What changes occur in the body with the transition to veganism?

Nowadays, veganism has become more popular than ever. Since 2008, the number of vegans in the UK alone has increased by 350%. The motivations for people going vegan are varied, but the most common is animal welfare and the environment.

However, many people view veganism as just a healthy diet. Research shows that a well-planned vegan diet is indeed healthy, and if you’ve been eating meat and dairy for most of your life, going vegan can make a big difference in your body.

First few weeks

The first thing a vegan recruit might notice is the energy boost that comes from cutting out processed meats and eating plenty of fruits, vegetables, and nuts. These foods increase your levels of vitamins, minerals, and fiber, and if you plan your diet ahead of time, rather than relying on processed foods, you can keep your energy levels constant.

After a few weeks of avoiding animal products, your intestines will likely function better, but frequent bloating is also possible. This is because the vegan diet is high in fiber and carbohydrates, which ferment and can cause irritable bowel syndrome.

If your vegan diet includes a fair amount of processed foods and refined carbohydrates, problems with gut function may remain, but if your diet is well planned and balanced, your body will eventually adjust and stabilize.

Three to six months later

After a few months of going vegan, you may find that increasing the amount of fruits and vegetables and cutting back on processed foods helps fight acne.

By this time, however, your body may be depleted of vitamin D, since the main sources of vitamin D are meat, fish, and dairy products. Vitamin D is essential for maintaining healthy bones, teeth, and muscles, and a deficiency can increase the risk of cancer, heart disease, migraines, and depression.

Unfortunately, vitamin D deficiency is not always immediately noticeable. The body only stores vitamin D for about two months, but this also depends on the time of year, as the body can produce vitamin D from sunlight. It’s important to make sure you’re eating enough fortified foods or taking supplements, especially during the winter months.

Within a few months, a well-balanced, low-salt, processed-food vegan diet can have a noticeable positive impact on cardiovascular health and reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.

Nutrients such as iron, zinc and calcium are quite low in a vegan diet, and the body begins to better absorb them from the intestines. Adaptation of the body may be sufficient to prevent deficiency, but also the lack of substances can be filled with nutritional supplements.

Six months to several years

At this stage, the body’s reserves of vitamin B12 can be depleted. Vitamin B12 is a nutrient essential for the healthy functioning of blood and nerve cells and is originally found only in animal products. Symptoms of B12 deficiency include shortness of breath, exhaustion, poor memory, and tingling in the hands and feet.

B12 deficiency is easily prevented by regularly consuming fortified foods or supplements. Avoiding deficiency of this vitamin is very important, as it can negate the benefits of a vegan diet and cause serious health damage.

After a few years of a vegan lifestyle, changes begin to occur even in the bones. Our skeleton is a storehouse of minerals, and we can fortify it with calcium from our diet until the age of 30, but then the bones lose their ability to absorb minerals, so getting enough calcium at a young age is very important.

After the age of 30, our bodies begin to extract calcium from the skeleton for use in the body, and if we do not replenish calcium in the blood by eating foods fortified with it, the deficiency will be filled with calcium from the bones, causing them to become brittle.

Calcium deficiency is observed in many vegans, and, according to statistics, they are 30% more likely to have fractures than meat eaters. It is important to consider that calcium from plant sources is more difficult for the body to absorb, so it is recommended to consume supplements or a large amount of calcium-fortified foods.

Balance is key if you’re going to live a vegan lifestyle and take care of your health. A well-balanced vegan diet will undoubtedly benefit your health. If you are not careful about your diet, you can expect unpleasant consequences that will noticeably darken your life. Luckily, there are many delicious, varied, and healthy vegan products on the market today that will make going vegan a joy.

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