With COP26 underway this week, world leaders try to find an understanding on environmental issues. Plant-based products have become increasingly popular from an environmental perspective. Meat requires more resources to produce and leads to more greenhouse gas emissions and deforestations in comparison, producing fruits, vegetables and other minimally processed plant foods. Governments now realise the impact of global warming and by going GREEN, countries can do their bit to reduce C02 emissions.
A vegan diet is seen as being green, as manufacturers use fewer resources with less of an impact on the environment. But what impact does a plant-based diet have on your own health?
Did you know plant based diets lack a vital macronutrient B12?
B12 is essential for the synthesis of DNA, a diet lacking in B12 can damage the nervous system and cause cognitive issues like confusion, poor memory and in severe cases dementia. The body cannot produce B12 so it’s essential to obtain this macronutrient from other sources. Meat, poultry and dairy have good quantities, as B12 is naturally produced in animals. While there is a time lag for B12 deficiency symptoms to appear, they may not be reversible.
If you’re not able to eat eggs or drink milk (some vegetarians do!) you will certainly need to supplement. Some plant-based foods are fortified with B12, but there is no scientific evidence that fortification on its own meets daily needs. Research shows that B12 deficiency is higher for plant-based eaters who don’t take supplements.
Deficiencies in Vitamin D, Iron, Zink and Omega-3 are also common in Vegan and vegetarian diets, so planning your meals is vital to avoid health complications.
#nutrition #plantbaseddiet #vegetarian #mealplanning #environmental #b12 #supplements #fitness #health #vitality