Veganism had reached a long way and that once reserved for peace-loving people advocating in total animal-friendly diet had reach the Hollywood in a blast as famous celebrities like Alicia Silverstone, Jay Z and Beyoncé take the lead of veganism’s popularity. Not to mention, former U.S. President Bill Clinton is also one of the celebrities who believed in this vegan lifestyle. I know that it might sound very interesting to you, but before you jump on this vegan trend, I suggest that you better keep on reading so that you will know what you’re getting into.
You will need a vitamin B12 supplement
The best source of vitamin B12 is animal-based foods and, since vegan lifestyle means no animal-based products including dairies and eggs, this will also mean that any vitamin B12-related deficiency are close to you. Therefore, it is best if you will stock up a variety of B12-fortified foods and supplements ahead of time if you are sincere to partake in this advocacy. It is vitamin B12 which keeps our nerve and blood cells healthy, thus, keeping us away from tiredness, weakness, constipation, loss of appetite, unhealthy weight loss, nerve problems, and sometimes, depression.
Take some iron supplement too!
Iron comes in two forms – heme and non-heme. Heme are the type of iron that is easily absorbed by the body while, on the other hand, non-heme are less readily absorbed. Sad to say, vegan diets contains only non-heme irons. Only animal-based foods contain 40% of heme iron, enough for our body’s needs. Therefore, if you are still into veganism, you need to ingest more iron to get the same benefit. But, there are also vegan iron sources that can be found elsewhere if you like. These are legumes, sunflower seeds, dried raisins and dark, leafy greens. You can also boost your body’s ability to absorb iron by taking in vitamin C-rich foods.
Find new protein sources
Since animal protein is a big no in veganism, it can bring you closer to some protein deficiency problems. We must remember that proteins are the building blocks of life as they breakdown into amino acids which promotes cell growth and repair. That is why you need to find new sources to cope with your body’s needs. These sources can be best found in natural soy, lentils, beans, quinoa and seitan.
Never replace animal products with junk
As you eliminate animal products in your system, never trade the vitamins, minerals and proteins found in these animal products to some processed food which provides a little nutritional value aside from calories. It will only bring you too much hunger, weight gain and grumpier mood.
It’s not a magical switch
No one becomes a vegan overnight. It entails lots of hard work which is highly proportional with time. Therefore, do it little by little until, all of a sudden, it surprises that you had made it in time. You can do it by adding more plant-based foods to your meal while cutting back some of its animal products. Aside from animal products, it is also made certain that you need to cut back those non-organic materials especially those processed, refined foods. Make gradual changes and do a timely assessment to keep track of your achievement. It is also a great way to honor yourself for the job well done.
Prepare yourself to read food labels
Checking of food labels and ingredients is a must do for every vegan. And, if you are really serious in partaking this advocacy, you should prepare yourself to do the same. There are food products that are not suitable for a vegan diet. For instance, casein and whey (which comes from milk) are present in many cereal bars, breads and granola. On the other hand, gelatin and tallow are by-products of meat. The Natural Red 4 is a food coloring made from the dead bodies of female beetles. Can you see yourself with all of this spinning information you need to absorb in groceries?
You may feel happier in the process
Aside from the happiness it can give to animals, it can also provide you more happiness as omnivorous people are said to have more arachidonic acid. These are known element that can spur neurologic changes which drags down mood according to some nutrition-related studies.
Plants might cover all your calcium and vitamin D needs!
Eating a variety of naturally calcium-rich foods is a great way to solve all your calcium problems. Today, many people are on high risk for osteoporosis in early years due to calcium deficiency. But eating calcium rich foods like kale, bok choy, almonds, soy beans, figs and navel oranges can do the trick. There are also calcium-fortified foods such as cereals, plant-based milk and tofu that can be of great help in aiding this problem. But, the best thing you need to know about the foods I mentioned earlier is the amount of vitamin D it produce. They contain the right amount of vitamin D needed to enhance calcium absorption.