Ok, we’re going to tackle a few topics here. I will be making separate posts addressing each of these but decided that I will also address them briefly here as well so most of the information is easy to find, in one place.
There are more misconceptions around nutrition and plant-based diets than I think I’ll ever be able to address but let’s start with a few of the major ones.
1. Myth: You cannot get enough protein from a plant-based diet.
Protein has been in the spotlight for some time now. A lot of people are targeting health from the standpoint of gaining muscle. #Gainz #GymFlow.. We all know this trend. The more protein, the more muscle right? And it’s easier to get more protein from animal products than from plant-based foods, right?… Wrong. It is true, that smaller portions of animal products contain higher amounts of protein than plant-based protein…but they also contain higher amounts of things that are not so good (aka really bad) for our bodies (Did you know many different types of animal protein are linked to cancer?). So what’s wrong with eating more plant-based foods to get your protein if it means illiminating all of the bad stuff that comes along with animal protein? When I think back to the foods I ate before I transitioned to a vegan diet, I realize that I was hardly getting any protein. Now, I don’t have a doubt in my mind that I’m getting the amount that I need and here’s how I get it…
Some plant-based foods high I protein:
– Seeds (like Chia and Hemp)
– Nutritional Yeast
Most of these foods are easy to add into any meal. Top you salad with nuts and seeds, through them into your smoothies, add beans and lentils to any meal…you can even base desserts around nuts! One yummy dessert is my Dragon Fruit Pudding Boat! It uses chia seeds and almond milk to give you a protein packed treat!
2. Myth: You need to take B12 supplements if you’re vegan because you can only get vitamin B12 from consuming animal products.
B12 is a vitamin that plays a huge role in our body. It effects our hair, skin, digestion, mood and more. There is a common misconception that B12 derives from animals. This is not exactly the case. B12 is found in soil. When animals consume plants grown in soil they ingest B12 and in turn humans get it when they consume animal products. This is where the misconception that vegans cannot get this vitamin comes form. So why don’t we just eat plants from the soil like animals do? This is how humans got vitamin B12 throughout history, but unfortunately, the soil today is contaminated with pesticides and other chemicals and we need to make sure we really wash foods before consuming them. So how can you get vitamin B12 if you follow a plant-based diet without taking supplements? It can be found in sea algaes such as spirulina, chlorella and nori. Chlorella is often found in tablets and can be taken as a supplement if you are not consuming other forms of B12 daily, but there are ways to add it to your diet. I add a bit of spirulina to my Superfood Protein Shake. It can also be added to salads. Nori wrappers, which contain vitamin B12, are great for making veggie sushi wraps! You can also get vitamin B12 from Nutritional Yeast (although it is not in all Nutritional Yeast so be sure to check the package), and this can be added on top of salads, sprinkled on your avocado toast, etc. There are so many ways to use Nutritional Yeast! My favorite recipe that incorporates it is Nut Bar’s Savoury Toast!
3. Myth: Super foods are hard to source exotic foods.
Many people have this idea that for a food to be considered a super food it has to be hard to find, because how can everyday food be filled with all these nutrients and offer so many health benefits?! It has to be impossible, right? Well, it’s not! It is true that exotic fruits, like dragon fruit, papaya and açaí berries are super foods, but they are not the only ones! Superfood are defined as foods rich in compounds considered beneficial to a person’s health. This opens the door for a lot of foods to be considered super foods. Blueberries are one super food that are underestimated. They are filled with phytonutrients, have anti-inflammatory properties, are rich in fiber and much more.
Here are some commonly underestimated super foods:
Incorporating these foods into a healthy diet will greatly benefit your well being.