CategoryNutrition

How much vitamin C is needed for non-heme iron absorption? [data-backed]

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One of the biggest nutritional concerns of vegans is getting enough iron. Most iron in plant sources is non-heme iron, which has a low absorption rate (the average is usually between 8-17% depending on the exact source and circumstances [1]). Anecdotally, my iron levels went down for the first few times I donated blood after going vegan. Naturally, I did some research online and learned that...

How Long Does Fiber Stay In Your System?

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This was a question that peaked my curiosity, so I dug into the research. Most of the studies around digestion kinematics focus on ruminants (typically cows), which isn’t too useful for us. Luckily, I found one study that looked at the digestion speed of fiber in chimpanzees and humans. What they did: They fed 24 adult males various types of fiber, marked with blue plastic pellets so...

How Much Fiber Is In Vegetables?

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Vegetables are a great source of fiber, most of them have a mix of both insoluble and soluble fiber. Both types of fiber contribute to good health. Here’s a table from a review study that breaks down how much fiber is in 100 grams of a variety of vegetables: Overall, bitter gourd and beetroot had the most fiber by a substantial amount. But as you can see, pretty much all vegetables have at...

Essential Amino Acid Profiles for All Common Beans

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Beans are an awesome source of nutrition whether you’re vegan or not. But…they aren’t perfect. You shouldn’t rely on them for all your protein needs, because as we’ll see, beans are deficient in certain types of amino acids. Using detailed data from the USDA’s food database, I extracted the amount of each essential amino acid in the most common beans. First, we’ll look at them altogether to...

The Most Important Vegan Amino Acids and Which Foods Have Them

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Many people believe that you can’t be a vegan athlete because a vegan diet lacks certain amino acids. If you were under that impression, it’s false. But there is a grain of truth to it. If you don’t vary your protein sources, you’ll likely end up with a suboptimal amount of certain amino acids. In particular, many vegan protein sources (but not all) have a relatively low amount of these 4...

The Top 30 Vegan Valine Food Sources

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Valine is one of the most important amino acids to athletes. It’s one of the 3 branched chain amino acids (BCAAs), important for building and repairing muscle cells, along with leucine and isoleucine. Here’s a list of the top vegan sources of leucine, and here’s the list for isoleucine. There’s no set recommended daily amount to aim for with valine, but common values in literature are...

What Do Vegans Eat For Protein? The 30 Best Vegan Protein Sources

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I was in the middle of a semi-professional soccer season when I went vegan cold tofurky overnight. Protein was my number 1 concern like many new vegans. It’s hard to know where to get it when all your usual protein sources are gone. But it’s not too difficult to get enough protein once you get used to it. I remember Googling “best vegan protein sources” when I first went vegan, and it was a pain...

The Top 30 Vegan Food Sources of Isoleucine

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Isoleucine is one of the most important amino acids for athletes, along with leucine and valine. Those 3 amino acids combined make up about 70% of your body’s total proteins. Isoleucine in particular is a branched chain amino acid that helps with your energy levels, endurance, and muscle tissue recovery. If you’re an athlete, you need to be getting a decent amount of isoleucine, either from your...

The 30 Best Vegan Food Sources of Leucine

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Leucine is an essential amino acid, meaning that we can only get it from food. Like all amino acids, it’s tougher to get enough of it on a vegan diet than one that includes animal products. But of course it can be done, especially if you know which vegan foods contain the most of it. That’s why I put together a collection of the 30 best vegan leucine-rich whole foods. One thing before we get to...

The 30 Best Vegan Sources of Vitamin A

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Even though some of the best sources for vitamin A are animal products, there are plenty of good vegan sources as well. A significant vitamin A deficiency is rare in first world countries. But they are serious, as a deficiency increases the risk and severity of infections, and vitamin A is needed for important jobs like maintaining your corneas. Before you go out and eat 100 vitamin A supplement...