There is a strong trend towards veganism in the world today which has made me
more aware of what I eat and how I can protect our planet through a diet that slows down climate change. There are many reasons people choose to consume a vegan diet but regardless of our reasons, it is important to ensure that we meet our nutritional needs.
The most common question a vegan hears must be, ‘how do you get enough protein?’
It is definitely possible to reach your protein requirements when vegan however it does take a bit more effort than a meat eater.
We will look at the different nutrients found in vegan foods and how they can be incorporated into our diet along with a few supplements to ensure we are getting everything we need.
A protein is an essential nutrient made up of amino acids. Animal products contain complete proteins which means they contain all the essential amino acids while most plant products contain incomplete proteins. This means a vegan would need to consume a varied diet with many different plants to obtain all the different amino acids.
For example, peanut butter and wholewheat bread are incomplete proteins but put them together and you have a complete protein full of all the essential amino acids.
There are a couple of plant products that contain complete proteins too such as quinoa and soya beans.
Eating a diet rich in tofu, tempeh, beans, whole grains and various vegetables will ensure you are healthy and well-balanced.
Vitamin B12 is an important vitamin the body needs to make red blood cells and keep our nervous system functioning optimally.
This vitamin is only found in animal products so a vegan can either eat vegan foods that are fortified with vitamin B12 or take a vitamin B12 supplement.
The daily recommended amount of vitamin B12 is 2.4 micrograms.
Another vitamin mainly found in animal products is vitamin D. This vitamin helps with inflammation, keeps our bones strong and strengthens our immune system.
There are plenty of foods fortified with vitamin D or we can take a supplement.
The daily recommended amount of vitamin D is 15 micrograms.
There are several types of vegan collagen products on the market. These products are made from plant-based ingredients designed to support the production of collagen in the body. Some examples of these ingredients include soy protein, pea protein, and rice protein. These plant-based collagen products can be found in a variety of forms, including powders, supplements, and skincare products.
Is vegan collagen real collagen?
No, vegan collagen is not natural collagen. Collagen is a protein that is found naturally in the body and is a key component of the skin, bones, and connective tissues. It is typically derived from animal sources, such as cows, pigs, or fish. Vegan collagen, on the other hand, is made from plant-based ingredients that are designed to support the production of collagen in the body.
Is vegan collagen as effective?
Collagen is a protein that is naturally found in the body and is a common ingredient in many skincare products, including those marketed as being vegan. Vegan collagen is made from plant-based sources, such as algae, and it is designed to provide similar benefits as collagen from animal sources. There is some debate among skincare experts about the effectiveness of vegan collagen compared to collagen from animal sources, but some studies have shown that it can be effective in improving skin elasticity and reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Ultimately, the effectiveness of vegan collagen will depend on the specific product and how it is used.
Vegan collagen side effects
Overall, the risks and potential side effects of using vegan collagen are similar to those associated with other health and wellness supplements. It is important to carefully read the ingredients list on any vegan collagen product and avoid products that contain ingredients that you are allergic to. If you have any concerns about using vegan collagen products, consult a medical practitioner for professional advice.
MAKING OUR CHOICE
We can rest assured that if we choose to follow a vegan diet and stay well informed, eat a varied diet and take a few essential supplements we can be just as strong and healthy as our meat-eating friends.
By Pippa Walker, freelance writer and researcher.