Becoming a vegan is a life-changing commitment to one’s health and wellbeing. In a typical vegan diet the only food staples present are fruits, vegetables, grains, pulses, mushrooms, seaweeds, nuts and seeds. A complete removal of all animal protein-based products like meat, fish, eggs, butter and dairy is required in order to maintain a vegan diet.
Fruits, vegetables and grains like all plant based foods are excellent sources of a very wide range of vitamins, minerals, enzymes and other nutrients including phytochemicals – unique plant based compounds that have been shown to combat cancer in a petri dish. More of unique substances found in fruits and vegetables are being discovered all the time – no amount of supplementation can contain and deliver these substances. Since each plant appears to produce particular phytochemicals that work against cancer in particular ways, it is suggested that a rich assortment of fruits and vegetables be included in the vegan diet meal plans.
Vegan diet meal plans must include a variety of minerals and nutrients, so a person must rotate the usual foods so that deficiencies will not creep up. However, there are common deficiencies that are always present to a certain degree even in the healthiest of vegans – a lack of Vitamin B12 which is vital for biochemical processes like metabolism of fats and carbohydrates, DNA synthesis and particularly nerve impulses. So for many vegans deficiency in Vitamin B12 may result in chronic inflammatory conditions, agitation, degeneration of peripheral nerves, depression, loss of memory and mood swings to name a few.