What are the necessary nutrients for a vegan diet?

List of nutrients necessary for a vegan diet : we review the nutrients and their food sources for a healthy and complete vegan diet.

Carbohydrates for a vegan diet

Carbohydrates are the main nutrients that provide energy to our body. Among them are legumes, nuts, whole grains and their by-products, fruits and vegetables.

Black beans are the legumes richest in antioxidants. Oat flakes are a very complete cereal and chia is a seed considered a superfood due to its great richness in nutrients.

Fats for a vegan diet

Fats form adipose tissue and act as a covering for internal organs, conserving body heat as a layer under the skin. They are a source of reserve energy and act by coating the nervous system.

Fat cannot be absent from a vegan diet.

High-fat plant-based foods

We can find fats of vegetable origin in the following foods:

✔ Vegetable algae 👉 Edible algae: types and health benefits

✔ Nuts such as walnuts, almonds and hazelnuts, which contain omega 3 and 6 fatty acids (especially walnuts).

✔ Avocados, which contain 60% monounsaturated fats, 15% polyunsaturated.

✔ Whole grains 👉 The many health benefits of whole grains

👉 Benefits of 5 types of bread made with whole grains

✔ Chia, flax, pumpkin, sesame seeds 👉 The best seeds for health and their benefits

👉 Benefits of seeds for health and well-being

✔ Olive, rapeseed and sunflower oils.

Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids are found in walnuts, dried fruits, flax oil, flax seeds, chia seeds, which have 8 times more omega 3 than salmon, etc. Soy is a good source of omega 6 fatty acids.

Proteins for a vegan diet

All proteins contain nitrogen, carbon, hydrogen and oxygen are found in fats and carbohydrates for the chemical functioning of animals and plants.

They are necessary for the regeneration of the cells of our organism.

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The best vegetable proteins

👉 Vegetable proteins and properties of quinoa

Soy

It is a complete protein capable of supplying each of the 20 amino acids that the body needs.

  • A cup of soy milk supplies 12 grams of protein.
  • ½ cup of tofu contains 10 grams of protein.
  • ½ cup of tempheh contains 15 grams of protein.

Quinoa

It is also a complete protein with all 20 amino acids and combines with all kinds of foods.

  • A 100 g cup of quinoa contains 13 g of protein.

Vegetables

White and pinto beans, kidney beans, chickpeas, lentils, peas and lima beans. A cup of legumes contains 13 to 18 grams of protein.

Legumes are high in fiber, which reduces sugar and bad cholesterol, and potassium, which reduces hypertension.

Whole grains

Whole grains like wheat and brown rice. They are healthier and contain more protein than refined grains.

Nuts and seeds

Both contain varying amounts of protein and can be eaten as appetizers or with vegetable and fruit salads.

  • ¼ cup of almonds provides 8 grams of protein.
  • 1 cup of sunflower seeds contains 6 grams of protein.
  • Walnuts, cashews, and Brazil nuts provide up to 7 grams of protein per ounce.

Vitamins for a vegan diet

Vitamin A

Vitamin A is necessary for sight, for the regeneration and maintenance of the skin and mucous membranes of our body. It is found as beta-carotene in carrots, tomatoes, beets, squash, chard, and spinach.

👉 The importance of vitamins in the diet

Vitamin B complex

The B vitamins play an important role in the metabolism of lipids, carbohydrates and proteins and benefit the functioning of the nervous system.

Let’s see in which foods we find the different vitamins of group B.

✔ B1: Brewer’s yeast, wheat germ and soy.

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✔ B2: brewer’s yeast, enriched cereals and almonds.

✔ B3: Brewer’s yeast, legumes, and peanut butter.

✔ B6: Brewer’s yeast, whole grains, bananas, and vegetables.

✔ B12: it is important because it regulates the production of red blood cells in the bone marrow.

✔ Folic acid: it acts together with B12 in the production of red blood cells and one acts in the absence of the other. They are found in lettuce, bananas, nuts, and cereals.

✔ Pantothenic acid: found in brewer’s yeast, wheat bran, cabbage, and peas.

✔ Biotin: It is found in green beans, soy nuts and brewer’s yeast.

👉 Group B vitamins: benefits and food sources

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is found mainly in fruits: berries (strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and blackberries) and citrus fruits (oranges, tangerines, lemons and grapefruits), tomatoes, cauliflower, broccoli, etc.

👉 Vitamin C: properties and food sources

Vitamin D or solar vitamin

Vitamin D is acquired after exposure to sunlight and in some plant foods such as margarine that has 10 micrograms of this vitamin, breakfast cereals and soy milk or vegetable drinks.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E prevents blood clotting within the veins and acts against old age.

The vegetable foods richest in vitamin E are wheat germ oil with 200 grams of vitamin E, hazelnut oil with 47 grams, unrefined sunflower oil and almond oil, with 40 grams of vitamin E.

Flax seeds, almonds and hazelnuts, spirulina and jalapeños, avocado or spinach also contain vitamin E.

Vitamin K

This vitamin has antihemorrhagic and clotting effects. It is found in green and yellow vegetables, leafy greens, cabbage, and spinach.

👉 Fat-soluble vitamins D, E and K: properties and food sources

Minerals for a vegan diet

👉 Mineral salts (macroelements)

👉 Mineral salts (macroelements and microelements)

👉 Mineral salts (microelements)

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Calcium

In our body, it is found in the bones and teeth in 99% of the cases.

Plant-based foods that contain calcium are soybeans, parsley, figs, dates.

Iron

It is found in algae, soybeans and derivatives, green leafy vegetables, potatoes, legumes, nuts, parsley, green beans and brewer’s yeast.

It is good to bear in mind that, if foods rich in vitamin C are consumed, its absorption by the organism increases.

Zinc

It is important for the maintenance of sexual desire and the maturation of sex.

Plant-based food sources are algae, pumpkin seeds, whole grains, legumes, sesame seeds, nuts, soybeans, and brewer’s yeast.

Match

It influences the formation of bones and teeth. Its sources are wheat germ, oats, peanuts, peas, and beer yeast.

Sodium, chlorine and potassium

Together they combine the body’s fluid balance, nervous responses, and muscle contractions.

We get sodium and chlorine from algae, table salt, and vegetables in general.

Potassium is obtained from potatoes, bananas, and tomatoes.

Magnesium

Magnesium is an energy releaser that absorbs and transports nutrients and releases nerve impulses.

It is found in fresh vegetables, seaweed, soy flour, walnuts, almonds, and tofu.

Cobalt

Important for the formation of vitamin B12, we find it in algae and other vegetables.

Copper

It is important for the absorption of iron and the formation of hemoglobin. We find it in nuts, whole grains, leafy vegetables.

Molybdenum

It is an iron regulator. We find it in legumes, yeasts and whole grains.

Chrome

Regulates blood glucose levels. We find it in fruits, vegetables and whole grains.

Fluorine

Vital in the formation of teeth and bones, we find it in algae and vegetables.

Selenium

It protects red blood cells and is found in wheat and brewer’s yeast.

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