THINKING OF GOING VEGAN?
HERE'S HOW TO DO IT SAFELY!
Whether it’s to join the celebrity trend, improve health or for a genuine concern for animals and the environment, the number of people adopting the vegan lifestyle has rocketed. According to the Vegan Society the number of people going vegan has risen by an incredible 360% in the past 25 years. A vegan diet is typically higher in vegetables and lower in saturated fat. Which would suggest you are less likely to be obese or suffer from high blood pressure or high cholesterol, so your risk of heart disease is greatly reduced. Before changing to a vegan diet, there's a few things to consider. Eliminating all animal products from the diet increases the risk of certain nutritional deficiencies. Micronutrients of special concern for the vegan include Vitamin B12, Vitamin D, Iron, Calcium, and Omega 3, which puts them at an increased risk of conditions such as anemia and osteoporosis.
How to get Essential Nutrients From Meat-Free Sources One of the largest misconceptions surrounding veganism is inadequate amounts of protein within their diets. However, there are many plant-based foods such as beans, pulses, nuts, seeds and soy products which are all packed with essential amino acids. The following nutrients are often overlooked so are more of concern when switching to a plant-based diet. Vitamin B12 The main source of Vitamin B12 comes from animal products, making vegans highly susceptible to conditions such as anemia and fatigue. The only reliable B12 source for vegans are foods that are fortified with B12 including some plant milks, soy products and breakfast cereals. Another option would be to use supplements. According to the Vegan Society taking one B12 supplement daily that provides at least 10 micrograms will prevent deficiencies. Iron Our richest and most bioavailable source of iron comes from meat and fish. Whilst plant sources such as beans, lentils and green leafy veg do contain iron, the abundance and bioavailability is much lower. This is down to the naturally occurring chemicals, phytates and oxalates. Cooking foods like spinach makes the iron become more bioavailable as it removes some of these chemicals. Another way to improve bioavailability of iron in plant sources is eating them with vitamin C. Next time you have a morning smoothie try pairing your spinach with orange. Calcium Whilst most people would associate calcium with milk, good sources also include kale, soybeans, broccoli and almonds. Incorporating these foods into your diet will ensure you get your daily dose. The absorption of calcium from certain plant sources may be even higher than dairy sources, as they are also rich in magnesium, which can aid absorption.
Omega 3 Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) are essential for a vast array of processes for brain health, cardiovascular health and hormonal health. The main omega-3 PUFA important to human health are ALA, EPA and DHA. ALA is usually found in plant sources whilst DHA and EPA and generally found in animal sources such as oily fish. Some of dietary ALA found in flax seeds, chia seeds and walnuts is converted in the body to EPA and DHA. As the conversion rate to omega 3 within the body is low, regular intake is required in order to get your omega-3 needs. The Protein World Vegan Energy Capsules could give you a helping hand in providing essential micronutrients that can often be hard to come by whilst eating a plant based diet.
They provide: • Vitamin B12 - 13ug • Iron 14mg • Calcium 320mg If you're thinking about making the switch to a plant based diet, take a look at our brand new, better than ever Vegan Blend. The new and improved formula boasts a new flavour, creamier texture and added probiotics and digestive enzymes. Words by Faye Townsend, Registered Associate Nutritionist and Nutritional Advisor at Protein World.