If you’re vegan, you may find it tricky to get all of the nutrients your body needs. While you can get what you need from whole foods, it’s not always easy or affordable to do so. You might be asking yourself, ‘do vegans need supplements?’ Well, taking vegan supplements can be a great way to fill the nutrient gap in your diet and can make sure you get everything you need.
What vitamins and minerals do vegans lack
Veganism is becoming more and more popular. For example, 610,000 people signed up to Veganuary in 2022! But, there are still many misconceptions about living this way. One of the most common is that vegans lack essential vitamins and minerals. While it is true that vegan diets can lack certain nutrients, these deficiencies can be remedied by making sure you eat a varied and well-rounded diet.
For example, vegans need to make sure they get enough Vitamin B12. The challenge with Vitamin B12 is that it’s most common in animal products. There are some vegan sources of vitamin B12, but the list is a little basic. You can find it in yeast, tempeh, chlorella, and fortified vegan foods like cereal or plant based milks. Still, these aren’t ideal or common foods we may want to eat. This is why taking a vegan supplement can be an ideal solution. Many vegans take the Floradix Vitamin B Complex, as an example, because it has 100% of your daily needs of Vitamin B12.
In addition, vegans need to be mindful of their intake of iron, zinc, and calcium. These minerals are common in foods such as leafy greens, nuts, and seeds. But again, on a regular Western diet veganism can lead to a deficiency in consuming these important nutrients.
Top ten essential supplements for vegans
Taking supplements can help to bridge the nutritional gaps vegans often have to overcome and ensure that they are getting the nutrients they need to stay healthy. For example, iron supplements can help to prevent anemia, while calcium supplements can ensure strong bones and teeth. Supplementing with a vegan collagen supplement, such as those Ancient and Brave produce, can help vegans to maintain their collagen levels and enjoy all the benefits of a plant-based diet.
So what are the top ten essential supplements for vegans? Read on for a list of the top ten essential supplements you should take if following a vegan diet:
#1 Vitamin B12
Vitamin B12 is essential for the formation of red blood cells, and proper functioning of the nervous system. you can find B12 in many animal products – however, the good news is that there are also a number of vegan-friendly sources of vitamin B12, including fortified foods and supplements. Another great vegan B12 supplement is Solgar Vitamin B Complex. There are also fortified foods such as cereals, plant-based milks, and nutritional yeast, which are all excellent sources of vitamin B12.
#2 Vitamin D
It is hard to find vegan friendly foods which are naturally rich in Vitamin D. Most of the time, foods are fortified with this essential vitamin. That means, the food manufacturer artificially adds Vitamin D into the product. It’s not naturally in the food to begin with. Accordingly, you might see it in dairy products (which are off limits), but also in plant based milks, cereals, and often orange juice.
Additionally, the body cannot produce Vitamin D. So we have to find external sources to ensure we have the healthy levels our bodies need. And of course, the most famous way to boost your levels are to get some sun! Expose yourself to just 10-15 minutes of sunlight a day and that is enough to ensure healthy levels of Vitamin D.
However, if you live in less sunny places – like the UK – a vegan Vitamin D supplement is the only real answer. Get your daily dose of this essential vitamin with Immune Support, by Neat Nutrition. It contains 200% of your NRV of Vitamin D from a vegan source. And alongside this there are a number of other immunity boosting ingredients.
#3 Vitamin K2
Vitamin K2 is an essential nutrient, but most people have never heard of it. And in today’s diets the average daily consumption of Vitamin K2 is extremely low, Even so, it’s a critical component to overall health. It helps the body to utilise calcium, keeping bones and teeth healthy and strong. It is found naturally in animal products such as egg yolks, animal liver and other organ meats. Even meat eaters don’t eat these products too often, so it represents a challenge for vegans.
However, vegans can get it from certain plant foods such as kale, spinach and brussels sprouts. The body can only absorb a limited amount of Vitamin K2 from plant sources, so it is important for vegans to include other sources of this nutrient in their diet. Vegan K2 supplements are readily available from health food stores. Including Vitamin K2 in your diet is an important way to support bone health as a vegan.
Iodine is essential for proper thyroid function, and vegans may be at risk for iodine deficiency due to their lack of exposure to this nutrient. But what does the thyroid do anyway, and is it important? In short, it does matter quite a bit. It produces hormones that regulate heart, muscle and digestive function. It also is important in brain and bone development.
