Tips for a Healthy Vegetarian, Vegan or Flexitarian Diet

9% of the Irish population are now Vegetarians and 3% are Vegans

There is a very strong movement in Ireland towards Vegetarianism with Bord Bia estimating that 9% of the population are now Vegetarians and 3% Vegans. This coincides with a general movement away from the consumption of meat products and dairy products. The National Dairy Council estimates that 42% of women and 30% of men are avoiding or limiting consumption of dairy. There is also a growing trend towards Flexiterianism whereby, many consumers, while not moving totally to Vegetarian, are reducing consumption of animal products.

Being a vegetarian or eating vegan diet definitely has its benefits, such as a lowered risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, and some cancers. But, in many instances, a balanced diet is challenged as it is difficult to obtain certain key nutrients on a vegetarian diet alone. This week we have some top tips from Beeline Healthcare for a healthy vegetarian, vegan or flexitarian diet.

1) Being Vegan or Vegetarian doesn’t always equal healthy or thin: Chips are vegan. So are certain chocolate bars, peanut butters, biscuits and more. If a majority of your diet is processed food and sugar, you aren’t going to be any healthier or thinner. In fact, you could possibly gain weight. Instead, aim to eat a plant-based diet that’s high in fibre, protein, and a variety of whole foods.

2) Make it colourful: It’s important to make sure that you eat a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, since they all contain different nutrients. A simple way to do this is to make sure that you’re eating fruits and vegetables that are all different colours. Think red tomatoes, green kale, purple aubergine.

3) Drink a lot of water: Because vegans and vegetarians consume more plant-based foods, they have a high fibre intake. It’s even more important that you drink enough water to help promote healthy digestion of that fibre.

4) You’re Sweet Enough! Watch your sugar intake when following a vegan or vegetarian diet. If you want to satisfy your sweet tooth, grab a piece of low-sugar impact fruit like berries.

5) Get Fat

It’s important that you get healthy fat in your diet to maintain a healthy hormonal balance. Try avocados, nuts, and oils from red palm fruit, olive, walnut, avocado, and coconut.

6). Work with a dietitian. If you feel like you could be missing nutrients or if you feel at all conflicted, consider talking things out with a registered dietitian.

7) Break Monotony: Make sure you’re not eating the same foods day after day. Doing this can cause you to develop food sensitivities. Instead, keep lots of options on hand.

8) Supplements Are Your Friend

Vegetarians and vegans ALWAYS need to supplement vitamin B12 because it’s generally not found in plant foods it’s found in animal products. Iron deficiency can also be a problem for those on plant based diets. Iron deficiency can lead to tiredness and fatigue and anaemia. Irish company, Beeline Healthcare have just launched a new Multivitamin to supplement a Vegetarian, Vegan or Flexitarian diet with 25 key Nutrients. They are available in easy to swallow Vegetarian Multivitamins tablets from €8.25 or Vegetarian Multivitamin Effervescent Tablets from €7.25 which provides a great tasting sparkling citrus drink. They are now available nationwide through leading Supermarkets and leading Pharmacies such as Boots.

The Vegetarian Society has approved both products for Vegans and Vegetarians.

• Helps maintain vitality and wellbeing

• Contains 25 key nutrients including Vitamin B12, Iron, Folic Acid and Vitamin D

• Contributes to the reduction of tiredness and fatigue

• Contributes to mental performance

• All of the ingredients are suitable for Vegetarians & Vegans. Even the Vitamin D is vegetable sourced – Lichen

In Ireland and the U.K there are twice as many women as men who have progressed to becoming Vegetarians and often vital nutrients are being cut from the diet. Folic Acid and Vitamin D is also deficient in the diet of many people in Ireland and in the case of Vitamin D particularly in the winter months due to lack of sunshine. Beeline Vegetarian Multivitamins is a bespoke formulation for Vegetarians and Vegans containing 25 key nutrients including vitamins B12, D3 and Iron, allowing you to get the most out of life by producing fuel for the mind and body.

Beeline Healthcare is an Irish Company and is the leading manufacturer and distributor of natural health products in Ireland for over 30 years.