While there are a plethora of supplements available on the market, the best and most healthful thing you can do for your body is to ensure you get all of your nutrients from your foods rather than from pills. It’s really that simple.
Dietary supplements are okay. However, your body is an intricate machine that we really don’t know everything about yet. There are balances that have to be met within your body, and even though we know a lot, and modern medicine and nutrition holds a vast knowledge, some body functions are simply a mystery.
Plus, every nutrient your body needs has to also be balanced out by other nutrients. Taking 4000 IU’s of vitamin E might sound great, but it’s really kind of worthless if your body can’t absorb it all. This is where getting your protein, Vitamins, and nutrients from you Whole-Food Plant-Based (WFPB) Diet comes in.
This is a tricky one, especially for Vegans. The fact of the matter is that your body really doesn’t need a lot of B-12. In fact, your body is capable of storing what amounts to stockpiles in relation to what it needs over a period of years. However, Vegans tend to find themselves dealing with vitamin B-12 deficiency which can cause things like anemia, muscle weakness, fatigue, nerve damage, and mood swings.
Even though there are B-12 supplements on the market, if you’re not getting enough through your dietetic intake, the best thing to do is to reevaluate your diet as a whole because whole food sources are always better than processed nutritional sources like pill or liquid form supplements.
Iron is another big one because iron plays an essential role in your body’s ability to produce red blood cells. You can find iron easily in beans, broccoli, and raisins. Also, if you find that your body isn’t absorbing iron, try balancing out with a good source of Vitamin C like citrus fruit. This is because your body needs Vitamin C to be able to absorb dietary iron.
Protein not only helps your skin, bones, teeth, muscles, and organs, but it also delivers amino acids to your body. There are three types of amino acids, of which Essential Amino Acids are one.
Your body cannot produce Essential Amino Acids so these must come from dietary sources. The problem with plant-based diets is that most plants are incapable of delivering complete proteins. Complete proteins carry all 9 essential amino acids.
One thing you can do to make sure you get enough protein is to pair protein sources like Rice and Beans in a meal. However, you really only need to make sure you get enough protein daily as opposed to every meal. Also, eggs are an excellent source of complete protein: just don’t take out the yolk. That’s important if you’re worried about proteins.
Calcium and Vitamin D
Both Calcium and Vitamin D play important roles in bone health. For those of you who eat fish in your WFPB diet, bone in Salmon is a fantastic source of Calcium, as are most milks like Almond and Cashew even though these foods are processed.
Milk is also great, but cow’s milk is created by an animal 5 times the average human for infants who come out much larger than human infants. In comparison, cow’s milk may be delicious. It’s just not really made for us.
On the upside, leafy greens like collard and mustard greens are excellent sources of Calcium.
Vitamin D isn’t something your get in your diet. Instead, look to your routine. Your body will produce Vitamin D in response to sunlight so you want at least 10 minutes on average every day.
One interesting thing about bone health is that healthy bones are formed through impact and resistance exercise, which is then supported through their composition from Calcium and Vitamin D.