How does going on a plant-based diet affect fatigue levels?

Doctor's Answers (1)

Fatigue can be described as having difficulty in initiating or maintaining activity. It is also associated with difficulty in concentration, memory and emotional stability. It is a common problem which negatively impacts work, performance, family and  even social relationships.

There are many causes for fatigue including underlying chronic medical conditions such as thyroid disease, psychological conditions as well as nutritional deficiencies.

Common nutritional deficiencies that can lead to fatigue are a lack of:

  1. Iron
  2. Vitamin B12
  3. folic acid
  4. and Vitamin D

While going on a plant-based diet has many health benefits, including weight loss and lowering blood sugar due to the lowering of carbohydrate intake, it is important to ensure that you are obtaining all the necessary vitamins and minerals your body requires.

Plant-based diets vary vastly from person to person depending on the amount of meat and eggs they eat. There are certain vitamins and minerals that are predominantly found in meats and eggs and such as:

  1. B12
  2. vitamin D
  3. iron
  4. calcium
  5. zinc

... and many vegans and vegetarians are found to lack these.

You've probably realised by now that these are the same nutritional deficiencies that can lead to fatigue. However, you may still well feel a boost of energy and feel less fatigued overall as you're probably eating healthier on this diet and experiencing weight loss as well as other added benefits.

The important thing to take note here is to make sure you are incorporating all these nutrients into your diet plan. There are plenty of online resources to provide examples of meat-free sources of such vitamins and minerals or you could consult your physician to discuss this in further detail if you think you might be experiencing nutritional deficiencies.

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