Having a Balanced Vegan Diet
When changing from a non-vegan to an animal-free diet it is essential to consider taking food supplements to avoid missing out on vital nutrients that your body requires to stay healthy. Some nutrients are more difficult to obtain, or they are only available in smaller quantities in plant-based compared to meat-based foods. It is therefore recommended to plan ahead and focus on taking certain vitamin, mineral and fatty acid supplements to give your body added benefits and enable you to have a balanced vegan diet.
When consuming a vegan diet, it is important to consider taking B12 supplements. Vitamin B12 deficiency, also known as anaemia, is a condition where your body does not produce enough healthy red blood cells. The B12 vitamin is needed to create red blood cells, which transport oxygen to all parts of the human body. Without a large enough quantity of red blood cells, your tissues and organs will not receive enough oxygen, which can make people extremely tired. B12 deficiency is common when following a vegan diet, as the vitamin is only found naturally in animal foods. For more information on B12 deficiency, please read our blog which provides additional information and looks at the associated symptoms of B12 deficiency.
Additionally, it is recommended to take multivitamins to help fill the nutritional gaps in vegan, vegetarian and flexitarian regimes. Viridians Essential Vegan Multivitamin is a balanced multivitamin designed especially for people following a full or part-time plant-based diet. It is formulated with 27 essential vitamin and mineral nutrients, all from vegan sources. The ingredients are 100% vegan and the product is free from excipients, additive and fillers. The multivitamin includes high therapeutic levels of B12 and Iron to support normal energy levels and brain function, vegan-friendly vitamin K2 and D3 for bone strength, and choline for healthy liver function. For any further questions you may have please refer to this article.
Minerals including Iodine and Iron are the most difficult to obtain when following a vegan diet. Iodine is vital for immune system function and thyroid health and symptoms of deficiency include lack of energy, sudden weight gain, and being cold all the time. Iron also diminishes energy and immunity, and it is vital to keep an eye on this mineral intake and possibly even take supplements, especially if you are a menstruating female or an endurance athlete.
Although not all fatty acids are good for the body, some fatty acids such as Omega 3 and 6 are deemed essential as the body cannot make these naturally. Both fatty acids play key roles in brain function, blood clotting and preventing inflammation. When following a vegan diet, it is likely that you will consume many foods which are highly rich in Omega 6 and some foods such as nuts, avocado and coconut oil which are rich in Omega 3. Nevertheless, this impacts the Omega 6 to Omega 3 balance and thus it is recommended to take Omega 3 supplements. At Discount Health Store, we recommend the Viridian Organic Omega 3-6-9 Oil 200ML. This product was displayed on the BBC’s Trust Me I’m a Doctor show which discussed Omega 3 supplements and measured 60 people's levels of DHA and EPA (Omega 3 levels) after taking supplements, oily fish or a placebo. It was found that the participants who took both supplements and oily fish had a rise in EPA and DHA levels, with supplements having the highest rise. For more information, please click here.