How to Protect Against the Deficiencies of a Vegan Diet

Veganism has been a rising trend in the US and globally. In the last 4 years, Veganism has grown by 500 percent. The growing awareness of the impact of meat consumption as well as a desire for an ethical, sustainable diet has driven the movement to a vegan diet. Professional athletes are transitioning to a vegan diet as research shows that plant based protein is better for building muscle. New England Patriots Quarterback Tom Brady has even teamed up with Purple Carrot to launch a line of vegan meals based on his strict eating habits.

There is a lot that is positive about moving to a vegan diet. It is a diet low in saturated fat and rich in other nutrients the body needs. Yet, becoming a vegan without understanding what your body needs can lead to health issues.  A vegan diet full of fresh vegetables and fruit, nuts, beans, whole grains and soy products can provide many of the nutrients you need, but even the most vigilant person can get off track. Not getting the nutrients your body requires can have terrible effects on your health.

Eliminating entire food groups from your diet can make you ignore your body’s cravings for foods that contain the very nutrients your system needs. And all protein is not equal. A diet rich in legumes and nuts, for instance, does not replace the high quality protein found in meat. Lacking protein can cause your liver to stop responding to your thyroid. There are other common issues, including a deficiency of Vitamin D. Vitamin D comes from exposure to the sun and consuming Vitamin D fortified food. Iron deficiencies are also a challenge for vegans, and vegans commonly have lower plasma vitamin B-12 concentrations.  

There are tremendous benefits to a vegan diet, including lower rates of cardiovascular disease and decreased rates of colorectal and prostate cancer, so we are in no way anti-veganism. However, we recommend being vigilant about ensuring intake of the vitamins and nutrients you may lack in your diet. One option is to use a vitamin supplement patch to get the nutrients you need. We created our patches, including our B-12 patch, a Multi-vitamin patch, an Omega-3 patch, and a Vitamin-D patch to help our customers maintain their health and well being.

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