Can a vegan diet ensure sufficient intake of the necessary nutrients?

Definitely! As with any diet, it is especially important that your diet is balanced.

Nutritionists more and more abandon the old food triangle and develop new guidelines for balanced nutrition. For example, the University of Harvard developed the Healthy Eating Plate on the basis of large-scale, independent studies This one also recommends a varied diet rich in vegetable nutrition. Red meat and milk products play only a small role or are even discouraged, indicating that they are all but necessary for our health.

Three major misconceptions are that plant-based nutrition is poor in protein, calcium and iron. You  can read more about protein in the question “Do vegans have a high risk of protein deficiency?”. Vegetable sources of calcium are: green vegetables (kale, bok choy, broccoli, spinach, warmoes, watercress, …), almonds and sesame seeds (including tahini), vegetable milk or yoghurt with added calcium and tofu curdled with calcium sulphate (on the package).

Vegetable sources of iron are: green vegetables (spinach, warmoes, bok choy, broccoli …), grains (mainly oats and rice), soy (tofu, tempeh, soy milk, …) and other legumes (peas, lentils, …), nuts and seeds and dried fruits. Vegetable iron is healthier than iron that is in red meat but is more difficult to absorb into the blood. Combining plant iron sources with a source of vitamin C (orange, paprika, broccoli, …) in the same meal promotes absorption. Coffee and tea during or after the meal just counteract the recording.

The main focal points for a vegan are vitamin B12 and vitamin D. It is advisable to take food supplements for these two vitamins. For vegans, vitamin D can only count on sunlight. The combination of the Belgian climate and the fact that many people get little out of their work causes a large part of the population to suffer from a vitamin D deficiency. You can read more about vitamin B12 in the question “Do vegans need to take vitamin B12 supplements?”.

Of course you can always personally have more trouble with the inclusion of certain nutrients from your diet due to genetic predisposition, a disease or stress, for example. A blood test with the family doctor can indicate which supplements you specifically need or where you need to pay special attention to your diet.

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