Embarking on Veganuary? Ensure you get what your body needs

by Rachel Darcy

If you’re cutting out meat and other animal products this January as part of Veganuary, it’s important to remember to give your body what it needs through the relevant replacements.

Protein, Vitamin B12, Omega 3, Omega 6, Calcium and Iron are all vital things our body needs that can be associated with animal products, however, all these can be easily be found in a vegan diet if you know where to look!

Ideal for building strength and repairing cells, protein can be found in beans, green vegetables, peas, tofu and nuts, meaning you can find this dietary essential in a host of vegan recipes and snacks.

Vitamin B12 can be obtained through supplements to keep your immune system healthy, but is also present in nutritional yeast (a key ingredient amongst vegans missing cheese) and in vegemite, if its to your taste!

A crucial polyunsaturated fat, Omega 3 can be introduced into a plant based diet through chia seeds, walnuts and ground flax seeds. Another Omega and vital polyunsaturated fat, Omega 6, can be found in many nuts and seeds, as well as sunflower oil.

Whilst calcium has been traditionally aligned with dairy products, there are a host of other sources that we can source it from. These include kale and broccoli, and also fortified plant-based milks containing this vital nutrient.

Lastly, Iron contains vital proteins for general health and strength. It can be found in a wide variety of plant based diet essentials, including sweet potatoes, dark chocolate and dark green vegetables such as kale, but also through supplements if necessary.

If you are taking on the Veganuary challenge this year, be sure to visit the official Veganuary website – veganuary.com -for a list of recipes and food guides.

You can also search through Instagram to find numerous Irish influencers sharing their favourite vegan snacks and recipes for the month ahead, including veganlife.ie, thevegalz, veghuns and vegandvegandublin.

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