People are slowly realizing the power of veganism -- not just to the environment but also towards their overall health. Going vegan helps in improving weight loss, lowering the risk of heart diseases and can significantly help in managing diabetes, or personally helping manage the effects of PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome) and enhance my fitness performance . While going vegan is a great path to take to realize a healthy body, you must prepare your body and mind before jumping into it.
The Vegan Lifestyle
Veganism is more than just a diet - it is a way of life .
You may think restricting your diet to vegetables alone is what it means to be vegan -- that’s not entirely true.
Veganism has also evolved to be more than a diet for some. It has since encompassed advocating for animal rights, environmental conservation and even mindfulness. Being a vegan means preferring to stay away from products that were made from animals or were tested on animals.
While there are a lot of advantages to going all plant-based, it may not be enough for your body. It is why it's important to equip yourself with the right information first before deciding to switch to this lifestyle. You need proper planning, thorough research and help from a medical professional to take advantage of the benefits it offers.
For example, nutritional deficiency is one of the most common issues for vegans. But it’s a downside you can easily remedy.
Essential Vitamins for Vegans
With medicine advancing rapidly in recent years, it is no surprise that it can come up with products that are perfect for Vegans. Supplements can be a big help as you live your vegan lifestyle. This will allow you to keep consuming plant-based foods without sacrificing the essential needs of your body.
The following are some of the most recommended supplements for vegans:
Vitamin B-12 - It was found that vegans and vegetarians suffer from Vitamin B-12 deficiency despite consuming food rich in said vitamin. This vitamin is an important mineral as it helps in protein metabolism, the formation of oxygen-transporting red blood cells and maintaining the function of your nervous system.
Calcium - Many think that vegans and vegetarians need to eat more calcium-rich food as they restrict their food choices and avoid animal products. While there is no concentrated evidence over this claim, it was found that they do have lower calcium intake compared to people who maintain a balanced diet. This mineral is needed by the body to promote good bone and teeth health. It also helps in maintaining muscle function and heart health.
Vitamin D - As the list of foods rich in Vitamin D is short, there is a need to take supplements for vegans and non-vegans alike. This vitamin plays a significant role in enhancing the absorption of calcium and phosphorus, as well as aiding muscle recovery, mood and immune function.
Iodine - Vegans were found to have 50% lower iodine levels compared to vegetarians. With most food rich in iodine being animal or animal-based, vegans are left with iodine salt to bridge the gap. The good news is that iodized salt is enough to meet your daily nutritional needs.
Iron - Vegans have a lot of options to get their required dose of iron from plants. Beans, peas, nuts and seeds are some of the great sources of this much-needed mineral. Iron is needed by the body as it plays an important role in making new DNA and red blood cells, as well as in energy metabolism.
Taking care of your health is a lengthy process, especially if you decide to switch lifestyles. It involves taking good care of your body and mind at all times. It means being physically active, consuming good food and ensuring that you meet the daily recommended intake of important vitamins and minerals. And being a vegan should not hinder you from getting all these and more.