Veganism - How to stay fit, fruity, and full of fun for years to come
Veganism is an awesome lifestyle choice to take out all animal products from your life, in order to limit the exploitation of animals as much as possible in our human society. Veganism extends not only to food, but also clothing, make up, and many other products that involve animal testing and animal products. Not only is there the ethical part of it, but veganism can also be really healthy, reducing your chance of disease and keeping your calorie count at a reasonable place. It’s also better for the environment. Farm animals like cows are a huge source of greenhouse gases that lead to global warming, and have also been linked to environmental damage.
However, a vegan diet also means you really need to pay attention to your diet. Animal products provide some key vitamins that you really need for your body to thrive. If you don’t supplement your body properly, it can lead to long-term health issues.
This is why there is actually a common pattern amongst vegans where they’ll feel great at first, but then slowly feel ill or even see signs of aging in their body. In the beginning, when you just come off meat, your body still has some of the nutrients to work off of, and meanwhile the lower fat intake and higher nutrients you get from plants will have you feeling awesome. But don’t be surprised if a few months down the line, you start to feel sick and wonder why suddenly you don’t feel that fresh lightness that you enjoyed when you first made the change. Here is a quick list of nutrients you need to supplement. You want to find as much natural sources as possible (because your body will absorb it better), but the sad reality is that if you are vegan some of these can be hard to get without artificial supplements.
- Vitamin D – Get good healthy sun exposure to make up for this!
- Vitamin B-12 – This is a toughy. I recommend you take a vitamin for this, although you can also get it from breakfast cereals, plant milks, and nutritional yeast. If you drink shakes, I highly recommend you blend in some nutritional yeast for a natural source.
- Omega 3 – Algae oil is your friend here. Remember to target DHA (long chain omega-3) as well. ALA is easy to supplement in natural ways, but unless you are careful about it, you can easily run into deficiencies that are better provided by DHA which are mostly found in animal products. I recommend you do some research on this.
- Zinc – Whole grains, tofu, legumes, and seeds are your friend. Always try to mix the leafy vegetables in your diet with more “heavy” foods like grains and seeds in general.
- Iron – Similar to Zinc.
I recommend taking a vegan-focused multivitamin to help you. This way you can supplement all of the above in one gulp! You can search on Amazon for lots of amazing options, and they really aren’t that expensive. But try your best to add natural sources of these nutrients as well! Your body wasn’t designed to absorb artificial supplements that easily.
Veganism is great, but the world needs you to be healthy and strong too. There are plenty of top athletes who practice veganism, but no doubt they carefully plan their diets and make sure not to have nutrient deficiencies. All it takes is a little planning and effort, and you’ll feel great for years to come.