a vegan diet can get D2 from supplements, mushrooms, as well as fortified foods.

Calcium

Calcium is essential for bone health and muscle functioning. A deficiency can cause the risk of problems such as osteoporosis or bone fractures.

Symptoms of a severe calcium deficiency include:

  • Numbness or tingling in the fingers
  • Abnormal heart rhythms
  • Convulsions
Vegan foods that contain calcium include:
  • broccoli
  • brussels sprouts
  • collards
  • kale
  • mustard greens
  • chard
  • beans
  • Peas
  • soy products

Fortified foods are also a source of calcium.

Creatine

Creatine is available in animal tissues, and it does help produce energy during exercise. Vegan diets are typically lower in creatine than other diets. While creatine is not an essential nutrient, it can improve athletic performance.

Conclusion

A vegan diet is becoming popular.

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