The plant-based lifestyle and supplements
When transitioning to a plant-based diet or maintaining a whole food plant-based lifestyle, one of the first questions you may have is ‘what supplements do I need to add?’.
Quite simply, every nutrient your body needs to survive and thrive on can be found in plants. To live your best life, all the evidence and research is now pointing towards eating a wholefood plant-based diet.
In short, there is only one nutrient that we recommend supplementing with due to the nature of its origin and that’s Vitamin B12.
Whether you are a vegan, a whole food plant-based veteran, a health conscious individual or a meat eater, Australians, in general, have shown low levels of Vitamin B12. This can be linked to over processing of foods and most importantly current modern farming practises, whereby chemicals are used, depleting the health and integrity of our soil.
Making informed choices about your health and having confidence is paramount. You only have one body and we firmly believe that it is your right to fuel your body with the highest quality nutrients that it needs, free from toxins, chemicals and processing. This blog aims to empower you from a current evidence-based approach when it comes to food and supplementing, in a way that is simple to integrate into your daily life.
At Garden of Vegan, we strongly believe that obtaining nutrients from plants as mother nature intended, is the simplest and safest way for your body to thrive. Eating whole foods means that all your required nutrients are not only coming direct from the source, but they are less processed, less toxic and safer for your body.
It really is that simple. We have over complicated the ‘science’, have invested into marketing gimmicks and trends around diets and supplements, to learn we just needed to keep it simple.
Plants are the way of the future.
So, what are supplements?
Dietary supplements are manufactured and processed substances that are used to add nutrient value to your daily diet. Supplements come in many forms. They can be ingested via pill form, capsules, powders, gels, liquids etc. Most supplements provide additional nutrient value via extraction from whole foods or synthetic sources. You may be encouraged by some health professionals to take supplements outside of medical reasons, due to the lack of nutrients you are receiving in your current diet or to boost your absorption of some. Our ability to absorb nutrients in the form of vitamins, minerals, fatty acids and some amino acids, is dictated by numerous lifestyle factors that will differ between individuals. Some of these factors may include your age, sex, genetic predisposition and lifestyle factors such as quality of sleep, physical activity levels, stress, alcohol, sugar and caffeine intake etc. All of these factors will contribute to your overall health and well-being, in particular how the body processes food, utilises that food, stores it or removes it from the body.
Nutrients, supplements and the human body
Think of us like a high performing race car. That race car needs good quality oil and petrol to run. This oil needs changing regularly, and the car is refuelled with high octane performance petrol that cleans and optimises the engine. The car needs regular pit stops with the help of a crew checking tire pressure, wear and tear, changing tires, checking oil and water levels etc. The computers within the car that link to the engine need regular servicing and upgrading and any dirt or grime collected along the drive is cleaned off and removed to keep it looking shiny and new.
Just like that race car we need quality fuel in the form of nutrients and regular servicing too. Would you put overly processed low performing fuel in the race car? Yes, it may still run and drive from A to B, but will it perform at its most optimum and win that race?
Did you know that every nutrient that your body needs to thrive each day and live your best life, can come directly from plants and whole foods? This is the premium fuel source for your race car, being your body.
The only nutrient that can not be naturally obtained from a whole food plant-based diet in the recommended amounts is Vitamin B12.
With the exception of individuals who require supplements due to specific medical conditions or situations, we believe that your body does not need any added supplements except for the addition of B12. It is strongly recommended that anyone adopting a whole food plant-based lifestyle to incorporate fortified B12 daily. We do encourage you to consult your medical practitioner to check your levels regularly and have your body serviced, just like the race car to ensure optimal performance and health.
To learn more about B12 and how you can get your daily dosage from whole foods, that also taste delicious, Click Here
Why natures food is better than manufactured and processed supplements
We will use the example of an orange. When you eat an orange, your body needs the information from that whole food to adequately absorb the nutrients that are in it. For example, vitamin C. Vitamin C is sourced naturally in the form of a whole food, from eating the orange. Food is essential information for the body. In short, when vitamin C comes in a table, it’s then a single nutrient on its own, without all the information that goes with it.
Different people absorb vitamin C differently. The reason why we have to eat a wide variety of foods is because each individual is different and may absorb nutrients more efficiently from different foods. This is why a tablet, manufactured or and processed supplement is in no way reliable for all our nutrients. It is missing the information required from the complete food, as intended from nature.
Rather than overcomplicating your diet and spending lots of money on a cabinet full of supplements and additives, just eat more real food.
Mother nature has your back. Try incorporating more plant-based whole foods into your day and see the results for yourself.