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Be Vegan For A Month    
  • Day 21: Daily Dose: Getting All Your Nutrients
  • Daily Nugget: Dairy consumption decreases iron absorption, according to theAmerican Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

    There is a common misconception that vegans don’t get nearly enough vitamins and minerals. This can be true if you are an unhealthy vegan, but it’s also true for unhealthy carnivores.

    Yesterday we looked at calcium. Today, let’s take a look at some of the other vitamins and minerals that vegans should keep an eye on.

    In addition to calcium, vegans need to make sure they get vitamin B12, omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamin D. Everything else, including iron, is just as easy to get in a balanced vegan diet as it would be in any diet. Luckily, it’s pretty easy to get these from a diverse, healthy diet and fortified foods and supplements.

    Vitamin B12 is usually found in animal products, but it doesn’t have to come from animals since it’s just a byproduct of bacterial fermentation (yum.) I recommend getting this very important vitamin from fortified foods and supplements. All kinds of foods are fortified–just look for it on the labels.

    Omega-3 fatty acids are the main reason why fish is touted as a health food. But as you know from Day 6, fish get their omega-3s from plants. We can also get it from walnuts, chia seeds, flax oil and ground flax seeds. Try sprinkling ground flax seeds on your cereal for a quick fix. This way, we’re safe from the dioxin, PCBs and mercury that are too often found in fish.

    Vitamin D regulates calcium absorption and boosts immunity. Choose plant milks fortified with D and do try to catch some rays for 10-15 minutes every day. In certain areas of the world we literally can’t get enough Vitamin D between September and April. If you live in these areas, take a vitamin D supplement.

    *Note: While green juices aren’t necessary in a vegan diet, they are an excellent source of vitamins and minerals. By juicing, you remove the fiber, making it easier for your body to absorb all the green goodness, especially at the beginning of your vegan transition when your your body is probably working overtime to adjust to all this new fiber you’re consuming.