How to go vegan
Making a vegan diet work
If you're cutting out animal products from your diet, you can't just fill that gap with salads and fruit. Instead you need to replace that dense nutrition with other plant-based foods that give you everything you need. This is where superfoods are key. Think superfoods like spirulina, chlorella, hemp protein and maca. Try a minimum of one tablespoon of green powder a day if you're vegan.
Lecithin also contains an important nutrient that's only otherwise found in eggs and it's often a nutrient that's overlooked by vegans. You can also take one tablespoon most days. We can't efficiently metabolise the healthy fats found in plants in significant amounts so a plant-based DHA-EPA supplement is essential too. That's another thing that's overlooked by vegans who wrongly assume they can get what they needs from nuts and seeds.
There are of course more widely recognised vitamins like B12, D3 and K3 which you should be supplementing. A food-based supplement, like Garden of Life, is ideal to ensure long term robust health.
How to get adequate B12
Plant foods don't generally contain B12 unless they're fortified. Studies have shown that those on a plant-based diet can get B12 through consumption of foods like kimchi, saurkraut, miso, fermented soy products, tempeh, and seaweed. This is because the the bacterial strains involved in the fermentation process are able to produce B12, which will contribute to maintaining the nervous system and forming red blood cells.
What vegan supplements should I take?
B12 is essential for supporting the body's energy levels and red cell production. Red blood cells transport oxygen to our cells and without it our bodies can become fatigued. Unlike fat soluble vitamins, B vitamins don't get stored by our body, which means they need to be topped up daily.
Unfortunately, B12 isn't produced by plants, fortified foods and supplements are the only proven reliable sources for vegans to get some B12 in their diets. Some alternative milks and spreads are fortified with B12, and nutritional yeast flakes are also a nice addition to food giving it the lovely cheesy flavour that some people miss when going vegan, and of course, some B12.
Ideally, you should be eating these fortified foods twice daily, but for some people this may be a bit difficult, that's why using supplements are usually what vegans turn to.
A favourite of ours is Viridian High Potency B12 giving you 1000mcg of active B12 daily. We love Viridian as we know we can depend on them to source the cleanest, most pure ingredients and that they are 100% vegan and cruelty free.
Omega 3 is incredibly important to many different systems in the body. We need omega 3 for a healthy heart and blood circulation, brain function and development, to reduce inflammation and to support our vision. For vegans, plant sources of omega 3 are available to add to our diets, however our bodies have a lot of work to do to convert plant based omega to omegas we can actually use.
Algae oils are gaining more and more popularity these days due to being a more efficient and sustainable source of omega 3. Not only are these oils vegan-friendly but they're thought to be a far cleaner option, avoiding the pollutants and contaminants that fish unfortunately have more of these days. We love the Vivolife Plant Based Omega 3 which guarantees 300mg of EPA and 600mg of DHA which surpasses some fish oil supplements.
Vivolife's omega 3 is an incredibly clean option as their algae is grown in a controlled, unpolluted environment meaning we know we're being kind to the planet, and ourselves.
Viridian Vegan Multi is an easy one-a-day complete multivitamin for full or part-time vegans! The 27 vitamins and minerals, including high levels of B12 and iron, aim to fill the nutritional gap that could be affecting energy levels, brain function, and bone strength.
As a vegan, it can be challenging trying to get enough vitamin D in the diet. The vegan multi also contains vitamin K2 which works with the vitamin D to maintain healthy bones and a healthy cardiovascular system.
Nature's Plus Hema-Plex gives all round support for vegans and non-vegans alike. The combination of iron, B vitamins, and vitamin C encourage sustained energy levels, immunity, collagen production, and cognitive support. The therapeutic level of iron and the vitamin C together help support blood health without being constipating, leaving you to go through your day with improved energy levels.
How do vegans get protein?
No Ordinary Moments Plant Protein - It's difficult for vegans to include enough variety of protein in their diets. The average daily requirement for men is 56g and women 45g. Protein provides the essential building blocks (amino acids) for growth, repair, immunity and hormone function, making up 17% of our body weight.
There are 9 different amino acids that we cannot produce in our body; these must come from food. Variety is key to when on a vegan diet.