Health

How to avoid deficiencies on a plant-based diet

This World Vegan Month, BetterYou expains how to maintain energy levels on a plant-based diet 

According to The Vegan Society, there are currently 600,000 vegans in the UK – equating to 1.16% of the population – with a further 28% identifying as ‘meat reducers’.

As admirable as that may be, following a vegan or plant-based diet can have a significant impact on nutrient levels within the body and increase the likelihood of deficiencies.

More specifically, those following a plant-based diet are more at risk of reduced B12 levels and iron deficiency, says natural health company BetterYou.

Iron is a vital component of haemoglobin, the substance in red blood cells that carries oxygen from the lungs to transport it throughout the body. A lack of iron within the body can cause tiredness and fatigue, shortness of breath and heart palpitations.

The most absorbable form of iron, heme iron, is primarily derived from meat products – meaning vegetarians and vegans must find iron from other sources.

Another form of iron, known as nonheme iron, can be found in cereals, beans and some vegetables but, according to BetterYou, this has notoriously poor absorption levels.

 

“The soaring rise in popularity of vegan and plant-based diets is one of the key factors behind why more and more people are finding themselves nutrient deficient,” says Greg Weatherhead, who is a nutritional expert at BetterYou.

“While it does have its advantages such as lowering blood pressure and cholesterol, removing food groups from your diet can also remove essential nutrients.”

As with iron, meaningful levels of vitamin B12 are largely found in meat products.

Vitamin B12 helps the body’s ability to reduce the onset of fatigue and increases concentration levels as well as contributing to normal homocysteine metabolism.

B12 is generally not present in plant foods, there are fortified breakfast cereals available, however this vitamin is notoriously difficult to absorb in the gut. At most, only 1 per cent of our dietary intake will be absorbed by the body.

“It can be difficult for those on vegan diets to obtain adequate levels of essential nutrients from natural sources alone, so supplementing is the best way to ensure good health,” says Greg.

To support World Vegan Month, natural health company BetterYou has launched a brand-new Vegan Energy Bundle to help maintain health and contribute to the reduction of tiredness and fatigue.

The bundle, which is Vegetarian Society and Vegan Approved, contains Iron and Boost B12 Oral Sprays.

Containing 100% vegan friendly formulations, the sprays are specially designed to be absorbed into the bloodstream, bypassing the digestive system.

An oral spray is an effective and convenient method of supplementation compared to traditional tablets and capsules by elevating nutrient levels and delivering nutrients into the bloodstream via the soft tissue within the mouth avoiding the digestive system.

The Vegan Energy Bundle, including Iron Oral Spray and Boost B12 Oral Spray, is available online at BetterYou.

Leave a Reply