February 3, 2011
Alright. I have yet another canker sore. I can’t take this anymore! The only thing I can figure, is it must be coming from my new vegan diet. So I Googled ‘do vegans get more canker sores?’, and the answer appears to be – yes. Apparently vegans can sometimes lack certain vitamins or minerals, namely folic acid, Vitamin B12, and zinc. This, of course, is if you aren’t good about eating enough “real” foods – whole grains, legumes, beans, nuts, fruits, and vegetables. It is possible to be a junk-food vegan. This is when you can fall into vitamin deficiencies.
Shortly after I made the switch to a vegan diet, I did learn that vegans need more B12. I guess it is the most common culprit of canker sores for vegans. I bought a B12 supplement at Whole Foods, made by VegLife. But I’ll be honest, I haven’t exactly been very good about taking it. This brings up another issue for me though. I’ve been wondering, if a diet leads to vitamin deficiencies, can it really be a whole, nutritional diet? Is it really a good, balanced diet if it requires you take supplements?
But the reality is, even a conventional meat-and-dairy diet requires we take additional vitamin and mineral supplements. We are all advised to take a one-a-day multivitamin, plus a Vitamin D/calcium/magnesium, plus an Omega-3 fish oil. So really, what’s one more pill? It’s not like the vegan diet requires additional supplements, but a standard diet doesn’t. So when I look at it that way, then I’m fine adding one more pill. Plus I don’t mind the B12 pill, as it’s small, and you just put it under your tongue to dissolve. Not like my other supplements, which are like choking down massive horse pills.
*Update: I have put more of a concerted effort into ensuring I am eating plenty of legumes and leafy green vegetables, and I haven’t gotten any more canker sores. And I’m still not good about taking my B12 pill, so perhaps that was the key. Simply eating more plants.