Food and supplements checklist before going vegan

No fluff, just facts.

1. Vitamin B12

Can be found in: tempeh, cremini mushrooms, nutritional yeast, and supplements (which are very highly recommended).

Vitamin B12 helps keep your body’s blood and nerve cells healthy. You need B12 to make red blood cells, which carry oxygen through your body. It also helps prevent dementia and reduce birth defects.

Vitamin B12 also helps prevent megaloblastic anemia, a blood condition that makes people tired and weak, so signs of B12 deficiency usually include tiredness, fatigue and dizziness.

A lack of vitamin B12 can cause neurological problems as well, which affect your nervous system.

2. Proteins

Can be found in: seitan, quinoa, natural soy (tofu, miso, tempeh, edamame, soy milk), lentils, beans (black), chickpeas, nutritional yeast, hemp seeds, green peas, spirulina, chia seeds, nuts and nut butters (also contain antioxidants), artichoke, sweet potatoes, asparagus, spinach broccoli, blackberries, guava, banana.

Proteins are a critical part of the processes that fuel your energy and carry oxygen throughout your body.

Proteins also help make antibodies. Your antibodies are there to fight off infections and illnesses. Besides, proteins also keep your cells healthy and create new ones.

3. Iron

Can be found in: lentils, red bell peppers, spinach, mushrooms, soybeans, carrots, broccoli, quinoa, oatmeal, sunflower seeds, leafy greens, dried raisins, chickpeas, tomatoes, potatoes, corn, beats, seeds and nuts.

Vitamin C helps better absorption. Vitamin C can be easily found in citrus, red peppers, broccoli.

Iron is an essential element for blood production. About 70% of our body’s iron is found in the red blood cells of our blood called hemoglobin and in muscle cells called myoglobin.

Hemoglobin is essential for transferring oxygen in our blood from the lungs to the tissues.

About 6% of body iron is a component of certain proteins, essential for respiration and energy metabolism.

Tea and coffee decrease iron absorption.

4. Iodine

Can be found in: iodised salt, navy beans and baked potatoes.

Iodine plays a vital role in thyroid health. The thyroid gland, located at the base of the front of our necks, helps regulate hormone production. These hormones control our metabolism and heart health.

Deficiency causes goître.

5. Calcium

Can be found in: fortified tofu, rice, oat and soya drinks, sesame seeds, tahini, dried fruits (raisins and prunes).

Calcium is a mineral that is necessary for life. In addition to building bones and keeping them healthy, calcium enables our blood to clot, our muscles to contract, and our heart to beat.

Every day, we lose calcium through our skin, nails, hair, sweat, urine and feces. Our body doesn’t produce its own calcium.

Deficiency causes cramps, insomnia and low bone density.

6. Vitamin D

Can be found in: sun exposure and/or supplements, extremely important for calcium absorption.

2000UI/day is a health dose, some take up to 4000UI/day.

A healthy dose of vitamin D can prevent mild Covid-19 symptoms and lower risks of death.

7. Zinc

Can be found in: lentils, green peas, white beans, corn and oatmeal. Needed for proper immune system function, antioxidant, wound healing.

Zinc is used by the body in COUNTLESS ways. It is found in cells throughout the whole body. It helps the immune system fight off invading bacteria and viruses. The body also needs zinc to make proteins and DNA.

You must get a constant zinc supply through your diet. Supplements during cold season are highly recommended.

8. Riboflavin (B2)

Can be found in: whole grains, almonds, sesame seeds, spirulina, mushroom, quinoa, nuts, broccoli, brewer’s yeast, Brussel sprouts, wheat germ, wild rice, mushrooms, soybeans, green leafy vegetables and whole grain and enriched cereals and bread.

It plays a huge role in energy production in the body.

It helps the body break down carbohydrates, proteins and fats to produce energy, and it allows oxygen to be used by the body.

It is flushed out of the body daily, so it must be restored each day.

Hemp seeds, dates, figs, grapes, granola bars, garlic and turmeric boost your immune system.

Drinking water first thing as well.

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