When deciding to be vegan it’s interesting but everyone around you will quickly become nutrition scientists. They’ll worry about your iron, your vitamin B and your vitamin D. But, eat a 12 pack of donuts, or a whole package of bacon and no one will say one word to you. In fact, they’ll celebrate it. The best defense is a good offense. Therefore, it is important if you want to be healthy no matter your diet to understand the nutrients you need and what and why you may need supplementation.
The fact of the matter is, every single diet, to be healthy needs all the following:
Protein – From 5 to 8 percent of calories should be protein, with up to 10 percent being fine. Some people who are pregnant, healing from illness, or are bodybuilders may need to put this figure to 20 percent. But more than that tends to start causing health problems.
Carbs – If you’re eating a healthy vegan diet most of your calories will come from whole carbohydrate. This does not include carbs from things like processed food, cakes, cookies, white bread and table sugar of course.
Fats – A low-fat diet is good for you. You need some natural fat that’s already in your food to help process vitamins. Natural fat found in bananas, avocados, nuts, and seeds is all your body needs. You should try to keep this number lower than 20 percent, with an ideal rate of about 10 percent of total calories.
Minerals & Vitamins – Everyone needs to ensure that they’re getting most of their vitamin and mineral needs through their food. There is virtually no research that shows most supplementation even works except for vitamin B12 and D3. Check with your healthcare provider but supplementing with normal amounts of B12 and D3 can’t hurt you.
Fiber – This is what helps your body eliminate toxins in the form of bowel movements. If you’re not eating enough that can be a serious problem and cause constipation. You need a lot more of this than typical guidelines say but lucky for you, if you’re eating a plant-based, unprocessed, vegan diet you’re getting enough.
Water – This is something that most people aren’t getting enough of. You should strive for one half to one ounce of water per body weight to ensure that your vitamins and minerals can dissolve and process in your body and that you are sufficiently hydrated to keep your kidney’s healthy.
The very best way to know for sure is to get regular blood tests and take the right type of vitamins and minerals for support. Another nutrient that you need that is often not mentioned is selenium. Thankfully nature gives us the brazil nut of which you can eat one a day and get plenty of this vital nutrient that helps protect thyroid function. If your doctor determines that you do need any type of vitamin or mineral supplementation after a blood test take the type, they tell you to take to ensure best results.