Being on a vegan diet can have a lot of effects on your physical and mental health. This is because you have cut out some foods from your diet that your body needs. A plant-based diet will include fruits, legumes, nuts, and whole grains.
Most people take care of this, by adding vegan supplements into their diet. Supplements such as multivitamins help provide essential minerals and nutrients that your body needs like iron, turmeric, and other vitamins. Even though there are good reasons to go on a vegan diet, it could put you at risk for a mental health condition.
Benefits of a Vegan Diet
There are many mental health benefits for being on a vegan diet. Leafy greens like kale contain many vitamins and minerals that are high in folic acid and iron. It has been found that getting enough greens can protect against depression and dementia. Foods like sesame seeds, broccoli and seaweed are some of the best sources of calcium. Calcium is a very important nutrient that helps lower blood pressure, calm nerves and helps with a healthy sleep cycle which is very essential for your mental health.
Carbohydrates are essential for both your physical and mental health. The good thing is that all plants contain carbohydrates in good quantities. The good carbs help to regulate your sleep and eating a variety of plant-based foods helps to give you a balanced mood throughout the day. With the variety of foods to choose from within a plant-based diet you will never get bored with one dish.
Negative Effects of being on a Vegan Diet
Being on a vegan diet can lead to a lack of some key nutrients that may only be found in animals. Although there are benefits of cutting out meat from your diet, it still contains nutrients that can’t be found in plants. This can lead to nutritional deficiencies that could lead to mental health disorders.
Vitamin B12 is a nutrient responsible for regulating chemicals such as serotonin that are important for mood control. Lack of this nutrient can lead to anxiety, depression and mood disorders. Low levels of this nutrient can cause confusion and forgetfulness.
Omega-3 fatty acids are commonly found in fish oil. These fatty acids are important for many body processes and also normal brain function. They help in maintaining the health of cell membranes and facilitating communication between cells. The lack of omega-3 fatty acids can lead to poor memory and learning deficiencies.
Amino acids that make up proteins are important for not only mental health but the proper functioning of the brain. Low levels of protein can cause aggressiveness and low moods. Although proteins are best found in animal products, vegans can go for alternatives such as beans, grains, and peas.
For the nutrients that are majorly found in animal products, vegans can opt to add supplements and multivitamin tablets to their diet. This ensures even though they aren’t eating animal products, they will still be able to get the beneficial minerals and nutrients for good mental health.