A Guide On What Supplements You May Need As A Vegan. This guide is important for people who are vegans or planning on transitioning. However, saying that, its not essential or necessary to take supplements, because you can obtain everything you need through food. However, it may prove challenging for some.
You might be a new vegan, or you might have been a vegan for while. It doesn’t matter – you must have definitely come to some problems or questions when it comes to whether you are getting enough nutrients in your body. You see, 100-200 years ago you wouldn’t have this problem, because our soil was enriched with all the vitamins we needed.
However, nowadays because of all the chemicals we use on crops and on the soil to “speed things up” or to keep worms and other insects away from the crops – we have damaged the soil so badly that it has lost a lot of its nutrients such as B12. That is why vegans can not get it naturally these days. Unless of course it’s fortified into foods – which unfortunately is not natural.
Right let’s get to what vegans may need to supplement for:
1. The Famous B12!
Vitamin B12 Supplement is essential to the vegan diet. Why? Because as I mentioned above – we have ruined the soil, that previously contained B12, so now Vegans need to supplement it or eat foods that are enriched with B12.
Vitamin B12, also known as cobalamin, is an important water-soluble vitamin. It plays an essential role in the production of your red blood cells and DNA, as well as the proper functioning of your nervous system.
Several studies show that while anyone can have low vitamin B12 levels, vegetarians and vegans have a higher risk of deficiency. This seems especially true for vegans who are not taking any supplements.
It’s important to keep in mind that vitamin B12 is best absorbed in small doses. Thus, the less frequently you ingest vitamin B12, the more you need to take.
2. Omega 3 Fatty Acids
Omega 3 fatty acids reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Reduced risk of death if you have cardiovascular disease. Reduced risk of sudden cardiac death caused by an abnormal heart rhythm. Reduced risk of blood clots because omega–3 fatty acids help prevent blood platelets from clumping together.
Omega–3 fatty acids curb inflammation in the blood vessels (and the rest of your body). At high doses, they also make abnormal heart rhythms less likely and lower your level of blood fats called triglycerides. Finally, they can slow plaque buildup inside the blood vessels.
Although vegans can source it through food such as walnuts, it’s good to supplement it, because you do not always consume these foods that contain it, even so, they do not contain it in the doses you need.
3. Vitamin D
Now you might be getting a lot of “D” but really you need the VITAMIN D (did you get the joke? 😀 )
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that helps enhance the absorption of calcium and phosphorus from your gut. This vitamin also influences many other bodily processes, including immune function, mood, memory, and muscle recovery.
Unfortunately, very few foods naturally contain vitamin D, and foods fortified with vitamin D are often considered insufficient to satisfy the daily requirements.
This could partly explain the worldwide reports of vitamin D deficiency among vegans and omnivores alike.
So that’s why you will need to take that D! 😀
Iron is a nutrient used to make new DNA and red blood cells, as well as carry oxygen in the blood. It’s also needed for energy metabolism.
Ever heard of Anemia? – That’s what can happen if we do not provide our body with enough iron!
Iron can be found in two forms: heme and non-heme. Heme iron is only available from animal products, whereas non-heme iron is found in plants (
Vegans with a low iron intake should aim to eat more iron-rich foods, such as cruciferous vegetables, spinach, beans, peas, dried fruit, nuts, and seeds. Iron-fortified foods, such as cereals, enriched bread, and some plant milk, can further help.
And combining iron-rich foods with a source of vitamin C can help boost iron absorption.
But again, you don’t always consume those foods, especially if you are a junk food vegan – you will need an Iron Supplement.
Calcium is a mineral that is necessary for life. In addition to building bones and keeping them healthy, calcium enables our blood to clot, our muscles to contract, and our heart to beat. About 99% of the calcium in our bodies is in our bones and teeth.
We have all heard that we need to drink/eat dairy products to get our calcium, which is a whole load of….. but we do have to think about how to get as Vegans too!
Plant sources of calcium include bok choy, kale, mustard greens, turnip greens, watercress, broccoli, chickpeas, calcium-set tofu, and fortified plant milk or juices.
But I find that supplementing is the best idea, because you have to worry about so many vitamins and minerals to take care of, so you can’t fit all these foods into your everyday eating.
Zinc is an essential mineral that is naturally present in some foods, added to others, and available as a dietary supplement. Zinc is involved in numerous aspects of cellular metabolism.
Zinc is a nutrient that people need to stay healthy. Zinc is found in cells throughout the body. It helps the immune system fight off invading bacteria and viruses. The body also needs zinc to make proteins and DNA, the genetic material in all cells.
While not all vegans have low blood levels of zinc, a recent review of 26 studies showed that vegetarians — and especially vegans — have lower zinc intakes and slightly lower blood levels of zinc than omnivores.
To maximize your intake, eat a variety of zinc-rich foods throughout the day. These include whole grains, wheat germ, tofu, sprouted bread, legumes, nuts, and seeds. Or Ideally, take a Zinc Supplement!
Getting enough iodine is crucial for healthy thyroid function, which controls your metabolism. An iodine deficiency during pregnancy and early infancy can result in irreversible intellectual disability.
In adults, insufficient iodine intake can lead to hypothyroidism.
Vegans are considered at risk of iodine deficiency, and studies report that vegans have up to 50% lower blood iodine levels than vegetarians
Half a teaspoon of iodized salt is sufficient to meet your daily needs. However, Vegans who do not want to consume iodized salt or eat seaweed several times per week should consider taking an iodine supplement.
I hope you liked this Guide On What Supplements You May Need As A Vegan and found it useful. Veganism is the best step you have ever taken to help the animals and the environment, however, you also have to think about helping yourself! Get these nutrients, minerals, and vitamins in your body to stay healthy.
NOTE – vegans can be perfectly healthy through their food intake and diet, this is merely a suggestion for people who are struggling to consume the right vegan foods that contain those vitamins and minerals!