A vegan diet certainly has some very important hygienic and long-term health advantages but it has a tendency to lack certain nutrients that are found regularly in non-vegan diets. People suspect a protein, calcium, and iron deficiency in a vegan diet but it is possible to get a normal supply of these elements on a purely vegan diet.
Iron in the blood is needed badly because it helps in the transportation of oxygen through the bloodstream. Anemia is basically an iron deficiency in the blood that causes the patient to feel tired and weak due to a lack of proper oxygen circulation throughout the way. It is very slow asphyxiation. The average adult needs 10 mg of iron each day.
Women of childbearing age need as much as 15 mg. Consumable iron is of two types: heme (from meat) and non-heme (from plants). Heme iron is more easily absorbed by the human body but it should be noted that iron deficiency anemia affects vegans and non-vegans equally.
A good vegan source of iron is dried beans and dark green leafy vegetables. In order to increase iron absorption, plants rich in iron should be consumed with foods rich in vitamin C. Foods like broccoli and bok choy contain a healthy combination of iron and vitamin C.
Calcium is another element that can lack in a vegan diet. Adults normally need 1000 mg per day. Calcium is responsible for strong bones and teeth. Vegans can find a rich source of calcium in dark green vegetables, tofu processed with calcium sulfate. You can also take calcium-fortified soy-milk and rice milk.
Some other sources are black-strap molasses, orange juice, and almonds. Some vegetables like spinach, rhubarb, beet greens, etc. have oxalic acid that can prevent proper absorption of calcium. Avoid combining these with other calcium-rich vegetables.
It should also be noted that the requirement for protein is not as high as most people tend to believe. The average diet today contains way more protein than the body needs to stay in good health.
Too much protein can, in some cases, lead to kidney damage and cause osteoporosis. The normal daily requirement of protein is 4/5ths of a gram for every kilogram of body weight. Soy, rice, and beans, nuts etc. all provide the necessary proteins for vegans.
Proteins are basically made out of amino acids. The human body needs 9 different amino acids. Since these acids cannot be made inside the body but have to be consumed they are known as essential amino acids. Non-vegans can get all nine essential amino acids from eggs and dairy products.
The best source of such a complete protein for vegans is the soy protein which contains all nine amino acids. Other sources are grain quinoa and spinach. Legumes, grains, nuts, and seeds can also be taken daily to ensure adequate protein intake.