Seemingly everywhere you turn, people are talking about vegan lifestyles. For health reasons… for ethical reasons… whatever the case may be, vegans are no longer a small niche market demanding more diverse menus in restaurants. Today, people are adopting this lifestyle for healthier, "less-processed" lives.
Veganism comes with a plethora of health benefits. From better digestion to less bloating after meals, men and women who eat a vegan diet report an overall increase in their well-being. And that doesn't even account for the environmental benefits of veganism. Studies have shown that plant-based lifestyles are associated with lower environmental impact.
But living a vegan life comes with its own unique challenges -- most of which are dietary. Though it's possible to get all the necessary nutrients with a vegan diet, it might be difficult to ensure that you take in these nutrients everyday.
Even further, veganism is about more than what you eat. It's about protecting the earth and the animals that live on it. Because of this, a large percentage of vegans only use cruelty-free health products.
Now, to be candid, the world is still catching up to vegan lifestyles, and finding these vegan-approved products can be difficult. But there are certain health products available to purchase with your FSA funds. Thanks to your FSA, these eligible products are good for more than just your wallet.
Bare Republic Sunscreen
Bare Republic sunscreen is deemed both vegan and cruelty-free. And as a nice touch, it's available for under $15 per bottle, eliminating much of the cost concerns people have about buying specialty products. If you're looking for a more-natural sun and skin protectant without worrying about costs, this sunscreen is the answer. Bare Republic offers regular sunscreen, sport sunscreen and face sunscreen, so you'll be ready for whatever the day brings.
Coola Sunscreen Stick
Coola offers a variety of products and most of them are vegan. (Notice we said "most" -- some Coola lip balm has beeswax in it) If you need a lightweight sunscreen stick for your purse or car, then the Coola Organic Sunscreen Face & Body Stick is the perfect option for environmentally conscious vegans.
Vitamin B12 is often considered one of the most important vitamins for people who eat a vegan diet because it is naturally found in animal products, which vegans do not consume.
However, this essential vitamin is not be eligible with your FSA funds. It may be eligible with a letter of medical necessity (LMN) if recommended by your doctor to treat a medical condition, so you'll want to check with your FSA administrator on exactly what type of documentation they'll require. It might also be a good idea to check in with your health provider too about whether you need more of the supplement. This vitamin is important for nervous system health, and if you're not getting enough B12, you might develop anemia, bone disease, heart disease and even infertility.
Rainbow Light Prenatal Vitamins
If you're planning on having a baby or are currently pregnant, you'll be happy to hear that Rainbow Light Prenatal Vitamins are completely vegan and cruelty-free. Plus, they're FSA-eligible. If you intend to maintain a vegan lifestyle during pregnancy, then these vitamins are a great way to start your journey.
Here's the best part—you do not need a prescription or letter of medical necessity from your doctor to order prenatal vitamins. You're free to use your FSA funds to order as many as you need throughout your pregnancy.
It takes a lot of thought and planning to live a vegan lifestyle. And here's the truth—everyone has their own definition of what it means to "go vegan." Some people focus on what they eat, while others are focus on all aspects of vegan life: clothes, beauty products and more. Regardless of where you fall on the spectrum of veganism, the most important thing is that you're living your best life.
Don't waste time hunting for ways to spend your tax-free funds. In That's Eligible?!, we'll bring you these updates every Monday, so you don't have to. And for all things flex spending, be sure to check out the rest of our Learning Center, and follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.