With good planning and an understanding of what makes up a healthy, balanced vegan diet, you can get most of the nutrients your body needs. If you don’t plan your diet properly or never eat fortified foods, you could miss out on essential nutrients, such as calcium, iron, zinc anc iodine.
Research into the iron status of vegans has found that especially female vegans appear to have lower iron stores than omnivores, and are more prone to iron-deficiency anaemia. Iron-deficiency anaemia is caused by insufficient consumption of iron (or insufficient absorption of iron) and is a decrease in red blood cells (RBCs) or haemoglobin, leading to symptoms such as tiredness and fatigue; weakness, shortness of breath and reduced exercise tolerance.
Vegan athletes should therefore look to achieve iron sufficiency by choosing wholefood iron sources, reducing their consumption of inhibitor-containing foodstuffs such as tea, coffee and cocoa (when eating iron-rich meals) and consume vitamin C containing foods concurrently to enhance absorption.
Vegans have been shown to be at a higher risk of fracture due to lower calcium intakes. The importance of calcium for the vegan athlete reflects its role in the maintenance of skeletal health during weight-bearing exercise, and increased calcium losses experienced during heavy perspiration.
In order to meet the above requirement, vegan athletes should consume plant-based sources of calcium such as beans, pulses and green vegetables in sufficient quantities to achieve the daily recommendation of 1000mg. If a vegan diet cannot achieve sufficient calcium levels, then a supplement might also be required.
Zinc is a constituent of enzymes involved in metabolic processes that relate to DNA stabilisation and gene expression, and is important in cell growth, repair and protein metabolism. Similar to iron, zinc is widely available in plant-based foods but is also not readily absorbed. In order to achieve the recommendations, vegans should look to consume zinc-rich foods such as hemp and pumpkin seeds, and other grains, nuts and beans.
Iodine is an essential trace element needed for physical and mental growth and development, and plays in an important role in thyroid function and metabolism. Excessively high or low intakes of iodine can lead to thyroid dysfunction, and vegans have been shown to consume both excessively high and low intakes depending on their dietary choice.
Seaweed and sea vegetables are a concentrated source of iodine that are vegan-friendly.
Vitamin – Mineral mix
In our BSFood product we have added an especially developed vitamin-mineral mix that play a central role in sustaining and extending healthy life span, enhancing sports performances, and offsetting the challenges of advancing age. For any vitamin or mineral nature cannot supply we have added safe lab made alternative.