The number of people who give up meat or all animal foods for a variety of reasons is steadily increasing. This change in thinking is particularly noticeable in Germany. Around 8 million people in this country do not eat meat and more than one million Germans abstain from any animal products as vegans.
Statistics from the IfD Allensbach show clear figures with an upward trend: last year we had 1.3 million more vegetarians than in 2016 and this corresponds to an increase of around 23 percent. Among vegans, we observe a strong increase with about 300. 000 people. That means an increase of more than 40 percent.
Vegetarian and vegan diets are healthier
Vegetarians and vegans usually justify these diets with ethical or ideological reasons. However, many people also have to eat for health reasons. So the reasons are quite understandable and we know that this group of people have fewer diseases. Especially obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer and heart attacks are less common among people who eat a plant-based diet.
On the other hand, such a decision requires a very careful diet, which can make life difficult. Especially vegans do not find it easy to prepare every meal without additives in the age of mass production. Another difficulty is the danger of deficiency symptoms due to undersupply of vitamins, trace elements that are only present in animal foods.
Critical nutrients for vegetarians and vegans
We know that not only vegetarians and vegans, but also children, pregnant women, breastfeeding mothers and senior citizens can easily suffer from the consequences of missing vitamins like B2, B12 and D. Calcium, zinc, iron and iodine are also among the critical nutrients for vegetarians and vegans.
Above all, a lack of Vitamin B12 is widespread in Germany. One in ten people in this country has too little in their blood Vitamin B12 and in seniors, this deficiency symptom occurs much more frequently. Anaemia, fatigue and nervous disorders are most of the consequences of a deficiency of Vitamin B12.
Vegan food supplementation as an optimal solution against deficiency symptoms
To avoid these deficiency symptoms, vegans and vegetarians in particular should have their B12 status regularly determined by a laboratory test. In the case of a deficiency symptom, a natural food supplement in the right dose can be considered.
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