Flannerys Organic & Wholefood Market Bondi naturopath Vladia Cobrdova says she’s seen a dramatic increase in people following a vegan diet but warns that it’s important to watch nutrition intake when giving up animal products.
Here are her tips on how to stay healthy while following the plant-based diet and recommendations for some of the unusual vegan products now available, such as jackfruit, which looks like pulled pork and is used in stir-fries, or vegan egg.
Tips on How to Stay Healthy Following a Plant-Based Diet
Australia has the third fastest growing vegan population globally, with the number of vegans worldwide increasing 160 per cent over the past decade.
Vladia Cobrdova, nutritionist at Flannerys Organic & Wholefood Market Bondi Junction, says following a vegan diet is great for your health, with one of the benefits reducing inflammation in the body.
Cutting out meat and dairy products also reduces the impact on the environment – there is less water consumed and fewer greenhouse gases emitted, 24 percent of which comes from the cultivation of crops and livestock.
Vladia shares some advice on staying healthy while following the plant-based diet:
- Do your research and figure out how to do this properly: Doing ‘vegan’ properly means reading labels carefully to check for animal derived ingredients etc. Also, just because a chocolate bar is ‘vegan’ doesn’t necessarily mean it’s full of healthy nutrients.
- Iron: Vegans have to watch their protein content B12 and iron levels. Iron in vegetables isn’t absorbed as quickly as the iron in meat, so you may need to consume a lot more of it. Iron reserves can be topped up by eating green, leafy cruciferous veggies such as cauliflower, cabbage, garden cress, bok choy, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts. We also offer plenty of iron and energy supplements, such as medicinal mushrooms and liquid iron supplements to help give you a little boost if needed. See your health care professional if you’re worried about your iron levels
- Protein: Extracted pea and rice protein powders are less aggravating to the digestive systems than traditional way. They’re unflavoured so add them to smoothies, soups and lots of different types of foods.
- Saturated fats: These need to be eaten regularly as the brain needs fat to grow and replenish. Avocados, hemp seeds, chia seeds, and flaxseed oil are all bursting with omega-3s and 6s and 9s.
- Meat and animal substitutes: Read the labels, as some are loaded with allergens and gluten. Some fabulous meat alternatives are Tofurkey, jackfruit – which looks like pulled pork, but it’s actually a fruit from southwest India and can be used in stir-fries and vegan eggs which can be made from potato and tapioca starch.
- Grow food in your backyard, apartment or a window box: It’s practical and can save money.
Flannerys Organic & Wholefood Market offers a huge range of products including certified organic and seasonal fruit and vegetables, free naturopath advice and practitioner only products, great skincare options that are vegan, cruelty-free and non-toxic, gluten-free bread, pastries, and snack foods.