Updated: Aug 24
The post-pandemic world seems to have challenged various pre-existing notions regarding health and fitness, food choices and the diets we should be following for a relatively healthier life span. One such option available to those planning on limiting their intake of animal protein or dairy is following a plant-based diet. It shouldn’t surprise anyone how swiftly the number of those opting for plant-based products is increasing. And while it is a matter of personal preference and taste, you must also be aware of how to support and maintain your health when you exclude primary food sources known to be great for your body. While a plant-based diet excludes dairy products such as milk and cheese. It’s perfectly capable of supporting your bone health through other bone-bolstering nutrients. The trick is to be mindful to include these nutrients as part of your daily routine. Read on to know more.
The essential nutrients that can support your overall health and your bones even when you switch to a plant-based diet are -
1. Calcium: While the old wives’ tales and numerous advertisements will convince you that the only way to keep your calcium levels optimal is through cow milk and cheese, other means and sources can do just the same, if not more. There’s no doubt that dairy is indeed a rich source of calcium, but you will be surprised to learn so are many plants. Leafy greens like collards, turnip greens and kale are bioavailable, meaning that it makes it easier for the body to metabolize the calcium content well. Additionally, including whole foods like almonds and chia seeds is also a great way of ensuring healthy calcium levels in the body.
2. Vitamin D: When speaking of healthy bones and overall health, calcium is not the only contender. Vitamin D is equally crucial since it also ensures and supports calcium absorption into the body. Most of us know that animal proteins like meat, eggs, fatty fish and dairy are rich in Vitamin D. When it comes to plant-based sources, not many are aware that mushrooms are not just famous for their taste and texture but are also rich in Vitamin D. Of course, direct sunlight without SPF could also be an alternative but this could be tricky in more than one way. For starters, extreme winters can limit the sunshine you get depending on where you are located. So, if you are on a plant-based diet, we strongly recommend including Vitamin D supplements from well-known brands and health food stores you trust.
Plant-based diets, like all diets, can have their own set of advantages and disadvantages. A well-supported immune system, body and mind come with a balanced diet that focuses on a host of nutrients. For instance, while Calcium and Vitamin D is crucial for your health, so are magnesium, Vitamin K2 and Omega 3 fatty acids. Going the plant way is an excellent way of reducing animal protein intake and is also suitable for the planet. However, irrespective of what diet you choose to follow, you must ensure that you are not depriving your system of crucial vitamins and minerals.
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