I recently had the Well Woman blood tests done by Medichecks. There’s nothing wrong with me but now that I’m 44 I thought it would be good to start monitoring things like cholesterol since there’s a family history of it. I also like to check my HbA1c regularly for diabetes. Since I don’t have any symptoms the NHS won’t do this so I have to pay for it myself but it’s pretty good value and for £39 you can have a nurse come to your house to extract the blood.
I have the results and it turns out I’m very healthy. The test covered vitamins and minerals, all of which are fine for me. My folate levels are right at the top of the normal range but this is probably because it’s included in the daily supplement I take. Folate is something meat-eaters are sometimes deficient in and the consequences of this are birth defects, hence the recommendation for women to take a supplement. My B12, magnesium, vitamin D are also all good.
The inflammation check which measures the amount of C-reactive protein in your blood is very low for me which is fantastic. Lower is better. Anti-inflammatories come from plants and I eat nothing else. My cholesterol is also good at 4.28 mmol/L (or 165.5 mg/dL). Cholesterol is only found in animal products. There’s no cholesterol in plants.
I’m sharing this publicly because people have often told me over the years that I’m missing out on essential nutrients and can’t be healthy as a vegan. That’s just obviously not true. I can’t remember exactly when I went vegan now but it was about 2001 which is nearly 20 years ago.
I take a daily supplement called Veg 1 which is made by the Vegan Society. I haven’t always taken this but I recently switched to an Oat Milk that doesn’t contain B12 and started taking the supplement then. B12 is the main vitamin vegans need to either take a supplement for or eat fortified foods. Thankfully, many foods are fortified with B12 now. Taking a supplement should not deter someone from becoming vegan. Meat-eaters need to take supplements too, like folic acid for example, and B12 is given as a supplement to livestock so by taking it yourself you’re just bypassing the middleman, the animal.
I also take an algae-derived Omega 3 tablet rich in EPA and DHA. People sometimes tell me I’m missing out on essential omega 3s by being vegan because some omega 3s only come from fish. This is also not true. Fish do not make omega 3, they get it from marine algae. So again, I’m just cutting out the middleman and in the process avoiding the mercury and other toxins that can be found in fish. It’s also much better for the environment and when I see the fishing industry litter that is strangling seals and drowning turtles I feel better knowing I’m not supporting that and we have no need to.
Don’t believe it when someone tells you that you must eat meat to be healthy. It’s completely untrue.