07 Dec Vegan Diets Lacking Key Nutrients
Oxford university researchers, who have been tracking the health of people since 1993, have discovered that vegans are TWICE as likely to break a hip compared with non vegans.
Why is this?
Vegan diets are often lacking some key nutrients, vitamins and minerals that are essential for bone health.
Number 1 – calcium. Yes there is calcium in greens, but there is a high percentage of it that isn’t bioavailable and isn’t absorbed efficiently in our digestion. The best sources of calcium is seafood (especially if you eat the bones in sardines), organ meat and bone broth.
Number 2 – vitamin D. This mineral has received a lot of press in recent years and so it should! It’s really important for hormonal health as well as regulating calcium metabolism. We absorb vitamin D from the sun (unfortunately we don’t get enough of this in Northern Europe) as well as seafood, eggs, dairy fat from grass fed cows and grass fed meat.
Number 3 – protein. One of the biggest issues we see with a vegan diet is protein intake and protein quality. Protein is essential for health, (not just bone health) and sources include fish, meat, eggs, tofu and protein powders. Yes there is protein in veggies, lentils and chickpeas, however these foods contain more carbohydrate than protein so they sit in the carbohydrate category. This leaves vegans with protein powders (which are great but a processed food source) and tofu which is okay in balance but processed soy can have an effect on oestrogen levels in the body and oestrogen balance plays an important role in bone health. Protein also aids in the calcium absorption from food.
Number 4 – magnesium – one of our favourite minerals because it does so much in the body (hormones, digestion, stress, muscles etc etc). One of its many jobs is bone health because of its partnership with calcium. Magnesium is depleted in the body by diets rich in grains, for example, wheat is a big anti-mineral and wheat is often a common staple in a vegan diet.
We aren’t anti veganism, we are pro vegan food balance and we recommend supplementing to avoid these deficiencies.