Veganism means more than just cutting out meat and dairy.
Many people do it for ethical reasons as well as dietary reasons, but there are a few things to know before going vegan.
One of the main things is to get to know which vegan vitamins you will need to consider taking to stay healthy.
While the choice to go vegan is fantastic, it must be taken seriously and well researched to avoid any nutrient deficiencies, which can lead to many other issues.
We are here to help guide you down the right path with information you need on the right vitamins to keep your body healthy as you follow your vegan journey.
So, let’s get started!
What Veganism Means
It may be 2022, but believe it or not, many believe that vegetarianism and veganism are relatively the same, especially in countries that consume a lot of meat.
It is not uncommon to visit places such as Brazil or Argentina, to name but a few, and be handed chicken or fish when asking for a vegan meal.
Many cultures consider meat eaters as ‘red meat’ eaters and the rest as ‘vegetarian’ or even ‘vegan.’
Luckily in many countries around the world, vegans are being catered to on a rapid scale, with cafes, snack bars, and restaurants popping up in places like the United States, Europe, and Australia.
If you didn’t already know, the word vegan was coined in 1944 by Watson and Dorothy Morgan, who came up with the word when stating that the diet would be ‘the beginning and the end of vegetarian,’ which in turn became VEG-AN.
Since then, the word has been somewhat confused with vegetarianism, which is a term that sees people abstain from eating meat, while veganism is a term that cuts out any animal-derived products, such as meat, eggs, and dairy.
Thankfully, these days being vegan is not as misunderstood as it used to be, and there are many reasons people around the globe have chosen to follow this way of life.
We say way of life because many vegans not only avoid animal-derived food products but also live ethically and mindfully and are environmentally conscious, even choosing not to eat foods that affect animal habitats and animal welfare.
Going vegan is a positive choice in the world we live in, allowing us to significantly impact our environment and keep our bodies healthy and as toxin-free as possible.
That said, going vegan is not a decision to be taken lightly, and it does not simply mean it is enough to give up animal products.
One of the most important things to know is how to keep your body satisfied and well nourished which can be tricky when changing your diet.
So, before we get to the ins and outs of keeping your body healthy and which vegan vitamins to introduce, let’s take a look at why people choose to go vegan in the first place.
Why Go Vegan?
Here are a few reasons why millions worldwide have chosen to go vegan:
- It allows you to live more ethically.
- It makes you more conscious about what you feed your body.
- It encourages us to do our part for animal welfare, animal rights, and animal habitats.
- It is the best diet to make a positive impact on the planet.
- It may be part of your religion.
- A vegan diet can boost our mood and detoxify our bodies.
- It helps us lower our cholesterol.
- It gives our body more energy to power all systems, rather than focusing heavily on digesting meat, which takes much of our energy supply.
- There are various health benefits, such as healthy skin, hormones, better digestion, improved concentration, and bone health.
- By eating whole foods and fresh fruit and vegetables, rather than mock meats, you can save a considerable amount of money on groceries and still feel full and healthy.
Things to Know about Vegan Vitamins
As mentioned, it is not enough to abstain from meat, dairy, and animal-derived products when choosing to go vegan.
The key is researching veganism and finding out what essential nutrients you will need to replace with vegan supplements and vitamins.
While vegan diets tend to be higher in specific vitamins and minerals, others will need to be replaced to keep your body at its healthiest.
There are many out there who live a vegan lifestyle and may have, at one time or another, noticed a lack of energy, lack of appetite, and even constipation, which can be a sign that vegan vitamins are not fulfilling the body to help boost health.
With that in mind, it is crucial to be aware of the vegan vitamins and supplements needed to keep the body nutrient-rich instead of nutrient-deprived.
Here is a list of the nutrients which tend to be higher as part of a vegan diet:
- Folic Acid
- Vitamins C & E
Here is a list of nutrients that tend to be lower and do generally require vegan supplements:
- Saturated Fat – Avocados, nuts, seeds.
- Vitamin B12 – Vegan vitamins are recommended.
- Omega 3 Fatty Acids – Walnuts, flaxseeds, hempseeds, olive oil, avocado oil.
- Calcium – Three servings of high calcium food per day are recommended, such as seeds, green leafy vegetables, fortified plant milk, and tofu.
- Zinc – Vegan vitamins are encouraged since plant-based diets don’t provide enough zinc.
- Vitamin D – Can be found in many fortified foods, but mainly in dairy products, so vegan vitamins containing Vitamin D are recommended.
- Protein – Legumes, whole grains, nuts, and seeds.
- Vitamin K – While Vitamin K1 can be found in plant-based foods, Vitamin K2 cannot be found as easily, so it is essential for vegans to source vegan fermented foods such as saurkraut or vegan kimchi to supplement this lack of nutrients.
Which Vegan Vitamins to Take
While some of the lower nutrients listed do not need vegan vitamins to replace them, you need to be mindful about replacing them with certain nutrient-rich foods.
On the other hand, a few vegan vitamins need to be taken to replace what cannot be easily found in plant-based foods, a few of which we have listed below.
It is also essential to know that there are many sources of vegan vitamins out there, so always take time to research and shop around to find one that suits you, your diet, and your body.
Those following a vegan diet are encouraged to take the following vitamins and supplements daily to stay healthy:
- Vitamin B12 – This vitamin is primarily found in animal products. It is needed by the body to help the formation of red blood cells as well as to support a healthy nervous system. It is recommended to take daily vegan vitamins and source Vitamin B12-rich foods such as nutritional yeast and fortified foods with added Vitamin B12.
- Omega 3 Fatty Acids: Since the body cannot make these essential fats, it is crucial to be mindful about eating plenty of Omega-rich foods; however, a vegan diet can still be lacking in specific Omega 3 fatty acids. Vegan vitamins can be taken to ensure you are getting the fats (EPA, DHA) Which are generally only present in fish, fish oils, and microalgae.
- Vitamin D – Taking vegan vitamins to supplement Vitamin D in winter can be beneficial when the body does not get enough sunlight. This vitamin is needed to help us absorb calcium and phosphorous.
- Zinc – There are not many plants based vegan sources of zinc out there, so it is recommended to take vegan vitamins to supplement zinc in the diet, which is needed for immunity and metabolism.
As you might have learned, it takes a bit of research and understanding of the nutrients needed by the body to get the full benefits of a vegan diet.
However, by taking the necessary vegan vitamins, you can ensure that you are not depriving yourself of what the body needs to support itself.
One of the best ways to do this is to make sure you have a well-rounded whole foods diet, which includes plenty of colorful fruit, green leafy vegetables, whole grains, and daily vegan vitamins.
If you are ever in doubt, consult a doctor, nutritionist, or dietician to ensure you are giving your body what it needs, and once you’ve ticked all the boxes, you can be sure that your body will feel and perform at its best.
One of the key things to note is if you feel any signs or symptoms, always take it upon yourself to reflect on your diet choices, supplement intake, and meal plans to do your best for your body.
So, what better time to assess your diet and nutrient intake than now?
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