One of the major concerns that many people have when deciding to switch to vegan life is whether they’ll be getting sufficient nutrients. However, a well-planned vegan diet could be just as healthy as a meat-based diet (providing you do the research beforehand). There is also the option of taking daily vegan supplements.
If both of these aspects are overlooked, you could be missing out on essential calcium, iron and vitamin B12 amongst many other nutrients we’ll be discussing below.
To supplement or not is a constant issue that keeps being brought up by both new and veteran vegans. You may have found yourself spending your evenings reading online forums or being found in the middle of a debate yourself to find out the answer…
The truth is that busy lifestyles and easy snack options make it extremely difficult to get the nutrients we need. This is even more so the case for vegans who are unable to eat main food sources.
With that being said, it doesn’t mean that being a vegan is unhealthy – in fact, it’s quite the opposite. However, it will take a great deal more thought and planning to do it right.
Veganism is becoming an extremely popular diet across the world due to the health benefits it provides and even celebrities are taking the plunge to switch. SEE MORE: What Are The Main Vegan Health Benefits (and Concerns)?
Here are some of the core nutrients that vegans can miss out on without the correct meal plans or daily vegan supplements.
Calcium is one of the nutrients that vegans don’t get. It’s essential for healthy bones and teeth. It helps regulate muscle contractions including the heart, to make sure the blog clots normally.
If you aren’t getting enough calcium, a condition known as rickets is common in children, while osteomalacia or osteoporosis is also likely.
Calcium is derived from milk, cheese and other dairy foods, which are, of course, animal products and can’t be consumed on a vegan diet. As a result, it’s important to find alternatives.
Adults between the ages of 19-64 should be getting at least 700mg of calcium a day, as part of their daily diet.
Iron is essential for the production of red blood cells, which transports oxygen around the body. A lack of iron could lead to a condition known as iron deficiency anaemia. Iron is typically found in liver and meat; however, it can also be found in vegan sources such as fruit, nuts, fortified breakfast cereals and soybean flour.
According to NHS UK, the amount of iron you need is as follows:
8.7mg a day for men over 18
14.8mg a day for women aged 19 to 50
8.7mg a day for women over 50
B12 is a vital vitamin that allows the body to function correctly. It is responsible for several of the process in the body including:
- Keeping the nervous system healthy
- Providing a release in energy from foods consumed
- Using folic acid
Vitamin B12 can be an extremely difficult nutrient to source within the vegan diet, as it is usually derived from animal products. The best sources include milk, cheese, meat, salmon, cod and eggs.
According to NHS UK, adults between the ages of 19-64 should be getting at least 1.5 micrograms a day.
Due to the lack of vitamin B12 in plant-based products, important to source vitamin B12 from daily vegan supplements.
Most people have never heard of vitamin K, however, it’s an integral aspect of the Western diet that plays a role in our general health and wellbeing.
Vitamin K is a group of compounds discovered in 1929 as a method to prevent blood clotting. The most important within this group are Vitamin K1 and Vitamin K2. While Vitamin K deficiencies are rare in adults, it can be difficult to attain the nutrient of K2 as a vegan as it’s typically found in animal products.
Vitamin K2 has been proven to improve bone mentalism, reduce the risk of fractures, as well as improving dental health.
Omega-3 fatty acids are vital to our health and wellbeing, however, it can be extremely difficult for vegans to source. It’s most commonly derived from fish oils, which often leaves new vegans wondering how they’re going to retrieve Omega-3 for balancing a vegan diet.
Omega-3 fatty acids are a unit of polyunsaturated fats that keep our brain, gut, heart and eyes healthy, as well as reducing inflammation in the joints.
Omega 3 can, however, be found in plant-based sources, such as chia seeds and seed oil, but it would be best to take daily vegan supplements to ensure your body is getting enough of what it needs.
Vitamin D3 is a group of fat-soluble secosteroids that play a part in increasing the absorption of calcium, magnesium and phosphate in the body. It’s typically derived from animal products, such as sheep’s wool by purifying lanolin, therefore a daily vegan supplement would be the best point of call.
