Isn’t that vegantastic?
Nowadays, being a vegan is a real trend. More products are available for vegan people, but also there are more restaurants where you only can order vegan food. On the picture you see a vegan recipe (bean risotto) we tried in a restaurant in Bratislava . Of course we also made our own recipe out of this recipe, so you will find the recipe soon on our website :). But why are more people becoming vegan and what is important to know when you want to be a vegan? Well, we are going to tell you more about it.
One of the reasons that people become vegan is not only the exploitation of animals, but it is still one of the key factors that people want to become a vegan. Another reason to become vegan is for the environment. If you avoid animal products you can contribute to lower your carbon footprint. If you eat meat it has a heavy burden on the environment, because to get your piece of meat from farm to fork there are a lot of processes needed to get it on your plate. You can think about crops and water required to feed the animals, transport and other processes. But, another reason to become vegan is for your health. So, let’s give you a speed course which components need extra attention if you want to become a vegan.
Although many nutritionists claim that vegan diets can be healthy, it is essential to know which dietary components are often suspected of being deficient in vegan diets. The components which need more attention are: protein, calcium vitamin B12, vitamin D, essential fatty acids, zinc, iodine, and iron. That are a lot of components and therefore it is good to know which you need more if you want to live that vegan lifestyle. If you live a well-planned vegan diet you can get all the nutrients you need.
Meat is a very efficient deliverer of protein, but if you don’t eat anymore it is important to get enough of protein. You can get enough of protein if you eat for example lentils, tofu and tempeh (originate from soybeans), chickpeas (but also other varieties of beans) and nuts. To not get a deficient for calcium you can try to consume plant based milks or yoghurt, because often there is added calcium in it.
Vitamin B12 is also an important component for vegans. Vitamin B12 is naturally found in animal products, including fish, meat, poultry, eggs, milk and milk products. No plants foods are known to produce vitamin B12. Your body needs vitamin B12 for cell growth and is essential for a healthy nervous system. The main concern for vitamin B12 deficiency is for the elderly because of their limited absorption capacity and for pregnant women because of their higher requirements. This is not a reason to eat meat, because B12 binds with the protein in animal food, which hinders absorption, which is precisely why the elderly are better off with vegan sources of B12. Since the symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency may go unnoticed for a long time due to the high consumption of food containing folic acid, which many vegans consume quite a lot through the consumption of products such as oranges, green leafy vegetables and beans, vegans must be very careful to ensure that their consumption of vitamin B12 is sufficient. On the market you can find products with added vitamin B12. You can think about fortified cereals, which also have a high bioavailability. This means that the vitamin B12 does not have to break down before the body absorbs it. Other products are, meats substitutes, nutritional yeast and vegan spreads.
Look for more information about important components needed for vegans at:
We also tried to be vegan for a week and it was quite difficult to be honest, especially for Marit. Marit is allergic to soy and a lot of vegan products contain soy. In addition, Marit is also allergic to nuts. Also we both love eggs, milk, quark and yoghurt and with pain in our hearts we now had to leave that out of our diet. So that’s why we stick with being flexitarians. We are very curious what your eating habits are. So are you vegan, vegetarian, paleo, or no-gluten or something else? Share with us! If you are vegan and you have some tips for people who want to become a vegan, let it know in the comments.
Do you have any questions left? Just email us!
Anna & Marit
- The Vegan Society: https://www.vegansociety.com/go-vegan/why-go-vegan
- Components needed for a vegan: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK396513/
- Sources of vitamin B12: Deckers J. Animal (De)liberation: Should the Consumption of Animal Products Be Banned? London: Ubiquity Press; 2016. Might a Vegan Diet Be Healthy, or Even Healthier? Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK396513/