Switching to a vegan diet can have a number of positive impacts on your body. For some, the idea of eating meat and animal byproducts can be an off-putting proposal. If you are the type of person who would rather consume plants and grains than once-living flesh, now is a great time to think about the pros and cons of the lifestyle. Veganism is said to have a number of scientifically-based advantages, though it is imperative you go about the switch in the correct manner to actually see these benefits.
While going vegan might seem like a healthier option on the surface, this is not always the case. When you are used to eating meat and animal byproducts, your body is used to receiving certain nutrients. Switching to a vegan diet can take away some of those important vitamins. Luckily, you can ensure that your body is getting everything it needs by paying attention to a few key supplements.
Though consuming large amounts of meat can have an adverse impact on your body, there are a number of essential vitamins and minerals found in most animal products. One of the more important vitamins you receive through meat is B12. This amazing vitamin can be found in everything from beef to fish to cheese to eggs and helps the body in a number of crucial ways. Consuming foods rich in B12 can help to improve your body’s production of blood, mental capacities, and nerve function.
Switching to a vegan way of eating means you are no longer going to be receiving the amount of B12 your body has become accustomed to. One way to get the B12 your body requires on a vegan diet is by exploring your options with milk alternatives like soy or almond milk. Still, this might not be an adequate daily amount for your body. Anyone looking to make the change to a vegan diet should look into the importance of B12 supplements.
Meat also tends to contain high amounts of iron. As most people know, iron is an essential mineral needed for oxygenated blood to be evenly transported around the body. Iron deficiencies can lead to anemia and other serious blood disorders. All people have different iron requirements, with adults often needing somewhere between 19 and 27 milligrams per day depending on other dietary considerations. While meat might be rich in iron, there are a number of alternative sources to consider for your diet.
Greens like spinach and broccoli should be found in your daily meals to keep your iron levels in a good place. Lentils, potatoes, black beans, and raisins are also worth adding to your daily diet. Getting enough iron is incredibly important, so be sure to think about adding an iron supplement to your routine should you discover your body requires a bit more of this nutrient to stay functional.
Finally, going vegan means you need to think about how your body will receive a daily dose of calcium. For many, a glass of milk is an excellent source of calcium. When you remove animal milk from your diet, finding an easy source of calcium can become a bit of a challenge. Almonds are a great snack when you need to give your body an energy boost and many studies show that this nut can keep your body supplied with the calcium it requires. Other foods worth considering for calcium include oranges, kale, and tofu.
To safely make the switch to a vegan lifestyle, you need to know which vitamins and minerals your body will be lacking. Discover which supplements will be the most useful for your new way of eating and see the greatest odds of success on your new path.
Article written by Joe Palinsky
Joe Palinsky is a full-time writer and theater professional in Philadelphia. He predominantly works with ensemble-based Found Theater Company, where his writing has been featured in numerous productions. Though primarily a ghostwriter, his work has been published in the now-defunct Spirit News and as a guest on Found Theater’s blog.