What does it mean to be a Vegan?
Vegans are people who don’t eat any animal produced foods such as meat, fish, dairy, eggs etc. They also do not use any animal products and do not use anything that promotes the exploitation of animals e.g. clothing & shoes.
Types of Vegans
- Junk-food vegans – people who eat heavily processed vegan foods.
- Whole food vegans - people who eat flavourful rich vegan foods.
- Low-fat, raw food vegans – people who can call themselves fruitarians, they cut back on unhealthy foods and rely mainly on fruit.
- Dietary Vegans - people who do not eat animal products but do use animal products such as cosmetics and clothing.
- Raw food vegans- - they only eat raw foods or food cooked under the temperature under 118f or 48c
Why are people interested in being Vegan?
These are some of the factors that make people go vegan:
- Many people do not agree with the way animals are treated and don’t believe that animals should be killed / exploited.
- Some people turn vegan because of the environmental benefits. Animals contribute to greenhouse gas emissions, which effects climate change. Animal agricultural also contributes to deforestation, as people have to cut down trees to make room for animals grazing.
- Many people turn vegan because of the health benefits. It reduces the likelihood of getting heart disease, cancer, type 2 diabetes and premature death.
Where do Vegans get their nutrients, vitamins and minerals?
Vegans use foods as meat alternatives, so they get the nutrients they need. The foods they eat are:
How do vegans get Vitamin B12?
Vegans can get Vitamin B12 from supplements or they can sometimes get Vitamin B12 from soy products, nutritional yeast and plant milks. However, it is quite unlikely you can get the amount need for a healthy adult with these foods, so it is recommended to take supplements to have the recommended amount.
Iodine is important for a healthy functioning thyroid. The thyroid controls the metabolism so it is very important it’s functioning properly. The amount of iodine in food depends on where the food is grown e.g. when food is grown nearer the sea it has a higher iodine level. A food that contains a high iodine level is iodized salt, dairy products and seafood’s.
This vitamin is very important as it influences your bodily processes such as your immune system, memory, muscle recovery and mood. It also helps the absorption of phosphorous and calcium from your gut. To get enough Vitamin D as a vegan you can go outside in the midday heat for sun exposure for 15 minutes without any sun cream and exposed skin. However, for many people this isn’t possible as they do not have access to the sun and have to wear sun cream. The foods that contain Vitamin D are normally dairy products, fish and meat, however you can also get some Vitamin D from soymilk, cereals and juices. This probably wouldn’t be a sufficient amount though so Vitamin D supplements would strongly be recommended, as children and adults need 15 mcg per day.
Long chain Omega 3
Long chain omega 3 helps brain development and brain structure as well as eyes. It also helps lower the risks of depression, breast cancer, inflammation and ADHD. Long chain omega 3 Contains DHA and epa which you can get in mostly animal products such as fatty fish and fish oil. ALA is essential omega 3 fatty acids meaning you can only get it from your diet which vegans can get from flax, chai and hemp seeds.
Iron is needed to transport oxygen in the blood and to make new red blood cells and DNA. There are two different types of iron, there’s heme and non heme. Heme is only found in animal products. As non heme iron is less easily absorbed so its recommended vegans eat iron rich vegan foods. This includes beans, dried fruits, nuts, seeds etc.
Zinc helps the immune function, metabolism and the replacement of body cells. It is difficult getting the sufficient amount of zinc for vegans because plant based food are limited as it has a level of phytate content (means it has less zinc content) Foods that contain zinc are which are plant based are nuts, seeds, tofu, sprouted beans etc.
Calcium helps bone teeth health, muscle function, nerve signalling and heart health. Studies show that vegans do not get enough calcium even if they do not come from animal products. Sources of calcium vegans can eat are kale, watercress, broccoli chickpeas, plant milks, juices, turnip greens, calcium set tofu, Bok Choy and mustard greens. It is shown that vegans do not have enough calcium or a lower calcium intake than omnivores meaning they should try and take supplements.
ViDrate & being Vegan
ViDrate includes Vitamin B12 which is essential for normal organ function. It also includes Chloride, Potassium, Sodium and Vitamin C, which even though can be found in vegan friendly foods (unlike B12), are key to healthy living. ViDrate ensures that these vitamins are absorbed into the body. ViDrate also uses stevia, which is an all-natural vegan friendly sweetener, and its external packaging is completely recyclable!