3 Signs You May Be Doing Wrong in Your Vegan Journey
Veganism has become increasingly popular as many hop on this growing trend to healthy living.
According to the statistics from Google Trends, Google searches for the word “veganism” have increased to a whopping 580 percent over the past few years.
However, along with veganism’s blooming trend, we also see a surge of celebrities and social media influencers who decided to “drop the vegan card” and quit veganism after months or years of adopting it. On the extreme level, some even became anti-veganism, claiming that vegan diets have “sabotaged their physical and mental health”.
Well, is going vegan really doing more harm than good to us?
The answer is, if you are not doing it the right way, you may receive signals from your body and mind that they are not doing so well after making the switch in your diet. After all, it is easy to fall into the fallacy that we would automatically have healthier and happier lives by simply cutting out animal product consumption. The truth is, for a vegan diet to bring incredible health benefits, careful planning of our nutrient intake is very crucial.
However, fret not my friend. In this article we will show you the three signs that you may be doing wrong in your vegan journey and ways you can do to fix that!
Sign 1: Your hair starts to fall out more
Although there could be many underlying factors to hair loss, it may also be a sign that you are not taking in enough iron.
Iron helps our body to produce hemoglobin in our blood, which is responsible for carrying oxygen that grows and repairs our body cells, including our hair follicle cells.
An inadequate vegan diet can lead to iron deficiency. This is because the iron found in meat and fish (aka. Heme iron) is comparatively much easier and more readily available for our body to absorb than the iron found in plant-based sources (aka. Non-heme iron).
What should you do about it?
- Increase iron intake. Consider consuming more leafy greens, seeds, beans, soy products and lentils as they are rich in iron.
- Improve your body’s iron absorption ability. Consider taking iron-rich food along with food high in vitamin C. Some suggestions would be: Orange, lemon, limes, broccoli, blackcurrant, potatoes and brussels sprouts.
Sign 2: You gained a few more pounds
Let’s be honest, sometimes we just can’t find the energy to plan and cook nutritious vegan meals.
Naturally, when that happens once in a while (or little more than that), we opt for alternatives that are easier to make, such as: vegan hotdog, fries, mac and cheese, and cereals.
Yes, they are vegan and cruelty-free, but they are also highly refined/processed food that would result in weight gain when consumed in excess.
What should you do about it?
- Consider switching to whole foods instead of packaged food that have many hidden unhealthy additives. Frozen fries may be convenient to make, but stir-fried potatoes with greens and nuts would give you better nutrients and taste with lower calories.
- Practice portion control. Vegan food is healthier, but eating larger portions of any food would result in weight gain.
- Are you eating enough? Do you feel satiated after each meal? If you constantly find yourself opening the fridge door, trying to find something to munch on after each meal, you might not be eating enough for your body to burn fat. With a slow metabolic rate, it is easier to gain weight too! You can also consider incorporating high fiber foods into your meal, such as wholegrains, vegetables and fruits. They are low in calories, but can help you feel full longer as it takes longer time to digest.
Note: Your weight gain could also be hormonal due to food intolerance to soy products, gluten, seeds, and nuts. In this case, you should consult doctors and do a food allergy test to rule out such possibilities and make adjustments to your diet accordingly.
Sign 3: You feel more moody, tired and irritable
Our body needs vitamin B12 to create red blood cells that carry oxygen to our body. Vitamin B12 also plays an important role in regulating chemicals in our body that controls our mood.
When in deficiency, it could damage our nerves and memory, leave us feeling tired, forgetful and irritable.
Vitamin B12 can be derived from meat and dairy products like cheese, milk and eggs, but it’s less available in vegan alternatives.
What should you do about it?
- Eat more of these! Tempeh, mushrooms, seaweed, algae, nutritional yeast, fortified plant milk, bread and cereals. If you are not a fan of cooking, find creative ways to slip them into your daily meals: Sprinkle some seasoned seaweed into your bread in the morning, or mix a spoonful of nutritional yeast into your favourite drink!
If you are new to nutritional yeast and want to explore more about its benefits and usage, feel free to click on this link for more information: https://www.self.com/gallery/nutritional-yeast-recipes
- Take vitamin B12 supplements. Fast and easy. Though, don’t forget to consult your doctors on the daily dosage you should take!
Alrighty fellow friends, by now we should know that a vegan diet is only beneficial when it is well-planned! (psst, if you’re completely new to this diet or considering to try it out, here are 6 tips that you should know beforehand!)
We understand that at times you may feel stressed to plan out perfectly nutritious meals. Therefore, you could always count on us to make sure you get all the nutrients and flavour you want! *wink wink*
All our meals are vegan-friendly and dietitian-curated to ensure that they are wholesome and healthy.
Click on our menu to check out more than 50 + types of meals available for your choosing and order away!
Written by: Yong Chy