Even though we stock vegan products in our online vegan nutrition store, it can all be a bit intimidating for people who are considering or just starting their vegan diet journey.
Nutracity has a large range of items in our vegan products UK line, however, let us first look at what needs to be considered in a vegan diet. I think the first difference is to differentiate what makes a vegan different to a vegetarian.
Veganism does not always just include the diet, many vegans class it as a way of living whereby you do your best to exclude all forms of animal products and by-products and anything that involves the cruelty of animals. So, a vegan diet does not allow for any direct animal meat such as chicken breast of leg of lamb, but also dairy, eggs and animal derived ingredients such as gelatine, honey, whey, casein, pepsin, carmine and forms of vitamin D3 that are derived from animals.
Vegetarians on the other hand are opposed to killing animals for food but they allow the consumption of by-products such as milk and honey. Vegans and vegetarians however do also have a lot of environmental considerations as well, for example, even though vegetarians do eat animal by-products, they do believe that the animals should be kept in adequate conditions and treated fairly. Vegans on the other hand take it one level further and believe that animals should not be used by humans at all, whether it is for consumption, clothes or science.1
As with all diets that have restrictions, there are certain things that vegans could be low in if they do not take additional supplements. For example, vegans tend to be low in saturated fats and cholesterol but high in most vitamins, minerals and fibre. However, if your vegan diet is not planned properly, you could also be low in iron, calcium zinc and vitamin D. The most common deficiency is vitamin B12 and omega-3 fatty acids as these are typically obtained from meat, eggs and fish, all of which are not part of a vegan diet. The good news is that all these vital vitamins and supplements are readily available as vegan-friendly products and can be purchased from Nutracity’s online vegan nutrition store.
The deficiencies just mentioned can also be covered with a good vegan diet. The NHS has set out a very proficient set of advice on how to obtain certain vitamins that are often lacking in a vegan diet. Good sources of calcium for vegans includes green leafy vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage and okra but not spinach (even though spinach is good for other vitamins and minerals). Also, other foods that are fortified with calcium are also beneficial such as fortified unsweetened soya, rice, oat drinks and tofu.
Good sources of calcium also include sesame seeds, tahini, pulses, brown and white bread, dried fruit i.e., raisins, prunes, figs and dried apricots as well as dried fruits. It is advised to eat dried fruit with meals and not as snacks in order to reduce the impact of fruit sugars on teeth. Good sources of vitamin D3 for vegans are firstly and most obviously, exposure to direct sunlight where possible. Secondly, in a similar way to calcium, there are also vegan foods fortified with vitamin D3 such as fortified fat spreads, breakfast cereals and unsweetened soya drinks. It is also advisable by the NHS to also take vitamin D3 supplements that are not of animal origin.2
Even though vegan foods can be high in iron, iron is absorbed by the human body a lot less from plant-based foods than meat foods. Therefore, it is important to increase the quantity of plant-based foods that contain iron. These include pulses, wholemeal bread and flour, breakfast cereals fortified with iron, dark green, leafy vegetables, such as watercress, broccoli and spring greens, nuts, dried fruits, such as apricots, prunes and figs.
Good vegan sources of vitamin B12 are mostly fortified foods as vitamin B12 is hard to obtain from plant-based products. These include; breakfast cereals fortified with B12, unsweetened soya drinks fortified with vitamin B12, yeast extract, such as Marmite, which is fortified with vitamin B12. Vegan sources of omega-3 fatty acids include axseed (linseed) oil, rapeseed oil, soya oil and soya-based foods, such as tofu as well as nuts such as walnuts. The NHS does however advise that these foods do not contain as much omega-3 fatty acids as oily fish would, so it still may be good idea to also supplement with an omega-3 vitamin pill that is vegan friendly.2
At Nutracity’s online vegan nutrition store, we have vegan-friendly vitamins and supplements that can help cater for any deficiencies that you may have in your vegan diet. The first essential product that is suitable for vegans is BetterYou Boost B12 Oral Spray (25ml). Boost B12 is stimulant free and contains the most bio-available form of B12 (methylcobalamin) which is a naturally active form found within human metabolism.
It is specially formulated for delivery of vitamin B12 directly into the mouth. The tiny droplets absorb quickly, providing fast nutrient uptake. Each dosage (4 sprays) delivers 1200μg of vitamin B12 along with 40μg of chromium and 0.5mg of green tea extract. Next we have Solgar Calcium Magnesium Plus Zinc (100 Tablets).
These are suitable for vegans and help with any deficiencies in calcium, magnesium and zinc. As part of Nutracity’s vegan products UK line we also stock a vegan-friendly source of omega-3 in the form of Fushi Vegan Omega Totale Oil Blend (100ml). Fushi Fresh-Pressed Vegan Omega blend is an ideal omega 3 source for vegetarians and vegans. It is sustainable, renewable and contains natural Omega sources of 3, 5, 6, 7 and 9.
It is derived from top quality sources for the excellent taste of the oil, which is nutty and fresh. It is made from organic, virgin, cold pressed & fresh from harvest and unrefined. It is free from gluten, lactose, sugar, soya, milk products, GMO, Hexane, pesticides and herbicides, artificial colours, additives and preservatives. Finally we have a vegan source of vitamin D3 in the form of BetterYou DLux 1000 Vitamin D Oral Spray (15ml). This is a vitamin D spray that is to be sprayed into the inner cheek in order to maximise absorption of the vitamin D from the product.