Edit ModuleShow Tags
Published:

Going Vegan? Pay Attention to These Nutrients



Article author photo. Maria Tadic This featured post is by Maria Tadic, RD. You can follow this blogger on Twitter @mewinebrenner.

Did you know we’ve been celebrating World Vegan month? November is an entire month dedicated to meat-free, kind-to-animals cooking and eating! Perfect for shining a spotlight on this unique but environmentally conscious diet. So, what is a vegan, you ask?

Veganism differs from vegetarianism in a few ways. In particular vegans abstain from eating or using any animal products — including not eating any meat, dairy, eggs or honey. They may also choose not to use cosmetics tested on animals or wear leather, wool, down or fur clothing. No animal products whatsoever.

While great for animal wellbeing, the environment and your health, following a strict vegan diet can make getting all the daily required vitamins and minerals a bit tricky. But with education, awareness and careful planning, veganism can be a perfectly healthy way of life.

Watch out for these nutrients and make sure you consume adequate amounts of them in your diet. Look for alternative sources or consider taking a daily supplement.

  • Vitamin B12 — This water soluble vitamin is important for the formation of hemoglobin and the function of your nervous system. It’s typically found in animal products like meat, eggs or dairy. You can also find daily supplements to replace it or find fortified foods like nutritional yeast that will help meet your daily goal.
  • Calcium – A mineral important to bone health and muscle contraction, calcium is generally found in dairy foods like cheese, yogurt or milk. However, it’s also found in a variety of plant-based foods such as fortified soy milk or orange juice, dark greens like kale or collard greens, almonds, broccoli and even beans.
  • Protein – A macronutrient that’s incredibly important, protein helps build tissues, creates immune cells, aids in the regeneration of skin, and it’s the main component of your hair and nails. Luckily plants also contain adequate amounts of protein. Vegans who eat a variety of lentils, beans, nuts, whole grains, soy and peas can easily meet their daily protein goals.

If you’re interested in veganism, try it out for a meal or two a day. Plan out your foods and then find alternative sources of nutrients like calcium or B12 to ensure you’re consuming a well-balanced diet.

Need a vegan recipe to get started? Try this delicious Creamy Pasta With Peas — the perfect vegan comfort food!


Creamy Herb Pasta with Peas

Recipe developed by Maria Tadic, RD

Ingredients
½ lb. of short cut pasta
1 cup plain walnuts
1 garlic clove
1 cup packed basil, tarragon and fresh oregano (equal amounts of each)
½ teaspoon each salt and pepper
Lemon juice from ½ a lemon
½-¾ cup very hot water
1 cup peas

Directions

  1. In a large pot of boiling water, cook pasta according to directions. Save about a cup of the starchy pasta cooking water.
  2. In a food processor add in the walnuts, garlic, lemon juice, herbs, salt and pepper. Process until nuts  are very finely chopped — almost bread crumb consistency.
  3. Turn on food processor and with machine running, slowly add in the hot water until mixture has your desired consistency of alfredo sauce. The sauce should start to become thick and creamy white. Stop every now again to check the consistency and scrape down the sides of the bowl. You may not need all of the water — it depends on how thick you like your alfredo sauce.
  4. Toss sauce, peas and cooked pasta together, stirring to combine. If sauce is too thick add a little bit of the reserved starchy cooking water until you reach your desired consistency.

Maria Tadic, RD, is a bariatric dietitian in Virginia. Read her blog, BeanAFoodie.com, and connect with her on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

Edit Module

More Stone Soup

It's Time for Restaurants to Heed the Dietary Guidelines

It's Time for Restaurants to Heed the Dietary Guidelines

As an RDN, I know how important the Dietary Guidelines are when it comes to how we view the intersection of health, disease and nutrition. As a chef, I know the restaurant industry has a long way to go in helping the effort to make Americans healthier.
5 Tips for Safer Slow Cooking

5 Tips for Safer Slow Cooking

No matter the season, slow cookers are a handy kitchen device. But before you plug in, let’s review five tips that will ensure you're using your slow cooker safely.
Packing for a Trip: The One Item You Need Most

Packing for a Trip: The One Item You Need Most

Whether you're going on vacation, a daily excursion, or hopping from country to country, there is one simple thing you can do to make for a healthier journey: carry a water bottle. Water makes up the majority of our body weight and we owe it to ourselves to replenish our bodies with what it naturally needs, in its most natural form.
Summer Socca

Summer Socca

This street food from Italy's Ligurian Sea coast tastes like a dream. It's reminiscent of a savory pancake or crispy cracker. Even if you don't add any spices or veggies, "plain" socca doesn't taste plain at all. It's rich (though it's cheap), buttery (I can't believe it's not) and complex (but it's so easy).
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module
Advertise with Food & Nutrition
Edit ModuleShow TagsEdit ModuleShow Tags


Stone Soup

Guest bloggers from around the world share with Food & Nutrition Magazine.

About This Blog

Stone Soup is a guest blog written by members of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Content — including information, recipes and views expressed — is that of the authors and does not reflect the positions or policies of Food & Nutrition Magazine or the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Bloggers are required to pledge they will not write for Stone Soup on topics, companies or trade organization they currently represent or have represented at any time.

Learn about our guest blogs!

Comments Policy

Food & Nutrition Magazine provides this forum to exchange ideas, opinions and contributions within a positive community. Diverse viewpoints and constructive, respectful dialogue are welcome. Rudeness, misinformation, self-promotion and abuse are not. We reserve the right, without warning or notification, to remove comments and block users we determine violate this policy or our Terms & Conditions. You must include your name or be logged into a personal account on Disqus, Facebook, Twitter or Google+ to comment.

Archives

Edit Module

Get Stone Soup in Your RSS

Use your RSS reader's instructions to add Stone Soup to your list:

Atom Feed Subscribe to the Stone Soup Feed »

Get Our Blogs in Your Email

Stone Soup
Student Scoop