Tips for Veganuary
Many of us like to use the New Year as an opportunity to take on a new challenge. Some of you may have been curious about the increasing media interest into veganism and encouraging people to adopt a more plant-based diet; not just for environmental reasons, but for health reasons too. If this is the case then you may have signed up to take part in Veganuary this year; a 31 day pledge to try veganism for the month of January and even beyond.
Veganuary has been an annual occurrence since 2014; it encourages and supports people to move to a plant-based diet and a vegan lifestyle. It is a way for people to play their part in protecting the environment, preventing animal suffering and improving their own health at the same time. Some evidence suggests people who are vegan are less likely to be overweight, and have a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
If you’re thinking about dipping your toe in the water of this increasingly popular diet and way of life then here are some supplement recommendations to support you in making the change this year, assisting you in getting all the essential nutrients your body needs.
Vitamin B12 has recently hit the news; it is an important Vitamin but with a vegan diet it becomes a very hard nutrient to get enough of. This is because B12 is found naturally in animal sourced foods such as meat, fish, eggs and other dairy products. It is not produced in plants and so cannot be found in fruits or vegetables. Experts recommend that those eating a vegan diet need to consume alternative fortified foods such as cereals and yeast extract, or take supplements in order to meet their daily requirements.
Vitamin B12 supports the normal function of the nervous system and contributes to normal psychological functions, as well as helping to support the immune system and helping to reduce tiredness and fatigue. The importance of the roles it plays means without enough people can develop anaemia which can lead to a lack of energy, leaving you feeling exhaustion and fatigued. B12 deficiency; when serious, can lead to irreversible nerve damage – symptoms usually first appear as pins and needles in the hands or feet.
Our Vitamin B12 tablets are an easy and convenient one-a-day way to ensure you get enough of this vital vitamin in your diet throughout Veganuary.
Vegan D3 & K2
Vitamin K1 (phylloquinone) is made in plants and algae, and is present in green vegetables such as broccoli, spinach and kale, it comes from plant sources, but Vitamin K2 (menaquinone) is much less common; bacteria generate Vitamin K2, and it occurs in animal proteins – including high fat dairy products and organ meats, and also in fermented foods. Examples of sources include liver, egg yolks, cheese, yogurt and natto (fermented soybeans). The bacteria in our guts can synthesise small amounts of Vitamin K1 into K2, but it can prove difficult for some people to get these types of foods into their daily diets, supplementation may be a good option for some; and in particular those adopting a vegan lifestyle.
Vitamin D works synergistically with Vitamin K2, helping to keep both your heart and bones healthy. Vitamin D3 ensures that calcium is absorbed easily and Vitamin K2 directs it to ensure it reaches the bone mass, while preventing arterial calcification.
Separately Vitamin D3 also supports a healthy immune system and supports muscle function. Oily fish and eggs are the best sources of Vitamin D, as well as exposure to the sunlight (The body can synthesize vitamin D in the skin when sun exposure is adequate hence why it is often referred to as the "sunshine vitamin"). Combining the winter months with the dark nights and poor weather conditions, along with the dietary restrictions, it means vegans could miss out on getting enough vitamin D.
Our new capsules contain Vitamin K2 that is suitable for vegans, combined with a vegan form of Vitamin D. It is in the form the body naturally produces: D3 (cholecalciferol), and has been proven to be chemically-identical to animal-origin Vitamin D3. Click here for further details.
Vegan Omega 3 – Algal Oil
In the absence of being able to include oily fish in your diet our high quality softgel capsules are a convenient, vegan-friendly source of the essential fatty acid omega 3. They contain DHA and EPA to help support heart health, as well as the maintenance of vision, and normal brain function, and are made from refining marine algae into an oil. Our softgels are a sustainable and environmentally friendly way to source omega-3, and an ideal alternative to fish or cod liver oil without any fishy smell or aftertaste.
For more information CLICK HERE
Plant based proteins
Protein is vital to our health, workouts and recovery; but it can be a challenge for some people to still consume enough protein in their diet. Especially at this time of year when you might have other new year body goals alongside Veganuary - such as boosting your fitness and workouts. There is the concern that our nutrition may lack sufficient protein due to more limited sources, and the absence of meat and dairy products in the diet, but this need not be the case; Plant-based foods can provide all of the essential amino acids the body requires to help repair and rebuild lean muscle tissue so that you still see those results.
One way of increasing your protein intake whilst following dietary restrictions veganism demands, is with the use of plant based protein. Plant proteins mix well with water, and are easily digestible because they are dairy-free. This may also eliminate unwanted side effects some people experience from Whey.
Providing you with high quality protein supplements, two of the most popular vegan sources we have available at Hellenia are our Rice and Pea protein powders. Pea protein and rice protein are the perfect option for vegans, vegetarians and those who are lactose intolerant. They are natural and free from artificial sweeteners and other ingredients, as well as being sugar-free and low in saturated fat. Both offering 80% protein content, they have a mild natural taste, and you can even combine the two which gives an excellent amino acid profile. Vegan proteins are also extremely versatile - you can add them to nutritious shakes or smoothies and they can also be used in high-protein baking.
So if you are taking part in Veganuary, or intend to venture into vegan territory throughout the course of this Year, it is important to consider the possible need for supplements and ensuring your intake of all the nutrients your body requires to keep you in optimum health. To see our range of supplements, and for further health and product information visit www.hellenia.co.uk where you can be a part of our health hub community; sign up for our newsletter, read reviews, download our free e-books and stay up to date with the latest news.