There are a wide variety of reasons to go vegan. Your reason to pursue a vegan diet might be moral concerns, health concerns, or any other wide array of very good reasons to abstain from consuming animals or animal byproducts. One thing you do have to keep in mind when pursuing veganism is dietary concerns; there are a lot of vitamins and minerals humans get from animal products that you need to be careful not to lose when eating vegan. One of the most important of these is calcium and vitamin D (for calcium absorption), which are of special concern to dentists, owing to their use in the healthy development and maintenance of your teeth. In light of this, here are a few ways you can get calcium and vitamin D while eating vegan.
Fortified Orange Juice
Orange juice, and juice of other kinds, are often fortified with calcium and vitamin D. You will want to be aware of how they source these ingredients; while there are a plethora of non-animal sources of calcium, Vitamin D comes in two forms, D2 and D3. D2 is derived from plant matter, so when you’re checking the label, make sure it’s D2; D3 is almost always derived from fish or a byproduct of harvesting sheep’s wool.
Fortified Tofu and Soy
Tofu and soy, especially soy milk, are staples of many vegan diets; as a result, most tofu and soy that’s been fortified with calcium will be fortified with non-animal sources. As with orange juice, however, it’s important to double check how the ingredients were sourced before purchasing; many companies will make the information available on their website or will label themselves as being vegan.
Nuts and Beans
No fortification necessary; nuts like almonds and beans, including white and kidney beans, are usually extremely rich in calcium. These are great because they’re pure ingredients, so it’s easy to know there’s no animal products; additionally, they can be used in a plethora of ways. You can make beans dips and soups, and you can roast and chop nuts as garnish or just as a midday snack! Versatility is key in a vegan diet, as is high nutrient density; nuts and beans fit the bill.
You knew this one was coming; who hasn’t heard that they need to eat their greens to grow up big and strong? Kale, swiss chard, spinach, arugula; leafy greens are high in calcium and other great nutrients like magnesium – plus, they taste amazing! You can make a pretty incredible soup with the right amount of greens, beans, vegetables and oil; packed with all those great nutrients!
We care about your health and your lifestyle choices; we’re your Winnipeg dental office. We want to talk to you about your diet, and make sure you’re getting all the right nutrients; we’ll look at your teeth to make sure it looks like you’re absorbing enough calcium properly, and we can always help you make adjustments as needed.