People choose to go vegan for multiple reasons. Yet just like any change of diet, it works only if and when the diet is done right. While many people can live a lifetime without eating animal products, it is a fact that there are some serious well being concerns associated with not eating animal products that should be aware of. Below are tips to help you making a healthy switch to a vegan diet.
Common vegan health risks
Low iron. It is not uncommon for people on a plant-based diet to suffer from an iron deficit and even from anemia, which could cause fatigue and other associated problems. The good news is that there are many foods that could boost your iron intake. Those include red kidney beans, spinach in a raw form and various nuts such as cashews, peanuts and almonds. Make sure you include them in your diet.
Low calcium. Calcium is essential for bones, nails and teeth growth and is mostly present in animal products such as milk and eggs. A low level of calcium could decrease your bone density and put you at a higher chance of getting arthritis and other harmful diseases. You can address this problem by buying fortified vegan items such soy milk and tofu and capitalizing on natural sources of calcium such as almonds, tahini and collard greens.
Whole proteins. Unlike animal products, very few vegan ingredients contain the eight essential amino acids that your body needs for proper growth. This means that you often run the risk of not getting enough protein combination intake which can be harmful to your body. The best way to ensure you are getting the most doses of protein is to find the right combinations of foods and cook based on that.
Take the right supplements
Dr. Joel Fuhrman points out six nutrients that vegans should supplement to stay in optimal health. Find out those supplements in the video below:
General tips for a healthy transition to veganism:
- Get informed before you make the diet switch. There are many resources available online for free to help you know the risks and address them.
- Check with your doctor before switching diets to make sure your body can support it.
- If you doubt that you are getting enough nutrients, try vitamin and mineral supplementAvoid processed foods and make sure the large portion of your diet includes wholesome ingredients with a lot of benefit.
- Cook for yourself and talk to other vegans to get easy fully nutritious recipes.