Are you curious about trying a vegan diet? Perhaps you’re already jumped aboard the Veganuary train! Or maybe you’re worried about going vegan in case you’re missing some vital nutrition. Firstly, before we get ahead of ourselves, what actually is Veganuary? Veganuary is an annual campaign to encourage people to follow a strict vegan diet for the whole month of January. That means cutting out all animal products of any kind. A vegan diet definitely has got its benefits, being packed with antioxidants and phytonutrient-rich foods, with the addition of a more mindful approach to diet and lifestyle, which makes this a glamorous approach to reaching your health goals.
Whether you’re going vegan for health reasons, animal welfare, the environment or all the above, it’s no myth that there are still nutritional gaps in a vegan diet that we need to address. But with the right preparation and supplementation support, you will be on track to reaching your optimal health goal.
Such nutrients requiring extra attention include vitamin B12, vital for energy metabolism, red blood cells and immune function. Vitamin D for immunity and bone density, and essential fatty acids (EFAs), more specifically, the active forms of omega-3 called eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), necessary for cognition, cardiovascular and eye health. These being the main 3 areas to focus on regarding supplementation, not to mention the potential reduced intake of iron, zinc, vitamin B6 and calcium, which also need to be taken in to consideration.
These nutrients can still be found in a good amount through various plant foods, for example, calcium can be taken in through ample leafy green vegetables, tofu and tahini. Iron is commonly found in leafy green vegetables, dried apricots and legumes and vitamin B6 can be found in avocados, squash and pistachios. These nutrients are also available due to fortified vegan produce, however, these are often in small amounts and in forms that are poorly absorbed such as calcium carbonate or cyanocobalamin for B12. It is advised if you are deficient, have symptoms of a deficiency or worried you won’t take in the required amounts, to supplement with the required nutrients to regain optimal levels.
With this in mind, we’re supporting you the whole way, and in fact whether you’re vegan for a month, 12 months or 12 years, we want to ensure you’re not missing out on these essential nutrients.