With Natalie Portman, Jared Leto, and now Queen Bee (that's Beyoncé to most of us) swearing off of animal products and embracing a plant-based diet, going vegan has never been more chic! But yoga teacher and wellness coach Jennifer Partridge has been at it for eight years strong.
Taking a stand against animal cruelty is reason enough to go vegan, but it's also an awesome dietary choice for its health benefits, including increased energy, strength, immunity, not to mention beautiful hair and skin. The star of our video is proof positive! Here, Jennifer shares her favorite six for maintaining a healthy, balanced vegan diet.
Protein is the number one nutrient would-be vegans and their critics question. But meat isn't the only source—vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds, and beans can also be protein-rich. Kick start the day with a protein shake made of this Sunwarrior Warrior Blend Protein packed with raw organic pea protein, organic hemp seed protein, and organic goji berry.
Calcium is essential for healthy bones and teeth. But you don't need cow's milk to get it. Hemp milk is even richer in calcium, providing 30 to 50 percent of your daily dose. It even has a mild sweetness, sans added sugar.
#3: Omega-3 fatty acids
Omega-3 fatty acids can help clear out inflammation, in turn preventing heart disease, cancer, type 2 diabetes, among other autoimmune diseases. Fish oil and fatty fish like salmon and tuna are the go-to sources, but vegans can get plenty of omega-3s from chia seeds. One tablespoon contains 2400 milligrams—way more than the recommended daily dose. They're a great ingredient to power up pudding, salads, cereal, or smoothies and shakes with essential fatty acids.
Iron is vital for everyone, and vegetarians—especially women—need to take special care to get enough of it. Take a morning shot of liquid iron to boost blood health.
#5 Vitamin B-12
Vitamin B-12 is another nutrient vegans can run dangerously low on, since it comes primarily from animal sources. Be absolutely sure to take a daily B-12 supplement.
#6 Vitamin D
Vitamin D couldn't be more easy—go out and soak up some sun to help your body produce this essential nutrient! But if that's not an option, a great vitamin D supplement can do the trick and prevent fatigue or mental fogginess.
Go ahead: Go vegan! We've got you covered.