I’m a huge advocate for plant-based diets from both an ethical, environmental and energetic perspective and have personally been following one for the last 12 years.
Nutritionally there are a lot of amazing things that come from eating plants. Many of our important vitamins and minerals as well as fibre are found only or majorly in plants.
However, there are a number of nutrients that plant-based/vegetarian diets do tend to lack. That’s not to say that they can’t be found in fruits, vegetables or grains but that standard vegetarian or vegan diets don’t usually have high quantities.
The myth that vegos don’t get enough protein has been debunked and there are a lot of amazing options out there such legumes, tofu, mushrooms, nuts, grains, hemp, and more.
Protein is not what I’m worried about (although most people, vegos or not, could do with more) it is these 5:
Some people will do really well with minimal supplementation, able to get what they need from a balanced and diverse plant-based diet, however, some people will not do so well. Everyone's body is different and what works for one person may not work for you.
Important for transporting oxygen around the body via the blood. Low levels can feel like fatigue, pale skin, headaches, breathlessness, heart palpitations and feeling cold.
Essential for wound healing, our immune system, thyroid function and creation of DNA. Low levels can appear like poor wound healing, white spots on nails, prone to infections, hair loss and loss of appetite.
An important nutrient for our nervous system, DNA creation and red blood cells. Low levels can feel like exhaustion, numbness/tingling of hands and feet, breathlessness, swollen tongue and brain fog.
You will need to supplement with B12 if you are choosing a plant-based lifestyle as it is only found in meat products or food that have it added in (fortified).
Used to make thyroid hormones and for healthy brain development in babies. Low levels can look like weight gain, fatigue, hair loss, dry skin, poor immune function, irregular periods, and fibrocystic breasts.
* while there are also small amounts in some fruits, you will likely need to supplement iodine on a plant-based diet
Necessary for healthy strong bones as well as blood clotting and nerve function. Low levels can show up as brittle bones, muscle spasms and aches but quite often there are no symptoms experienced.
There is a lot you can do to reduce your participation in animal harm such as exploring leather alternatives, buying cruelty free products, donating to wildlife causes or reducing your single-use plastic consumption.
If you are very adamant in following a plant-based diet but are struggling with how to get started please consult with a practitioner to ensure you are getting the right nutrition.
You cannot help others if you do not help yourself first.