How to Become a Healthy Vegan
If you are thinking of trying a Vegan diet, here are some of the foods you should be adding to your shopping list to help support your body from experiencing any deficiencies...
BY GILLY BRUNTON, NUTRITIONIST
A meat based diet has adequate amounts of iron, B vitamins, calcium and zinc, all of which help your body to stay healthy and recover, BUT it is a myth that these requirements cannot be met with a vegan diet. All you need to do is to pay a little extra attention to where these nutrients come from and include variety of food and/or supplements in your routine. Here are 4 common deficiencies that we see in Vegans and how you can make sure that you aren't lacking in these areas.
Increasing dietary fibre supports our digestive health in general and promotes regular bowel movements. Research shows fibre helps to lower cholesterol and optimises blood sugar. Fibre even helps us with managing weight and gives access to plant antioxidants, which prevent or slow down cell damage (caused by free radicals, the bad guys). This helps us to fight infection, promote body rejuvenation and is overall strengthening for our immune system. Fibre also plays a crucial role in gut health and mood - since there is a strong connection between our gut and psychological well-being. You can find fibre in beans, lentils, wholegrains (don’t get confused with brown or wholemeal), fruit (with skin) and vegetables (especially artichokes, Swiss chard and collard greens).
We need protein to repair muscles and bones, to make hormones and enzymes and help our immune system and brain work their best, as well as support for healthy skin, hair and nails. It’s easy to mis-calculate your protein needs as a vegan, so following that diet requires some creative planning to get it right. Nearly all vegetables, beans, grains, nuts and seeds contain protein at varying levels. If you feel you might struggle with getting the right combination then consider a vegan protein blend (ours is a vegan protein superfood blend which contains lots of additional valuable nutrition, antioxidants and botanical mushrooms).
3. Vitamin B12
It's essential that all vegan diets contain a reliable source of vitamin B12. You can find vegan B12 in yeast spreads, fortified soy and alternative milks, fortified cereal products (including bread) and tempeh. Our natural Food-Grown® Vitamin B12 formula helps you feel energised, reduce tiredness and protects the nervous system and brain function.
4. Amino Acids
We require a whole host of amino acids but not only when we exercise. The body needs 20 different AAs to maintain good health and normal functioning (crucial strength of the body, hair, skin, organs and just about everything else). Deficiency may result in decreased immunity, digestive problems, depression, fertility issues, lower mental alertness, slowed growth in children and teens and many other health issues. You can find amino acids in edamame beans, buckwheat, hummus and quinoa.
If you are unsure or worried that you might not be consuming the vitamins and minerals to keep you and your family healthy then we offer a free consultation with one of our expert Nutritional Therapists. They are on hand to help and provide helpful, easy solutions: Free 15 min Video Appointment.