Supplements To Support Your Vegan Lifestyle
In today’s modern world many people have a growing interest in green living. As informed people we understand the need for sustainable food sources that will not deplete the environment or harm wildlife. The livestock industry that generates meat consumption is harmful to the environment.
Factory farms are responsible for the production of huge amounts of methane gas that harm the environment, contaminate the soil and water while exploiting millions of animals. However the demand for meat products and byproducts is equally large. One way we can help is to stop using and consuming these products.
An extremely healthy way we can do this is to practice veganism. Not only is veganism a humane choice that does not exploit the other life forms we share this planet with, it is also incredibly healthy. With the right planning and understanding you can formulate a functional diet that increases your health and wellbeing.
One way to optimize the many health benefits of a vegan diet is to take natural supplements, vitamins and minerals. This is especially important because while veganism is a healthy choice, it does exclude many traditional food sources. Therefore it will benefit you to include supplements as part of your vegan lifestyle to ensure you are getting enough necessary nutrients.
What is Veganism?
Vegans are people who choose not to eat meat or animal byproducts of any kind. Similar to vegetarianism, veganism takes it a step further by excluding the consumption of dairy products or any food source that exploits animals in any way. Vegans rely on a plant based diet which has the benefit of being naturally low in saturated fats, high in fiber and rich in antioxidants.
Should Take Supplements If You Are Vegan?
Because Vegans Abstain from eating certain food groups practicing veganism can contribute to vitamin or mineral deficiencies. However, veganism is a healthy dietary choice when done correctly. If you are a Vegan you undoubtedly have firsthand experience of the many health benefits that can be derived from Veganism.
If you are considering Veganism then you may have some concerns about a diet lacking in meat proteins. The good news is with the right supplements, vitamins and minerals you can get all the nutrients you need to be healthy and embrace a vegan lifestyle. As with any medical decision, make sure to consult your doctor first to ensure veganism is the right choice for you.
Supplements To Support A Vegan Diet
There are many different supplements that are available to help augment your diet and ensure you are getting the nutrients your body requires. There are so many different types of supplements out there. Trying to find the right ones for you can be confusing and overwhelming. In order to help you we have compiled a list of useful supplements that many vegans need to address their specific dietary requirements
Calcium is a vital mineral essential to healthy life functions. Calcium is utilized by the body to strengthen bones and teeth. The primary source of dietary calcium is found in dairy products such as milk and cheese.
Why Vegans Should Take Calcium
Because vegans abstain from eating dairy products it is easy for them to become calcium deficient. While there are some alternate sources of calcium, it is wise to consider supplementing calcium if you have concerns about whether or not you were getting enough.
Some natural sources of calcium
- Bok Choy
- Soy milk
- Soy beans
DHA is one form of omega-3 fatty acid naturally found in fish and fish oils. This powerful nutrient is vital to human health and is a primary component in many of our anatomical structures such as our brain and spinal cord.
Why Vegans Should Take DHA
There are very few natural sources of DHA in a vegan diet. Therefore it is important to consider taking supplements in order to make sure you’re getting enough DHA to meet your daily intake requirements. Avoiding animal sources of DHA is very important to maintaining your vegan lifestyle so make sure to look for a DHA supplement that does not contain meat or meat byproducts. There are alternatives out there that derive their DHA purely from plant sources.
Iodine plays an important role in converting food energy into cellular energy. Getting enough iodine is vital to healthy thyroid function. Iodine occurs naturally in salt. It can also be found in meat, dairy products, and eggs.
Why Vegans Should Take Iodine
Since the primary source of iodine is found in meat and dairy it can be very hard for a Vegan to get enough iodine from the foods they eat. Although it can be found in salt, many people restrict their salt intake for health reasons. This leaves little to no natural access to iodine sources. Therefore supplementing Iodine can be an important choice for vegans.
Iron is mineral commonly found in red meats. Iron deficiency can lead to many health problems such as anemia, a disorder caused by iron deficiency and characterized by pale gums, lack of energy and fatigue. Iron plays a vital role in the production of hemoglobin that transports oxygen rich blood throughout our system.
Why Vegans Should Take Iron
Vegans abstain from eating red meat, the primary source of Iron. Although there is iron in many plants such as leafy greens and legumes it is often not enough to fulfill your daily requirement. Therefore it is important to consider taking Iron supplements if you feel you are not getting enough iron. Iron can be obtained over the counter or in prescription form and you should consult your doctor if you are interested in supplemental iron.
Omega-3 Fatty Acid
Similar to DHA, Omega-3 fatty acid is a natural antioxidant that can be found in cold water fish such as tuna and salmon. Omega-3 fatty acid contributes to good health. Omega-3 helps to lower triglycerides (fat) that circulate in the bloodstream and promotes a cardiovascular health.
Why Vegans Should Take Omega-3 Fatty Acid
Found primarily in fish, some other natural sources of Omega-3 are seeds and nuts. None the less meeting your full daily requirement can be hard with just food alone. If you are concerned you may not be getting enough Omega-3 fatty acid, consider using a supplement to augment your diet.
Protein is one of the building blocks of life and is our primary source of nutrition. Without protein we could not survive or indeed, even exist. The most common and abundant natural sources of protein can be found in meat, fish and dairy products.
Why Vegans Should Take Protein Supplements
As the primary source of protein is meat and dairy, as a vegan getting enough in your diet can be a challenge. While there are some plant sources of protein, it may not be enough to meet your daily dietary needs. Fortunately there are many supplemental forms of protein you can take to balance out your diet. Protein supplements can be found in tablets. They are also available in a powder form. Just make sure that whichever supplement you choose is vegan and has no lactose or animal by products. If you have concerns about your intake of protein make sure to consult your doctor and discuss your supplemental options and special dietary needs.
Vitamin B12 is an essential vitamin for healthy biological function and cellular metabolism.
Vitamin B12 does not occur naturally in people, plants or animals. It can only be derived from certain bacterias. Yogurt is one source example of a vitamin B12 source because it has live bacteria cultures in it. Vitamin b12 deficiencies can cause damage to the brain and nervous system. Even slight deficiencies can cause symptoms of fatigue or depression.
Why Vegans Should Take Vitamin B12
Because it is difficult to get the proper amount of Vitamin B12 from dietary sources, it is important to consider supplementing it in order to ensure you are getting enough. If you feel you have a B12 deficiency, consult your doctor and discuss your concerns with them.
Vitamin D is a naturally occurring vitamin that can be found in Milk and sunlight. One of the important functions of vitamin D is its ability to increase the absorption of other vitamins and minerals as they pass through your intestines.
Why Vegans Should Take Vitamin D
Since vegans do not drink milk, one of the only sources of vitamin D they have is through sun exposure. If you are not getting enough sun for personal reasons or for health reasons, then you should consider taking a vitamin D supplement. This is especially ideal if you take other supplements as vitamin D will help your body absorb those nutrients for maximal effect and efficiency.
Go Vegan With Supplements
Going vegan may be one of the greatest things you do for your health and well being. It a lifestyle choice that embraces sustainable living and humane animal practices. There is an almost endless source of fruits, vegetables, grains and nuts available to create a diet rich in color, flavor and nutrition. Part of going vegan is learning to look at food in new ways and developing varied recipes to keep it interesting and satisfying.
Since veganism requires a change in diet, be sure to talk to your doctor first. Discuss any concerns you may have and talk about supplements, minerals and vitamins you may need to take. With the right balance of healthy foods and nutrients, vegan supplements and a bit of willpower, you can avoid the deficiencies often associated with veganism and make veganism work for you.