More and more people are adopting a vegan lifestyle around the world. Environmental concerns and animal welfare are two of the biggest motivations for the rise of veganism. According to lifestyle magazine The VOU, there are around 79 million vegans in the world, and the figure is only getting bigger. The Guardian, citing a University of Oxford study, reported that veganism is the “single biggest way” to reduce your impact on the planet.
November 1 is celebrated as World Vegan Day to spread the benefits of consuming a plant-based diet. While veganism has numerous benefits, one must know certain things before bidding farewell to meat, eggs and dairy.
YOU DON’T HAVE TO GO VEGAN AT ONCE
Going full vegan on day 1 is not at all practical. Because you have been habitual of consuming dairy and meat all your life, cutting back will take time and should be done in steps. Start by adding more plant-based foods to your diet, while at the same time cutting back on animal products, especially those that are non-organic, and more importantly processed, refined foods.
STOCK B12 SUPPLEMENTS
While plant-based foods contain almost all the nutrients you need for a healthy lifestyle, Vitamin B12 and Iron are few of the exceptions. Naturally occurring Vitamin B12 is found only in animals, so you need to stock up on B12 supplements. B12 keeps the body’s nerve and blood cells healthy. A deficiency leads to tiredness, loss of appetite, weakness and constipation among other problems.
IRON SUPPLEMENTS, TOO
Vegan diets contain only non-heme iron which is not easily absorbed by the body. The heme iron makes up 40 percent of the iron in animal foods, and is easily absorbed. Therefore, you need to have iron supplements to close the deficiency gap.
CRITICISM AND HARD DAYS
Since food is such a big part of any friendship circle, it is imminent that you will be questioned for your choice. You should know what prompted you to start your vegan journey in the first place, and remember the cause when you feel like giving up. This will help you stay focused and motivated in face of the many hurdles.
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