8th Day News

Being Vegan, Being Healthy.

Being Vegan, Being Healthy.

If you’ve recently taken part in Veganuary and decided to carry on or simply want to include more vegan meals within your diet, you might be wondering if you are covering all your nutritional needs. It’s certainly one of the main concerns we hear when we meet customers who are looking to change their diet to a more plant based one. For those on or thinking of following a vegan diet, eating a wide range of the right foods will ensure you are meeting the majority of your bodies needs and not likely to become deficient of vital nutrients, that said there are a few supplements you may wish to investigate such as B12 and Vitamin D, as well as Iron for some women.

Having fewer options to cook will definitely call on your creative flair within the kitchen but having a little knowledge about the nutrients in your food and how a healthy diet can help to determine future health will help to spur you on to try or concoct new and exciting recipes.

So here are some tips to help you hit your nutritional targets.

Eat a rainbow.


Simply put, there  are a wealth of vitamins and minerals in fruits, veggies, mushrooms and roots, so look to add plenty of different colours to your plate, the more varied your diet the more likely you are to cover your daily requirements of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.

When you consider that Kale contains approximately 100% of your daily recommendation for Vitamin A and Vitamin C per 50g and Broccoli has 74% of your daily requirement of Vitamin C per 50g. Carrots for example, are high in Vitamin A, Beta Carotene and Lutein (an antioxidant that has been researched extensively with regard to eye health and macular degeneration). Mushrooms have fairly recently been discovered to have a source of Vitamin D, however you may wish to supplement your diet with additional Vitamin D to ensure you are getting enough particularly in the winter months. The humble Turmeric root which is classed as a functional food, contains Curcumin a potent anti-inflammatory which is well researched with regard to inflammation, add to juices or smoothies, soups, stews and curries. Dried Apricots, figs, raisins as well as legumes, seeds, green leafy veg and beetroot are good sources of iron, consume with Vitamin C rich foods such as citrus fruits, peppers, broccoli, sprouts, berries and kiwis to maximise absorption but away from regular tea and coffee as this can inhibit absorption.
Think of your daily diet in terms of colour, eat purple, red, green, yellow, brown and orange fruits, vegetables and roots and you’ll be getting a good range of vitamins and minerals.

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Don’t be scared of fats.

Fat is an essential part of your diet, hence some fats are called Essential Fatty Acids because the body requires them for good health, so what are these? Essential fatty acids, or EFAs, are fatty acids that humans and other animals must ingest through their diet as the body cannot synthesise them. Those not essential to the diet are called non-essential fatty acids. Only two fatty acids are currently classified as essential for humans, these are alpha-linolenic acid (an omega-3 fatty acid) and linoleic acid (an omega-6 fatty acid). Some other fatty acids are sometimes classified as "conditionally essential”, however that is generally in relation to certain diseases or conditions and so would not be essential for most people.
Vegan sources of essential fatty acids can be found in: hemp, flax, chia, walnuts, almonds, safflower and olive oil as well as dark green leafy veg, whole grains, seaweeds and some blue green algaes and algae oil.

Healthy Fats Trio

Eat good quality protein.

The average person requires around 60 gram of protein per day and it’s actually surprisingly easy to satisfy that requirement on a vegan diet. You can get a good range of protein from grains, nuts, seeds, legumes and vegetables and some of their derivatives such as plant alternatives to meat, milk and yogurt, tofu, seitan and protein isolates. An added bonus of these protein sources is that they also have good quantities of minerals such as magnesium calcium
Protein provides amino acids which are the building blocks of the body, and help to build muscles and bones. Amino acids are also utilised by the body within the immune system to help to fight infection as well as other processes within the body such as carrying oxygen, manufacturing hormones, growth and repair functions.

Pulses trio 

Take a B12 supplement or eat B12 supplemented foods.

B12 is involved in many processes within the body such as producing red blood cells, maintaining a healthy nervous system, converting food to energy, helping to regulate the immune system and mood, and homocysteine levels.
We believe it is essential that the vegan diet contains an absorbable and reliable source of vitamin B12. B12 is not manufactured by plants but micro-organisms and therefore in order to ensure falling deficient vegans can either take a supplement in the form of Cyanocobalamin or Methylcobalamin or eat a range of B12 fortified foods. B12 can be found added to breakfast cereals, nutritional yeast flakes, some plant based alternatives to dairy milk and yeast extract, just ensure you eat enough servings to cover your requirements, the Vegan Society recommends a daily intake of at least 3micrograms per day for fortified foods and 10micrograms per day for food supplements.

So what might a typical day’s diet look like?

Breakfast: Fortified Cereal with fortified plant milk, seeds and fruit.
Snack: Portion of mixed seeds/nuts with a few dried apricots/figs
Lunch: Lentil Dhal with rice and mixed salad.
Snack: Carrot sticks with hummus
Dinner: Seitan Steak/ Veggie Sausages with mushrooms, leafy green veg, roasted root veg, peppers and nutritional B12 Yeast flakes/or a gravy made with B12 fortified yeast extract.

This kind of daily menu would definitely cover the average persons protein requirements as the seitan, nuts, seed, rice and legumes all contain protein as well as some vitamins and minerals. The majority of the rest of the vitamin and mineral requirements would be covered by the fruits and vegetables and some essential fatty acids would be gained from the seeds and grains as well as any additional oils that might be used within the hummus and dhal.

As mentioned previously within this article, supplements can be used to boost the diet such as B12, Vitamin D and Iron (where appropriate for some women), so come and visit us if you have any concerns that your diet may be lacking in some of these nutrients, however if you feel that you are deficient we would always advise visiting your doctor for advice, testing and clarification.


