Being a vegan, I’m ultra aware of the importance of nutrition. I take the time to ensure I’m getting all of the vitamins and minerals I need from my daily diet. But while it’s certainly not hard to do so, it can take a little more planning and forethought. For vitamins and minerals like B12, iodine and Vitamin D aren’t readily available in a plant-based diet.
I myself take a vitamin B12 and Vitamin D supplement (low dosage), eat some fortified foods, a small amount of dulce seaweed most days, as well as a very varied diet full of fruit, veg, pulses, nuts and seeds. I’ve also been experimenting with a raw vegan diet, focusing on eating two raw meals a day (breakfast and lunch) and one cooked dinner. So far, I’ve really been enjoying it and I think the more you eat ‘raw’ the more you realise how many amazing flavours there are in the natural, unprocessed world. I’m by no means an expert, but drop me a message ([email protected]) if you want to find out more about a raw vegan diet and how I’m getting on with it.
Blood test for nutrition
The rise in veganism in recent years has been really exciting. Not only environmentally and morally, but also in the opportunities and products that have sprung up because of it. However, with this increase, it’s incredibly important that new vegans (and veteran vegans) are clued up on how to get the best nutrition from their diet. It would be awful to see so many new vegans consuming low-nutritional junk food, thinking it was ‘healthier,’ only then to revert back to a meat-based diet because they believed veganism didn’t work for them.
That’s why I do think getting a nutrition blood test is important. It helps confirm you’re on the right track and pinpoints any holes in your diet so that you can improve. It just puts your mind at ease and is especially useful for new vegans or those who’d like to compare their results before and after turning vegan. After your first blood test, you may wish to continue this once every year to check you’re still on the right path. It’s not essential and it’s just for those who’d like the reassurance.
If you’ve been diagnosed with a condition such as anaemia (iron deficiency), your doctor may recommend testing more regularly. So if in doubt, ask.
What should I test for?
While some people may be able to ask their doctor for a blood test, many people opt for a test that you can purchase online. Companies like HealthLabs offer private lab testing, where you post a sample of your blood to one of their labs and they send you back the results. (FYI HealthLab is only based in the US, but there are a few alternatives companies based in the UK and Europe.)
Healthlabs offers a blood test aimed specifically at vegans called the Vegan Maintenance Panel test which checks for the 11 of the most common deficiencies. These include B-12, calcium, iron, Vitamin D3 and zinc. Read the full list here.
If you’re based in the US, this easy to use service allows you to check your nutrition and ensure you’re on the right path. Once you’ve sent in your blood test, you should receive your results in 1-3 days.
HealthLabs is also offering 25% off all vegan specific blood test by using the code: VEGANADVENTURIST. See tests here.
This post is bought to you by HealthLabs.com