Daily Vegan Supplements
If you’re worried about getting the all the vitamins vegans need, the best solution would be to take supplements. Most nutrients can be found in the plant-based diet, but it can be hard as a ‘beginner vegan’ to maintain a good balance.
We’ve carried out some research to find some of the best daily vegan supplements on the market. By taking just one or a few of these supplements, you should notice a boost in your general health and wellbeing.
1. Vitamin K2 + D3 with Organic Coconut Oil for Better Absorption (2-in-1 Support for Your Heart, Bones & Teeth | Vegan Certified, GMO & Gluten Free (60 Veggie Softgels)
Sports Research K2+D3 2-in-1 is a vegan multivitamin created to promote bone health, muscle function and an energy boost. It’s the only Non-GMO verified, vegan certified and 100% plant-based Vitamin K2+D3 supplement available. It’s free of animal ingredients such as Lanolin and Bovine and contains coconut oil, as K2 & D3 can be difficult for the body to absorb.
Rating: 4.8 out of 5 | Read Reviews
2. Vegan Omega 3 Supplement – Marine Algal Source of EPA & DHA Fatty Acids (For Joint Support & Immune System – Heart & Skin + Brain Health Booster – Fish Oil-Free Formula for Men & Women – 120 Softgels)
From Zenwise, this Omega-3 supplement derived from marine algae is designed to improve joint, immune, skin, brain and cardiovascular health.
Rating: 4.6 out of 5 | Read Reviews
3. Vegan Vitamin D3+B12 Gummy (Plant-Based Gummies) by MaryRuth’s (Made w/Organic Ingredients Non-GMO Vegan Paleo Gluten-Free for Men, Women & Kids 1000 IU Vitamin D3 & 250 mcg, Vitamin B12, 60 Count)
You may be hesitant to switch over to the vegan diet with fears your kids won’t get the best nutrients for their growth and overall health. However, Mary Ruth’s has created their very own daily vegan supplement for kids and adults.
These gummies are made in a delicious strawberry flavor and contain the essential vitamins of D3 and B12. It would be best to consult your GP before deciding to give these to children under the age of 12.
Rating: 4.8 out of 5 | Read Reviews
4. Whole Food Multivitamin Plus by Supplements Studio (Daily Multivitamin for Men and Women with Organic Fruits and Vegetables, B-Complex, Probiotics, Enzymes, CoQ10, Omegas, Turmeric, All Natural, 90 Capsules)
This whole food multivitamin by Supplements Studio is an all-in-one vegan supplement made with real fruit and vegetables. It’s the perfect option if you’re looking for a supplement that contains an array of essential vitamins, including the likes of Vitamin A, Vitamin B-Complex, Vitamin C, Vitamin D3, Vitamin K2, Vitamin E, Biotin, Iron and much more. It’s been proven to improve heart health, mental clarity, digestive system support while offering a boost of energy.
Rating: 4.4 out of 5 | Read Reviews
5. Vegan Omega 3 by Nested Naturals (Better Than Fish Oil | Improved Formula | 30 Capsules Algal DHA and EPA | Quality Plant Based Omega-3 Brain Supplement | Vegetarian Fatty Acids | Made from Algae Oil – No Fishy Burps)
This Omega-3 supplement from Nested Natural is completely vegan (meaning no fishy burps!) Made from vegan algal oil, it offers the exact same benefits as traditional Omega oil by promoting cardiovascular health to reduce the risk of coronary heart disease and eye health.
It can be difficult to know whether to take a daily vegan supplement to be on ‘the safe side’ and it is perfectly safe to do so. However, knowing whether it will benefit you all depends on how well your vegan diet is planned. If you know the meal plan you have set out with leave you missing out on essential nutrients, then it would be advised to take vitamin supplements you’re lacking. Remember, veganism is for everyone – supplements are just there to lend a helping.
Rating: 4.1 out of 5 | Read Reviews
Have you tried any of the above daily vegan supplement recommendations?
Share in the comments below!