So, taking iodine supplements can help to prevent this deficiency. Iodine supplements are available in both pill and liquid form, and they are available at most health food stores. Taking iodine also helps with the absorption of other minerals like iron and zinc. More on both of these below.
Vegans often look to iron-rich foods to meet their needs, but this mineral can be hard to come by in a vegan diet. This is where supplementation comes in. Taking an iron supplement can help vegans maintain healthy iron levels. Iron is essential for carrying oxygen in the blood, supporting a healthy immune system, and preventing fatigue. Additionally, iron is necessary for cell growth and development. If you’re looking to boost your health as a vegan, supplementing with iron is a great place to start. An extremely popular vegan iron supplement is the Floravital Liquid Iron.
Calcium is essential for strong bones and teeth, and it also plays an important role in muscle contraction, blood clotting, and nerve function. Most people presume they get their calcium levels from dairy products like milk, cheese, and butter. But there are a number of vegan-friendly sources of calcium, too. Load up on broccoli, kale, collard greens, and tofu to get your calcium levels naturally. In addition, many plant-based milk products are fortified with calcium. Of course, calcium supplements like Floradix Calcium are fantastic for helping to meet your daily needs.
Zinc is an essential mineral that plays a vital role in many biochemical processes in the body. Zinc supplementation can therefore offer numerous benefits for vegans, including improved immune function, better wound healing, and enhanced cognitive performance. Additionally, there is some science to support that zinc helps protect against certain chronic diseases, such as diabetes and cancer. For all these reasons, vegans should ensure they are eating plenty of zinc rich foods, such as pumpkin seeds, cashews, chickpeas and oatmeal. These are relatively easier than others to include in a healthy diet. Still, it is worth thinking about taking a zinc supplement on top to ensure you get the daily recommendation.
There is one particular nutrient that is often overlooked, but is essential for vegans of all ages: choline. Choline is abundant in many animal-based foods, such as eggs and dairy products. However, you can also find it in some plant-based foods, such as soybeans and tofu. Choline is important for many reasons. It helps to support the liver and nervous system, and it plays a role in metabolism. It can also help to reduce inflammation and improve cognitive function. The incredible Solgar Omnium supplement is vegan and contains a remarkable 47 active ingredients, of which Choline is one of them. It’s a great all-rounder to consider.
#9 Omega-3 fatty acids
Omega-3 fatty acids are a type of unsaturated fat that is critical for human health. Unfortunately, once again they are not common in large quantities in plant-based foods. the obvious source is fish, and that’s where most of us get our omega 3 dose from. But vegan omega 3 supplements do exist and can help to bridge this nutritional gap. For example, omega-3 fatty acids have anti-inflammatory properties and can help to protect the heart and brain. They have also been shown to improve mental health, including symptoms of depression and anxiety. In addition, omega-3 supplements can aid in weight loss and help to maintain healthy bones. Overall, taking an omega-3 supplement is an easy way for vegans to ensure that they are getting all the nutrients they need.
Selenium is found in high concentrations in animal tissues, but taking a selenium supplement can help to get vegans up to speed with this handy nutrient. Selenium has a wide range of benefits, including supporting immune system function, reducing inflammation, and protecting against cognitive decline. It also plays an important role in thyroid health and fertility. For vegans, getting enough selenium is vital for ensuring optimal health.
How to find the best vegan vitamin supplements
When it comes to vitamins and supplements, it can be tough to know what to look for. With so many different products on the market, it can be hard to know which one is right for you. However, there are a few things you can keep in mind that will help you find the best vitamin vegan supplements for your needs.
First, consider what your specific goals are. Are you looking to improve your overall health, or are you targeting a specific health concern? Once you know what you want to achieve, you can narrow down your search to products that are designed to meet those needs. Second, take a close look at the ingredients list. Be sure to check for any potential allergens, and also make sure that the doses of each ingredient are appropriate. If you have any concerns, be sure to consult with a healthcare professional before making a purchase.
Getting the right nutrients
While a vegan diet does have many benefits, there are some essential vitamins and minerals that vegans may be lacking. Supplementing your diet with the right nutrients is important for optimal health. We’ve provided you with a list of the top ten essential supplements for vegans, as well as tips on how to find the best vitamin supplements. So go ahead and add these vital nutrients to your daily routine – your body will thank you!