Join us and millions of others on the journey to better health and a better planet. Here’s how and why we do it — small changes that make a big difference.Recipes
The term "plant-based" means a plant-first diet, a diet with plants (as in fresh, wholefood ingredients) at the center, but that doesn't mean it has to be 100% of the time. If you're eating plants 80% of the time, that's plant-based, and you'd reap all the health benefits (and the world would reap the environmental ones). The vision is to have the least amount of animal products in your diet; it's up to you.
You eat whole grains, fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, and seeds on a whole-food, plant-based diet while avoiding oils, processed foods, meat, egg, and dairy.
You eat whole grains, fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts and seeds, and oils on a plant-based diet while avoiding meat, egg, and dairy.
A vegan person does not eat or use anything derived from animals. Being vegan is a moral decision that incorporates everything in a person's life.
In his book Fibre Fuelled, Dr Will Bulsiewicz, or 'Dr B', indicates that gut health is the key to boosting our metabolism, balancing our hormones, and taming the inflammation that causes a host of diseases. And the scientifically proven way to fuel our guts is with dietary fiber from an abundant variety of colorful plants.
Ferritin is the iron storage protein, so ferritin indicates how much iron is stored in our bodies. Iron is critical for our bodies because it transports oxygen throughout our body for various uses, from red blood cell formation to metabolic processes to DNA synthesis, and if your ferritin levels are low this indicates you have inadequate iron stores in your body, but not necessarily a full-blown iron deficiency.
To maintain adequate iron stores in the body, the recommended dietary allowance for iron is 18 mg for adult females up through menopause and around 10 mg for adult men and postmenopausal women.
Vegans and other plant-based individuals might need to consume more than the RDA of iron because non-heme (plant-based iron) is not as bioavailable as heme (animal-based iron). Especially if you are active, plant-based people need to eat more iron rich foods to account for this.
Blood work looking at ferritin levels can help you catch an iron deficiency early before your iron levels get low enough to cause significant symptoms.
But even if you do eat iron-rich foods, other factors could lead to low levels of ferritin. Here are a few of the common culprits: Menstrual losses in females can lead to iron losses each month. This averages to around 1 mg of iron/menstrual cycle. Iron losses in sweat during heavy exercise, especially in hot weather. Foot strike hemolysis. Inadequate intake of iron containing foods due to behaviors such as disordered eating, dieting, or high activity levels increasing your iron needs. Eating iron rich foods with foods/beverages that can impair iron absorption such as coffee, tea, red wine, calcium rich foods, and calcium supplements. Health conditions that affect iron abortion, such as Celiac Disease and Crohn’s Disease.
The good news is that there are a number of ways to raise your ferritin levels. Here are my common recommendations: Pair iron rich vegan foods with a vitamin C source to increase your body’s ability to absorb iron from the foods you eat. Some iron rich vegan foods include: lentils, tempeh, raisins, tofu, kale, cashews, pumpkin seeds, quinoa, and many greens. Pair these iron-rich foods with a vitamin C source such as: oranges, bell peppers, broccoli, or berries for optimal absorption. Try to eat iron rich meals at least 1.5 hours away from coffee or tea.The tannins in coffee and tea can inhibit iron absorption from the food you eat, so don’t cancel out your efforts at eating more iron and vitamin C rich foods by making this common mistake.(8) And don’t worry, you don’t need to eliminate coffee or tea consumption, just spread it out more or have your favorite beverages between your meals instead of with them. Avoid eating vegan iron rich foods with calcium-rich foods or calcium supplements when possible, as calcium can decrease iron absorption. I recommend spacing calcium rich foods and vegan iron rich foods a few hours apart. Cook your meals in a cast iron skillet. A cast iron skillet can fortify whatever you are cooking with iron and are long lasting!
If your inadequate iron stores become a full iron deficiency, you may need an iron supplement. Iron supplements are effective at raising iron and ferritin levels for most people, but they have to be monitored closely as it is possible to take too much. Always work with a healthcare provider when starting an iron supplement to figure out the best dose and timing for you.
If you do take an iron supplement, I recommend getting your blood tested every couple of months to monitor your levels. You can likely discontinue the iron supplement when your levels reach the adequate range on a blood test.
Yes, you need to supplement with vitamins B12 and D on a vegan or plant-based diet. Vitamin B12 is not made by plants or animals but by microbes that blanket the earth. In today’s sanitized, modern world, the water supply is commonly chlorinated to kill off any bacteria. So, we don’t get much B12 in the water anymore. Vitamin D, the “sunshine vitamin,” is created when the skin is exposed to sunlight, but more people are deficient in this vitamin because of the modern lifestyle.
Adults need about 0.8 to 0.9 grams of protein per healthy kilogram of body weight per day. Children ages one to thirteen need about .95 to 1.05 grams of protein per healthy kilogram of body weight per day. Teens ages fourteen to eighteen need about 0.85 grams of protein per healthy kilogram of body weight per day. Seniors require about 1.0 to 1.3 grams of protein per healthy kilogram of body weight per day. Depending on training, athletes need about 1.2 to 2.0 grams of protein per healthy kilogram of body weight per day. So, that’s your weight in pounds multiplied by four and then divided by ten. For example, someone with a weight of 100 pounds may require up to 40 grams of protein daily. Remember that people are more likely to suffer from excess protein than deficiency.
Coconut oil is one of the rare plant sources of saturated fat (normally only found in animals), which tends to increase LDL, or bad cholesterol.
But there is. Changing lifestyle actually changes how your genes work-turning on genes that keep you healthy and turning off genes that promotes heart disease, prostate cancer, breast cancer, and diabetes-500 genes in only three months.
The ultimate multivitamin for plant-based eaters by Complement. Optimize your foundational health with the 8 critical vitamins, minerals, and sustainably-sourced omega-3s proven hard-to-get through a plant-based diet alone — all in one easy-to-take capsule.