Plant-based lifestyle, or veganism, is becoming one of Britain’s fastest growing trends.
There are now more than half a million vegans in Britain, according to research commissioned by The Vegan Society in partnership with Vegan Life magazine. The 2016 study, carried out by researchers Ipsos MORI, found 542,000 people in Britain are now following a vegan diet. Ten years before the estimated number of vegans was just 150,000.
Concerns over animal welfare, clear labelling, increased accessibility to plant-based alternatives to dairy food and social media have all helped shift attitudes towards veganism.
What is a vegan?
Vegetarians do not eat meat, fish, or poultry. Vegans, in addition to being vegetarian, do not use or consume other animal products and by-products such as eggs, dairy products, honey, leather, fur, silk, wool, cosmetics, and soaps derived from animal products.
But a vegan restricted diet can cause nutritional deficiencies in Calcium, Iron, vitamin B12, vitamin D and Zinc. If a rich and varied diet of colourful foods is consumed every day, deficiencies can be avoided with the addition of a simple multivitamin and mineral supplement.
Smoking, drinking, dieting, pregnancy, those taking medication including the contraceptive pill, older vegans and those undertaking more than the usual amount of exercise may need to consider further supplementation to avoid deficiencies and boost vitality.
Look on the label to check that a vitamin, mineral or herbal product is vegan. Some capsules are made from gelatine, some tablets are coated with a gelatine spray or with beeswax or shellac to make them look shiny. The details are important—for instance some Vitamin D3 supplements are from sheep, while others are from vegan lichen.
Remember the key to a healthy vegan diet is variety. Choose from a wide range of vegetables, fruits, pulses, grains, plenty of leafy greens, nuts and seeds. Providing you ensure a daily intake of a variety of nutrient sources, your general health should not suffer from being vegan.
New vegan barista
Delicious vegan lattes, espressos, cappuccinos and more are now available at Sheaf Street Health Store. Daventry’s only independent health food store stocks an array of vegan food including non-diary cheese, yogurt, chocolate and non-animal-derived skincare and beauty. And now you can pop in for satisfying dairy-free hot brew! Take-out or sit down.
For more information, advice and support, visit Sheaf Street Health Store, in Daventry, or the Facebook page.