A vegetarian or vegan lifestyle is one of the healthiest dietary choices a person can make. Not only do you avoid the hormones, excess fat, and other dietary issues related to meat-based diets, but you are most likely eating large amounts of fruits and vegetables as well. Most people don’t eat enough produce as it is, and they are missing vital nutrients because of the common meat and bread based diet. You are ahead of the curve where this is concerned, and your body is reaping the benefits of all the nutrients in fruits and vegetables.
The only nutrient that can sometimes be lacking in vegetarian or vegan diets is vitamin B 12. This vitamin is naturally found in meat and seafood products, so it is easy to see why you might not be getting adequate amounts. However, this is usually not a huge problem since B 12 can be found in fortified cereals, as well as soy milk and other products marketed to vegetarians. Of course, you can also just take the vitamin in supplement form and avoid developing a deficiency that way. The main thing you need to do is be aware of the importance of B 12 and make sure you are getting enough of it from some source. Most vegetarians and vegans have no trouble with B 12 deficiencies because they take steps to avoid it developing in the first place.
Just in case, it helps to be aware of B12 deficiency symptoms so that you will know if you do develop a deficiency. These can vary from person to person, but may include stomach troubles, weakness and fatigue, neurological changes such as depression or confusion, skin changes like paleness or white spots on the skin, and a tingling sensation in the hands or feet. Again, if you take a supplement or eat fortified products, you are extremely unlikely to develop this deficiency, but it is something to be aware of if you don’t eat meat products. The benefits of a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle greatly outweigh this one issue, so just make sure to supplement with B 12 and you will reap the benefits of your healthy lifestyle for years to come.