A vegan lifestyle may leave you deficient in many essential nutrients.

Vegans can enjoy a healthy diet but need to know the sources of the nutrients they need daily. I
talked with a new business acquaintance, and he mentioned that he had been meatless for six years. I asked him a couple of questions, and that started my thought pattern for today’s article.

Meatless Lifestyle Risk – Vitamin B12

https://www.eatingwell.com/article/289392/how-vegans-can-get-the-nutrients-they-need/ Vitamin B12 deficiency mimics Alzheimer’s disease. It is easy for a vegan to become deficient in vitamin B12 because the usual sources are meat, fish, and poultry. My friend was taking a B12 supplement. He knew he could become vitamin B12 deficient with his choice of foods. He also chose not to eat eggs and dairy products.

I asked him to read the primary ingredient for his vitamin B12 supplement. He told me it was cyanocobalamin. The problem with this variant of cobalamin (B12) is that it cannot survive passage through stomach acid.

Methylcobalamin is a better choice. This vitamin B12 pill is taken under the tongue and absorbed into the bloodstream. If your vitamin B12 supplement is one that is swallowed, vegan or not, reconsider buying the right one. The risk of vitamin B12 deficiency is greater for vegans not taking methylcobalamin.

Meatless Lifestyle Risk – Iron

https://www.nomeatathlete.com/iron-for-vegetarians/ Plant-based iron contains nonheme iron. This type of iron is not easily absorbed compared to heme iron found in meats. Nonheme iron’s absorbability requires vegans to consume nonheme iron to make up for the small amounts processed in the body.

Combining vitamin C with eating nonheme foods, such as dark leafy vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and more, can increase iron absorption by up to five times. Consider adding citrus, berries, or tomatoes with your meals.

Meatless Lifestyle Risk – Vitamin K

https://plantbasednews.org/lifestyle/get-enough-vitamin-k-vegan-diet/ Leafy green vegetables contain vitamin K1. However, the conversion of vitamin K1 into vitamin K2 is difficult for the body. Sources of vitamin K2 are animal organ meats, eggs, and dairy. A dedicated vegan may have difficulty obtaining the minimum daily requirements for vitamin K2.

I am not a vegan. I take a daily supplement of vitamin K2 that contains two primary menaquinones, MK4 and MK7. Both are critical for heart and bone health.

Vitamin E

https://www.veganfoodandliving.com/vegan-diet/vegan-nutrition/vitamin-e-how-much-do-we-need-and-what-are-the-best-sources-for-vegans/ Vitamin E is another nutrient that many of us take as a supplement. Supplemental vitamin E is usually a synthetic vitamin E and does not provide the health benefits needed daily.

Vitamin E is the name for eight different chemicals – four tocopherols and four tocotrienols. No single food contains all eight of these molecules. I buy my vitamin E when the label states’ mixed tocopherols and mixed tocotrienols.’ I look at the ingredients to ensure that all eight are present.


Many of us rely on supplements to catch up on the nutrients not included in our foods. I am not picking on vegans for their lifestyle choice. I am saying that as a vegan, you need to know more than your average bear.

You must be constantly vigilant to ensure that your daily food choices also provide calcium, omega-3 fatty acids, zinc, the essential amino acids. Plants can provide the essential amino acids. Ensure that your food choices contain all of them.

Live Longer & Enjoy Life! – Red O’Laughlin – RedOLaughlin.com


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