Iron deficiency - Deepstash

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How a vegan diet could affect your intelligence

Iron deficiency

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.

Those adopting a vegan diet are particularly prone to iron deficiency. The form most readily absorbed by the body is only found in animal proteins.

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Vegan fast food

Vegan fast food alternatives may often be worse for your health than the meat equivalent. It is good that people start to think about plant-based foods, but the danger lies in thinking t...

Plant-based protein menus

Plant-based protein sources are not the same as animal protein sources. Proteins are made up of amino acids which are the building blocks of every cell and hormone in our body. Meat protein contains all nine essential amino acids, whereas plant-based protein usually lacks at least one of the nine essential amino acids our body needs.

Unripe jackfruit makes a convincing choice for pulled pork alternatives, curries and burgers. But it is almost valueless if you needed protein since jackfruit consists of carbohydrates. Vegan burgers are made up of beans, but this is not a complete protein source.

Iron content

One study found that 25% of vegans (mainly women) had very low blood iron levels, compared to 0% of omnivores.

Plants like whole grains, legumes and spinach are high in iron but is not always the best type. Animal sources contain haem iron. Non-haem iron, found in plants, is not as well absorbed by the body.

Meanings of “protein”

Protein is a macronutrient, a family of molecules made of amino acids. It is found in many different food items like meat and legumes. Even grains and leafy vegetables have some. Plant-b...

Protein-rich foods from animals
  • They may have more saturated fatty acids (beef and dairy especially)
  • They may have more omega-3 fatty acids (fish especially)
  • They don’t contain any fiber or carbohydrates.
  • They tend to be very high in protein.

If you need a lot of protein in your diet, meat is a great way to satisfy that need.

“Plant protein”

Plant-based protein sources don't have as much protein. You can get enough protein through a plant-based diet, as long as it is well balanced. Plant-based protein sources:

  • They often contain fiber (especially legumes and whole grains).
  • If they contain fat, they are often rich in “good” fats (for example, the omega-3’s in nuts).
  • They contain plenty of starch as well, so it’s impossible to follow a low-carb diet if that’s a priority for you.
The so-called plant-based movement

The plant-based movement defines a diet based on low fats, high fibers and vegetables. 

The purpose is to avoid consuming animals for health reasons, different from veganism, accordi...

Differences between 'plant-based' and 'vegan'

While the vegans adopt a lifestyle that must not harm the life of animals for any reason whatsoever, people who choose the 'plant-based diet' have more flexibility when it comes to both their food and their lifestyle. 

Plant-based and vegan at the same time

When thinking about a healthier lifestyle, which includes a healthier diet too, one can choose to be both 'plant-based' and vegan, as the two go hand-in-hand perfectly. 

Moreover, once you have chosen one of them, you have all the chances to end up choosing also the second one, as they are well connected. The good news is that being 'plant-based', 'vegan' or both at the same time can only provide you with benefits.