Please note: The content of this article is not intended to treat or diagnose any condition you may have and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. 









Focus on Protein

Focus on Protein during Veganuary.

Here at 8th Day we cater for a lot of people who follow a vegetarian or vegan diet and one question we get asked a lot is? “How can I get enough protein in my diet?

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Proteins are the building blocks of life and every cell in the body contains it. Protein is required within the diet to help your body repair existing cells and manufacture new ones.  It can be confusing to know how much you need  as protein requirements vary depending on the size and weight of a person as well as how much exercise and the type of exercise they engage in.  However, the average person requires around 60 grams of protein per day and  it really is easy to ensure you get your full requirement.

In store we have an extensive range of milk and meat substitutes that can really rack up your daily protein intake and taste great.  For example one single Tofurky sausage contains a whopping 18 grams of plant based protein, so eating two of these as part of a balanced meal will provide almost 2/3rds of your daily protein requirements.

Protein powders are also a good way to boost your intake, these can be added to foods or made into a shake or smoothie and are really popular with our customers who do a lot of sport or physical activity. Here at Eighth Day we sell a great range of quality plant-based proteins including plain, unflavoured, Pea, Rice, Hemp & Soya from Pulsin’ which are great for adding to meals and smoothies due to their neutral taste.  If you fancy a naturally flavoured protein, we have Sunwarrior protein blends or our latest addition which is from a UK based company called Vivo Life. Vivo use a Bio-fermented Yellow Pea Protein along with cold pressed hemp, yielding all the essential amino acids and omega oils that are required by the body. This protein formula also contains a superfood complex and vegan Branched Chain Amino Acids which help with recovery after physical exercise. 

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Of course, let’s not forget that you can also get plenty of protein from eating a varied diet which contains a wide variety of veggies, grains, seeds, nuts, legumes and pulses. 

Here are a few examples of plant based protein sources:

Almonds - 21g per 100g


Flax Seeds – 18g per 100g

Chickpeas (cooked) - 9g per 100g

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Lentils (Cooked) - 9g per 100g

Lentils Cropped

Quinoa  - 13g per 100g

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Oats - 12g per 100g

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Tahini – 22g per 100g

Peas (cooked) - 5g per 100g

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Kidney Beans (Cooked) - 7g per 100g

Spinach  - 3g per 100g

Brocolli  - 3g per 100g



Please note: The content of this article is not intended to treat or diagnose any condition you may have and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. 











Focus on Winter Wellness

Keeping Winter Well  - Our Top 5 products

The change of season from Autumn is here and winter has now definitely arrived! So prepare the best way you can by using nature’s arsenal to keep you warm and well over the coming chilly months.


First on the table is the tried and trusted Vitamin C, high in antioxidants and great to take at the onset of a cold, when you feel that first tingle. Food sources include, broccoli, peppers and oranges, take with zinc (found in pumpkin seeds) to give an additional boost.


Fresh Veg


Secondly, we have the herb Echinacea, this is another very popular remedy and one we get asked about regularly during the cold season. Echinacea elevates the white blood cell count, enhancing antibody activity to help the body fight off infections. It's best taken at the very start of a cold and can be taken either in a liquid tincture form or dried in the form of tablets or capsules.


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Next up, we have mushrooms! Not the common field mushroom we’re used to, but varieties such as reishi, maitake, shitake. These varieties contain Beta Glucans, which are classed as immunomodulators, in short, these make your immune system smarter, thus increasing the bodies defences when fighting off infection.



Our pick of the fruits is Black Elderberry, you might see this growing wild in the hedgerows if you’re out walking in the country, but don’t pick the berries and eat them raw, you’ll get an upset tum! Black Elderberry, has impressive anti-viral properties, which help to reduce the duration of influenza symptoms, by inhibiting a mechanism required for viral replication.


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Last, but by no means least, we suggest taking a good probiotic. This will create an army of defence against pathogens and give your body increased protection. Eating fermented foods like sauerkraut and drinking kefir can also help as their prebiotic properties increase the population of good bacteria within the body.


Probiotics collection




Please note: The content of this article is not intended to treat or diagnose any condition you may have and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. 




The Living Wage Foundation

We think a Living Wage matters!

That’s why when we heard about The Living Wage Foundation, an organisation that actively monitored and calculated what a person needs to earn per hour in order to have enough income to live on, we decided to investigate further. We liked the recommendations, however for about 4 or 5 years, whilst we matched or exceeded the Living Wage recommendations that the foundation set when we implemented our annual wage reviews, we didn’t pursue the accreditation part.  

Over the years though, customers contacted us asking about our wage structure and whether we were accredited and we realised that it is all very well matching our wages to the foundations recommendations, but as an ethical business we needed to go a step further. It became apparent that as we were already taking a stand against the low wage economy by paying the Living Wage, it was crucial that we publically showed our support for the organisation that had long campaigned for positive social change in the form of wage reform .

So bearing all this in mind, we recently we went through the process of accreditation and are now a Living Wage employer, this guarantees all workers, including any agency staff a business may have are paid £8.45 (or £9.75 London Weighting rate) or higher per hour. Paying the Living Wage is definitely a positive thing for us, it shows our workers that they are valued and research shows that feeling valued by your employer is very important for maintaining staff morale and personal self-esteem. We hope that by being open about our wages and emphasising the positivity to be gained by the businesses who choose to pay the Living Wage we’ll encourage discussion in workplaces and other hopefully other businesses will follow suit.


You can find out more about The Living Wage Foundation here:


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The Shop

Looking for your one-stop shop for vegetarian produce? Then look no further, we stock over 5,000 vegetarian and vegan products as well as lots of organic and fairly traded produce.

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