While there has been an ongoing debate about whether following a vegan lifestyle is healthy or not, there are actually many proven advantages of a vegan diet. This is especially true when it comes to the gut. In fact, research shows that vegans have fewer pathobionts (harmful organisms that cause inflammation) and more ‘good’ bacteria than omnivores, which could have positive long-term effects.
However, it’s important to remember that switching to a vegan diet isn’t just about cutting out animal products; it’s also about making other small changes to ensure all-round good nutrition. Due to the restrictions of a vegan diet, people who follow this regime are more likely to have a low protein intake and to have calcium deficiencies which could affect bone health, increasing the risk of arthritis and osteoporosis.
Here’s some advice on how to maintain good health when following a vegan diet.
Dairy products are great sources of calcium, but what’s a good alternative for someone following a vegan diet? Well, dark leafy greens are actually bursting with calcium which makes them a great choice. Opt for foods like kale, broccoli, watercress, and bok choy, and finish off with a handful of calcium-rich almonds or chia seeds.
Believe it or not, you don’t have to eat meat to ensure you’re meeting your protein needs. Plant protein has grown in popularity and availability. In fact, there are plenty of protein-rich alternatives including soya products like soy milk and tofu, pistachio nuts, and a whole host of beans and pulses, particularly lentils and chickpeas. A plant-based diet really can be nutritious! There is plenty of great protein supplements for vegans. Take a look here
If you’re struggling to meet the recommended daily allowance of some vitamins and minerals through diet alone, don’t be afraid to ‘cheat’. Food supplements are there to help you achieve your nutrition goals if you’re unable to get your intake from food. They’re easy, convenient, tasty and very varied in ingredients.