WHAT SUPPLEMENTS SHOULD A VEGAN TAKE
If you are moving forward with a plant-based or vegan diet, based on our research we would recommend supplementing your diet with a few key things.
I won’t get into it too much in detail here on whether people evolved to eat meat or not. Trying to keep the inevitable amount of hate email to a minimum.
In addition to the massive protein supplement section above, these are the supplements I would recommend:
In my research, vitamins like B12 consistently comes up as a deficiency amongst vegans. This is logical because plants don’t need B12, so they don’t store it.
Vitamin B12 is critical for protein metabolization, meaning if you want your body running correctly, you really don’t want to be deficient in this essential nutrient.
I would hedge my bets and take a B12 supplement. It would be my number one recommendation (outside of eating REAL food) if you’re going vegetarian or vegan. Taking B12 came up multiple times as a recommendation for a Plant-Based Diet from our vegan rebels in the private Academy group.
This B12 supplement is a good option.
It’s not the only supplement worth considering.
You could also consider taking an algae supplement, which is high in omega-3 fatty acids.
- Omega-3s have been shown to help fight depression.
- The consumption of omega-3s has been linked to greater heart health.
- Metabolic syndrome, which is tied to insulin resistance and obesity, is improved with the consumption of omega-3s.
Vegetarian folks generally have lower levels of these types of acids, because meat (fish specifically) is a great source for omega-3s – a food that isn’t consumed on a Plant-Based Diet. However, animals are not the only source for omega-3s. Again, I’d look into an algae supplement, like this one.
Another supplement worth discussing: Vitamin D. We get it from the sun, and also by eating certain animal products. While some plants like algae do contain some Vitamin D, it’s most abundant in fish and dairy products.
Vitamin D helps us absorb calcium and also plays a critical role in our immune system.
However, because many of us spend time indoors, we can be deficient – though this is true of vegans and omnivores alike.
Simple solution: go out in the sun more frequently, and consider a vitamin D supplement in the winter months.
Two other minerals worth discussing would be zinc and iron, because vegetarians are often low in both.
- Most people get their source of zinc and iron through animal products.
- Phytates found in whole grains and legumes can block the absorption of minerals, including zinc and iron. If you are cutting out meat, you are probably eating a lot of grains and legumes for your protein. So yeah…
A supplement of both zinc and iron would be smart.
It should be noted, that all supplementation becomes more important the more strict you are about avoiding animal products. If you eat eggs and dairy, you’ll get most of the nutrients you need outside of those found in plants.
Eggs contain omega-3s, B12, and small amounts of vitamin D. And while this is for sure debatable, there might be some ethical ways to purchase eggs.
That about does it for supplementation recommendations. If you want to do even more research, let’s turn you in the right direction.