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8 Supplements Every Vegan Needs (#4 Is Easy Enough)
Living a vegan lifestyle certainly has its share of health benefits, but there are some drawbacks that most vegans would like to overlook. For the sake of your health, you should take an honest look at the facts.
Vegan diets are missing crucial nutrients, such as B12 and several others. You might read on some websites that the vegan diet is the best of all diets or that it is the perfect diet for humans. You might not like it, but the truth is that a vegan diet, while it does have health benefits, is not ideal. You may have been told that vegans can meet all their requirements for B12 simply by consuming some unwashed, organic root vegetables. Or did you hear the one where they say that eating mushrooms grown in super B12-enriched soil will give you everything your body needs? Both of these myths make vegan diets look easy, but they can actually put your health in jeopardy.
Many vegans supplement B12 occasionally, thinking that this is sufficient, and then later found out that they still develop a deficiency. Some websites erroneously tell you to take occasional B12 supplements after being vegan for three years or longer, but they never tell you about specific doses, nor do they mention the problem most people have absorbing sufficient amounts of B12.
We are going to tell you the truth about the supplements that every vegan needs. The hard truth is always better than a dangerous lie. Simply because a vegan diet does not provide a couple of vitamins and minerals does not mean it is a bad diet; it simply means that it needs a little help.
Let’s take a look at the top eight supplements that vegans should be consuming and how much they need to consume. Your health is at risk if you choose to ignore these facts.
Of course, this is one of the biggest problems with the vegan diet. B vitamins work best in combination with one another, so you might want to take a B vitamin complex, but if you only want to focus on B12, that’s fine.
The truth is that you simply cannot get enough B12 by eating unwashed organic produce or by eating foods grown in B12-enriched soil. You need between 25 to 1,000 micrograms each day or a minimum of 3,000 micrograms each week. If you have not been taking B12 supplements, and you have been on a vegan diet for one year or longer, you should start out with 2,000 micrograms each day for three to four weeks to build up your storehouse. Your body does store a small amount of this essential vitamin, but being on a vegan diet has most likely depleted it. You can get a blood test at your doctor’s office to find out your exact deficiency. B12 is essential for a healthy nervous system and for proper brain function.
Low levels will results in complications for pregnancy and can lead to anemia. In some extreme cases, B12 deficiencies have led to what people some people believed was insanity. One problem with B12 supplements is that if you are taking a type called methylcobalamin, the dosage needed will be much higher. Be sure that you are taking a cyanocobalamin supplement. Keep in mind that it is almost impossible to consume too much of this vitamin as it is water soluble, and whatever your body does not use or store will be removed via the colon.