There may be numerous benefits to following a vegan diet, but it may not offer you all the required nutrients. This situation of not having enough of the substances in the body is known as a vegan deficiency. To avoid it, you should consume various nutritious plant-based food items as well as think about having supplements. Unless you plan your diet carefully, you might have to consume supplementary iodine, omega-3 oils, vitamins B12 and D, and iron.
Here, we will discuss why a fully plant-based diet follower may lack some necessary nutrients. Besides, we will talk about specific deficiencies’ symptoms, and which supplements and food items can help.
Why The Deficiencies Happen
A well-thought-out vegan diet has an abundance of vegetables and fruits as well as low amounts of highly refined food items. Any diet without whole food items may play a part in some nutrients’ deficiencies. Animal derivatives are possibly rich in some nutrients that you cannot easily get through a diet based on plant food items. For instance, animal-based food items are the lone vitamin B12 sources. Vitamin B12 can aid in not just maintaining blood cells but also preventing anemia. Let us now look at the said symptoms and ways of tackling these.
An omnivorous diet usually has enough of this vitamin for almost every person. Vegan diets lack animal derivatives, so following those food eating patterns may lead to a situation where you lack this vitamin.
That deficiency can lead to symptoms, including tiredness, constipation, sudden weight loss, balance issues, difficulties remembering, confusion, and mental depression.
Consuming a B complex or B12 supplement can aid in making sure that you are having enough of this nutrient.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
These substances can play a role in brain and heart health. Not having enough of these can affect your skin, too, leading to swollen and itchy rashes.
ALA, DHA, and EPA are the primary forms of the acids. The human body can turn ALA into EPA and DHA in small quantities. Therefore, some individuals focus on having ALA. Anyhow, only 5 to 8% of it is turned into EPA, whereas up to 5% is transformed into DHA.
Therefore, it is vital to have food items with each of those omega-3 substances, such as walnuts, flaxseeds, canola oil, and fortified juices/cereals.
Algae is a vegan-friendly source of EPA and DHA. It is not clear as to how much of those fatty acids are required for a healthful diet.