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Several essential nutrients are not available from plants or fungi. Creatine, carnosine, taurine, EPA and DHA omega-3, haem iron and vitamins B12 and D3 generally only occur naturally in foods from animal products.
The nutrients found in vegan foods are minimal. To get the minimum amount of vitamin B6 each day from the richest plant sources, you'd have to eat about five cups worth of potatoes.
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Some of the essential nutrients can be acquired from supplements. However, nutrients such as taurine are easily overlooked. Others are so obscure that vegans are unlikely to have even heard of them.
Veganism is one of the fastest-growing millennial trends. In the United States, it grew by 600% between 2014 and 2017.
One study supplemented Kenyan schoolchildren with three different types of soup (meat, milk and oil) as a snack over seven school terms.
Iron plays a prominent role in brain development and is essential throughout our lives. One study found that giving women iron supplements led to intellectual gains. In those whose blood iron levels improved, their cognitive performance increased between five- and seven-fold.
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