The question that us Plant- Based-ers (yes that’s a new word I created) get is- ” well where do you get your calcium, iron, and the best one PROTEIN!”
You can get everything you need from a plant-based lifestyle and your body will thank you for it. This article will go over some of the most common questions I get asked regarding nutrients!
Let us start with the most common question of them all.
“Where do you get your protein?”
Ill start by saying that as quoted from many plant-based documentaries “rarely has anyone ever been admitted to the hospital and told to go home and get some more protein” That being said YES protein is important and you can get plenty from a plant-based lifestyle. Proteins are found in many plant-based foods but here are some with a higher protein content:
Legumes such as chickpeas, peas, soy and black beans- to name a few are great sources of protein. These can be prepared in many ways including topping your salads, in burritos, made into dips such as hummus, tofu, you can even get pea protein powder if you would prefer to have it in a shake!
Nuts and Seeds:
Nuts and seeds are also great sources and make for an easy go-to snack during the day. Nuts and seeds also contain many other nutrients such as Omegas. You can grab a handful of nuts on the go and you can also add flax, chia and hemp seeds to sauces, in smoothies or baked into some muffins. Make sure to keep nuts and seeds as a staple in your plant-based lifestyle.
Grains are also a great staple for protein, many Plant-Based-ers include a lot of grains in their diet because it also makes for some easy meals. Some examples are quinoa, brown rice, whole wheat pasta and breads.
Now lets move onto calcium… I get this one a lot, especially from relatives who think that I will literally crumble in front of them because I do not drink cows milk. Plants have PLENTY of calcium and it’s a fantastic healthy source too that does not contain all the harmful things that come from animal milk. Here are a few:
Dark Leafy Greens:
Dark leafy greens are very healthy and also contain a good amount of calcium, they are also incredible easy to incorporate into your plant based life by having them as a side salad, or cooked with your veggies stir-frys. Some examples are- kale, collard greens and spinach.
Some plant milks such as soy milk and cashew milk are also good sources of calcium and easily added to your morning coffee and cereal and incorporated into recipes such as creamy curry dishes. They are also quite tasty on their own.
Fortified Food and Drinks:
Some drinks and food such as orange juice, cereal and even some plant-milks are fortified with calcium if you want that extra boost.
Iron sources are easy to find and absorb nicely when you are getting enough vitamin C, so make sure you are getting both!
Who doesn’t love oats? Oatmeal cookies, porridge, overnight oats, make your own vegan burgers with oats incorporated! So many possibilities, they are also high in fiber and gluten free for people who have a gluten intolerance.
Other sources include ones we have already talked about such as legumes, grains, nuts and seeds and a variety of vegetables. And my favorite- Dark Chocolate.
Essentially if you are eating a variety of whole foods in a whole food plant-based diet you will consume plenty of Iron.
It is important for everyone not just Plant-Based-ers to get regular blood work and check ups because sometimes even if you are consuming plenty of nutrient sources some people have issues absorbing them. Everyone should also be taking a B12 supplement because in this day and age there is barely any B12 in both plant and animal foods and many people are deficient. Vitamin D is also very important if you are not one to get out in the sun often. Vitamin D isn’t always plant-based so ensure your picking out the plant derived supplements.