How to Stay Vegan and Stay Healthy.

The vegan diet has been in the spotlight recently after several celebrities claimed the lifestyle was impacting on their health. Here, Simon Bandy of Veganicity explains why it is not necessary to give up veganism, and how health concerns can be resolved with the help of the right nutrition:

Be raring to go: While many fruits, vegetables and beans do contain iron, it is the non-heme iron variety which the body cannot absorb as easily. To avoid developing iron-deficiency anaemia, which can cause fatigue, try taking Chelated Iron – it’s an easily absorbed amino acid form which closely resembles how iron appears in nature.

Stay sharp: A crucial nutrient for brain health is choline which is commonly found in dairy, meat and fish products. People lacking in choline can sometimes experience brain fog and have difficulty sleeping if they do not counter-act their deficiency. Try taking a 5-Hydroxy Tryptophan (5-HTP) supplement. It is a natural precursor to serotonin, the neurotransmitter that helps maintain a healthy, calm mood and sleep pattern. Furthermore, 5-HTP can also help to control food cravings, especially those brought on by anxiety, as part of a weight management philosophy. You could team this with Lecithin for maximum results. Lecithin is a rich, natural source of choline, as well as inositol which balances out certain chemicals in our body to aid mental functionality.

It won’t cramp your style: We all need vitamin D to regulate the amount of calcium and phosphate in our body and keep bones, teeth and muscles healthy. It can sometimes be tricky for vegans to get enough vitamin D from their diet and some experience joint pain and muscle cramps as a result. However, a supplement such as Calcium Extra could help as it contains a combination of calcium, magnesium and vitamin D, all of which are essential for many areas of health including our joints, muscles, nervous system and cardiovascular system.

Luscious looks: Vegans sometimes miss out on some of their essential amino acids – a source of protein. Since hair and nails are made of protein, people who don’t get enough in their diet may experience brittle nails or hair loss. While some foods such as tofu, spinach, and lentils are a good protein source, you could also try B25 Complex. B vitamins are vital for many areas of health, and this formulation provides a 25mg daily intake of the most important ones (B1, B2, B3, B5, B6) as well as folic acid, biotin and B12 (cyanocobalamin) to keep you energised all day.

“The vegan lifestyle is becoming more popular by the day, especially in Britain, but as with any dietary change, switching to veganism could have an impact on your body and how you feel,” explains Simon. “However, it isn’t ordinarily necessary to compromise on your ethics by reintroducing animal products in order to address any health concerns you may have. While every individual has to work out what is best for them, the majority of vegans can lead a very healthy lifestyle indeed by planning what they eat and getting some extra nutritional help from supplements if they so choose.”

Products are available from www.veganicity.com, www.amazon.co.uk and all good independent health shops nationwide.