Vegan macronutrients, for beginners, are the main fuel source for your body, and they are essential for achieving a lean, muscular physique. They are made up of fats, proteins, and carbohydrates. Fats serve as structural components of cell membranes and proteins are responsible for making neurotransmitters and enzymes. Carbohydrates are used to create ATP, the energy needed for the body to function. Vegans need to be aware of how to consume carbohydrates and what foods contain these essential nutrients to build muscle mass.
Micronutrients are easier to obtain in high amounts. However, not as many foods contain them, so it’s important to vary your intake of these nutrients. For example, some foods high in calcium and magnesium contain calcium, but not in enough amounts to meet recommended levels. Fortunately, there are plenty of other plant-based sources of these nutrients. In addition to vegetables, beans, lentils, beets, and kale are good sources of calcium.
A vegan diet can be healthy for the planet and for your health, but it can be tricky if you’re not paying attention to the macronutrients. The main nutrients that vegans should be consuming are Protein, Healthy Fat, and Calories. For some, losing weight is their top priority, but others find that they have a persistent feeling of hunger. The best way to avoid unwanted weight loss is by planning ahead of time and getting educated.
For protein, vegans should try to include as much as possible from a vegan diet. Plant-based protein sources are high in amino acids and can meet the needs of an average 130-pound woman. And since protein is an essential nutrient for skeletal muscle, vegans can replace animal-based proteins with plant-based foods high in these amino acids. Just make sure to mix up your protein sources. These foods will make your diet more interesting and varied.
Iron is an essential nutrient for the body, transporting oxygen throughout the body. While plant-based iron is not as readily absorbed by the body, it can be found in tofu, lentils, and chickpeas. Vitamin B12 is essential for the formation of red blood cells and is usually found only in animal foods, but vegan sources include nutritional yeast, fortified plant milks, and fortified cereals.
Carbs should be limited to four to seven grams per kilogram of body weight, and should be included in your vegan diet as much as possible. However, vegans must also take care to increase their intake of plant-based carbohydrates to achieve their macronutrient goals. And while eating more beans will help with protein intake, it may not be enough to meet your needs. Adding more beans and lentils to your diet may throw off your macronutrient balance.
A stir-fry is a great way to incorporate all of your macronutrients and keep your micronutrient intake up. Vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage can be stir-fried with olive oil and spices. Tofu can be added to the stir-fry for a complete protein meal. Serve it with brown rice for a complete meal. If you’re a beginner and want to start your journey to a lean and healthy lifestyle, this is the perfect meal for you.