Making the permanent or long-term switch to an exclusively plant-based diet has become a growing trend, especially among society’s modern youth. Reasons include inhumane treatment of animals in factory farms, environmental friendliness, and appealing perks such as lower fat content, which can lead to benefits such as weight loss, lower cholesterol and decreased blood pressure. It is a constant struggle to find balance with the many health worries and toxins in food. There are risks, it seems, that go with any lifestyle choice. Veganism brings a few issues to the forefront.
Most vegans are aware of the necessity to increase intake of high-protein plant matter, such as nuts and beans. There are also strict rules about mixing certain foods together to get the most protein out of the meal. Rice and beans must be eaten together for the protein to be released properly. Because of this, many are convinced that their protein needs are being met properly and completely. However, few vegans have been informed of the significantly lower quality of plant proteins compared to meat, eggs, and dairy. Humans have eaten meat since prehistoric times.
Lacking a Type of Iron
Iron deficiency is a common problem. Toxins in our water and food often make it difficult for our body to get the right number of vitamins, as it is. When you add veganism to the picture, there can be even more issues. Iron can be taken in supplements, however, meat is the most potent source. It can take a lot of effort to get the iron from plants alone. The heme form is what is found in fish and meat. Non-heme is found in plant matter. Your body accepts the non-heme, however, it is harder for your body to make use of.
No Real Vitamin A
Vitamin A deficiency might sneak up on you after years of living as a vegan. Pre-formed vitamin A is only available in animal food items. Beta-carotene, however, can be converted into vitamin A. There are about 50 carotenoids that can do this. With some effort, vegans can get a decent amount. It still isn’t the right form, however. Night blindness is one of the most common side effects of vitamin A deficiency. You may also suffer from a lower immune system, making you susceptible to infections. Vitamin A is especially important for development in infants. The addition of a fatty food with a side of carotenoid loaded plant foods can increase absorption.
Our bodies are equipped to eat meat. Meat also provides many items that our bodies need. Even the forms present in plant food do not quite do what we need them to. It can be a difficult decision to eat meat with today’s mass production abuse. It has become a very unnatural activity, very unlike ancient hunting methods. Even plants have been tainted with contaminated soil and water. It is increasingly difficult to eat healthy. Our bodies are fighting non-stop to recover from daily toxins while we eat more toxins to survive. Vegans are trying to make things better, however, the diet is still lacking.