A vegan diet is getting more popular among millennials; between 2014 and 2017 the number of vegans have increased in the US and the UK by 600% and 350% respectively. 'The economist' has also named 2019 “the year of the vegan”.
What are the benefits of vegan diet?
- The 'The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics' in the US and the 'The British Dietetic Association' confirm that a well-planned vegan diet is suitable and beneficial in all life stages including childhood, pregnancy and breastfeeding.
- A vegan diet can reduce the risk of developing chronic diseases (cancer, heart disease, hypertension).
However, if not well-balanced it can lead to major nutritional deficiencies especially in vitamin B12, vitamin D, omega-3 and minerals mainly calcium, iron, and zinc, which could lead to severe health consequences:
- Vitamin B12: A deficiency may be hidden at first and the person can feel healthy. Early symptoms usually appear as fatigue, tingling of toes, poor cognition and digestion and failure to thrive in children. A long-term vitamin B12 deficiency can even lead to permanent health damage such as dementia, blindness, deafness, stroke and poor bone health.
- Vitamin D: Insufficient vitamin D would primarily affect bone health; low levels lead to bone and back pain and bone loss. It is also associated with a strong immune system and psychological health, so with this deficiency, people are more prone to get sick or infected, catch the flu, feel tired or become depressed.
- Omega-3: Low levels cause dry skin, poor hair quality, and brittle nails. It can also lead to insomnia, fatigue, poor concentration and joint pain. Severe omega-3 deficiencies can negatively affect the mental state (mood swings, depression, irritability).
- Calcium: Deficiencies affect primarily bone health causing bone fractures, osteoporosis in women and rickets in children. Low blood Calcium levels (hypocalcemia) can also lead to numbness of fingers, muscle cramps, lethargy, poor appetite and poor health rhythms. If not treated, hypocalcemia could be very serious and lead to death.
- Zinc: Common symptoms of zinc deficiencies are appetite loss, slower than expected growth and poor appetite. Low zinc blood levels can also cause low sexual maturity, weight loss and lethargy.
- Iron: Low intake can lead to iron deficiency anemia, a common health condition worldwide. It appears as unusual fatigue and weakness, headaches, pale skin, dizziness, strange food cravings, irregular heartbeat, tongue swelling, cold hands and feet.
Concentrated in animal food sources, it’s almost impossible to meet their daily requirements from a normal vegan diet. Nutritionists recommend food supplements and fortified foods to compensate for this shortage.
Food supplements appear to be the ultimate solution, but there are some disadvantages:
- Swallowing a supplement daily is not a pleasant experience. It can cause many people to gag, choke, and even vomit.
- Food supplements can make you feel sick. They might cause nausea, intervene with other medications, and mega doses can lead to health side effects.
- Food supplements can be misleading and some brands in the market are still unregulated.
- Often they are synthetic. Most of the supplements in the market, especially the affordable ones are artificially made through a chemical process. Whether their absorption and usage in the body is like the natural sources is still unclear. And after all a “natural” label doesn’t guarantee a natural supplement; it still can be processed and refined in a laboratory setting.
- Vegan food supplements can be expensive. The more claims you see on the container, the more you should expect to pay.
That's why made naanu cookies for you. A real “homemade” food tailored to meet the major nutrition deficiencies in a vegan diet. Made from natural sources with “no synthetics, no chemicals”, naanu cookies are organic and gluten-free, suitable for kids, pregnant and breastfeeding women. They are not a medication, but a more natural, enjoyable supplement alternative. With average of 120 Kcal per piece, it’s a perfect breakfast or a to-go snack/ treat. Being mindful to the environment, we use no palm oil and only biodegradable packaging.
They provide you with 100% of your daily needs in vitamin D, B12 and omega-3 as well as high in zinc, iron and calcium and fibre. One piece a day provides you with all the nutrients you need. Check out our flavours here.
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Have a healthy happy time.