Generally speaking, a complete vegan diet is healthy and nutritious, and provides almost all of the nutrition you need to thrive on a daily basis. However, if you aren’t careful, some deficiencies can arise, so it is essential to supplement smartly for the best possible results.
Remember to consult your nutritionist when switching to a plant-based diet, and to consider taking these 5 crucial supplements regularly to keep yourself healthy and happy in the long term!
#1: Vitamin B12
Vegans and vegetarians both have a risk of having lower B12 levels than normal due to the fact that most of our dietary sources of this vitamin are meat and dairy products. The vitamin is important in the creation and metabolism of oxygen-carrying red blood cells, and also plays a huge role in the health of your nervous system.
Because vitamin B12 deficiency can lead to nervous system damage and anaemia over time, it is recommended that every vegan supplement at least 25-100mcg per day of the methylcobalamin form of the nutrient – not cyanocobalamin, which is not as well-absorbed! You can also increase your consumption of mushrooms, nori, spirulina, nutritional yeast and chlorella to supplement your diet with B12.
#2: Vitamin D
This fat soluble hormone is essential in aiding calcium and phosphorus absorption in your gut, keeping your hormones balanced, keeping your teeth and bones in good health, and even fighting off certain cancers in the body.
Shockingly, around 90% of the people on this planet are deficient in vitamin D, and vegans need to supplement even more so because they have omitted common sources like dairy, fatty fish and eggs from their diets.
It’s a good idea to get your vitamin D levels tested before you begin to supplement, and when you begin, you should aim to get at least 800IU per day. Remember to choose supplements containing the D3 form of the nutrient rather than D2, as the former is the form that is readily available to be utilized by your body without any conversion necessary.
#3: Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Vegan diets are rich in certain omegas, including some sources of omega-3 (like ALA) which can be found in walnuts, flaxseeds and the likes. However, fatty acids like EPA and DHA which are commonly found in fish are also very important for your visual and cognitive well-being, even though they are not technically considered essential as your brain can make them in very small amounts.
Interestingly, your body can also convert a portion of the ALA it receives into EPA and DHA, provided that it is getting enough. Ensure that you are taking a good-quality vegan omega-3 supplement to ensure this conversion, and avoid eating too many omega-6 filled products like corn-, sunflower-, soy- and vegetable oils which can deplete your body’s omega-3 reserves.
Iodine is essential for the health of your thyroid, which controls your metabolic and hormonal systems. The recommended daily intake for adults is 150 mcg, and for vegans, this can be found in iodized salt, seaweed, and vegetables grown in iodine-rich soil.
Most iodine supplements on the market are also vegan, so getting enough should not be an issue, leaving you with as much time as possible for your favorite online casino Singapore games!
Too little iron can lead to anaemia, fatigue and impaired immunity, and as vegans only eat non-heme iron food sources, their iron is not always as well-absorbed as that which originates from animal products.
Vegans are encouraged to aim for 1.8 times the normal RDA, and to regularly eat foods like beans, peas, spinach, dried fruit, nuts and cruciferous vegetables. You should also pair iron-rich foods with vitamin C-rich foods to aid your iron absorption.