Just by eating lots of whole-plant foods, you’ll get virtually everything you need in terms of nutrition, but you can use the website and app cron-o-meter to check that you’re getting enough. Vitamin D should ideally be sourced from the sun, but if that’s not possible, eat some fortified foods like dairy-free milks or take a supplement. Vitamin B12 is fortified into a lot of Vegan-friendly products like cereals, marmite, milks, bars and yeast flakes. For optimal B12 levels, taking a weekly b12 supplement providing at least 2500 mg is a good idea. Dr Michael Greger’s Daily Dozen checklist from his book How Not To Die provides guidance on how to optimise your food intake. Make use of his website, books, app and videos.
Getting enough protein, iron and calcium is usually something Vegans don’t need to worry about, but new Vegans need to make sure they don’t under eat. Whole plant foods are much lower in calories than processed animal food, so it can be easy to misjudge portion sizes whilst changing your diet. Unlike animal flesh and secretions, plants contain fibre, which fill us up more. Undereating leads to low moods and energy and can eventually result in nutrient deficiencies. The way to overcome this is by focusing on eating the denser plant foods like rice, beans, potatoes, dried fruit like dates and raisins, oat and bananas. High fat foods like seeds, nuts, nut butters and avocados are also helpful. Whilst adjusting to eating slightly more than before, eating processed foods can be helpful to make sure enough calories are obtained.