What dietary supplements does a vegan need? This is the question that many vegans ask themselves when they are trying to figure out what their diet should consist of. Vegans often have trouble getting all the nutrients and vitamins that they need from food alone, so it’s important for them to know which supplements will help make up for any deficiencies. This blog post will discuss some of the most essential dietary supplements that every vegan needs- whether you’re new or experienced!
What Are Dietary Supplements?
Dietary supplements are substances taken orally to provide nutrients that the body needs but cannot be obtained in sufficient quantities from food. Supplements should not replace a balanced diet, and it is important to maintain regular meals and well-balanced snacks for optimum health and weight management.
Supplements are best taken on an empty stomach, one hour before or after eating. To maximize the absorption of supplements into the bloodstream and to reduce the potential for adverse reactions with medications or other food products, it is best not to consume more than one supplement per day. Speak with your physician before taking any new dietary supplements.
Essential Vegan Dietary Supplements
The following is a list of the most common dietary supplement needs among people on plant-based diets:
The human body does produce some Vitamin D naturally with sunlight exposure; however, this isn’t enough for those who live farther north and don’t get much sun all year round. A deficiency in Vitamin D could lead to bone density issues in adults (osteoporosis).
Vegans should take an oral supplement containing at least 400 IU or take a Vitamin D supplement with 2000 IU.
Omega-fatty acids are essential for a vegan diet. They can’t be synthesized by the body, and supplementation is necessary to maintain health. This supplement should come from algae oil sources; as is the case when you get vitamins from Omvits, because fish can contain heavy metals like mercury which can then affect our health when ingested over time. Omega-fatty acid deficiency has been linked with an increased risk of heart disease, cancer, cognitive decline, dry skin, and inflammation.
Iron is needed to make red blood cells, and those who are deficient in iron may experience tiredness and lack of energy. A vegan diet can be low in iron due to deficiency-causing foods like beef and eggs being removed from the menu; however, this can easily be remedied by eating more leafy greens, dried fruit, beans, lentils, tofu (iron content varies depending on the type), molasses (honey contains small amounts of iron) soybeans, blackstrap molasses and fortified cereals which all contain plentiful amounts of plant-based iron.
Talk to your doctor about whether you need an additional oral supplement that has 18mg per day for adults.
Vegans should consume at least three servings of calcium-rich foods each day to ensure that their bones are getting the nutrients they need for density and strength. A glass of orange juice, a cup of soy milk, or one ounce (or 30 grams) of almonds all contain about 200 mg per serving while green leafy vegetables like kale can also contribute to your daily intake as well.
If you still feel like you’re not getting enough then talk with your doctor because there is an oral supplement available which contains 500mg in just two tablets; this will provide 1000mg per day on top of your diet’s contribution.
Selenium protects cells from damage caused by free radicals so it must be consumed as a supplement if it’s not found in one’s diet. One of the main sources is Brazil nuts, which contain about 100 mcg per serving; however, they can be expensive and hard to find.
If you don’t eat this amount every day then consider taking an oral selenium capsule or tablet with 200mcg daily recommended intake
Cortisol is a hormone that helps humans manage their stress levels by reducing inflammation due to acute injury or illness so vegans who are more prone to depression may need additional cortisol support from either dietary supplements or herbs like ashwagandha extract (a natural herb also known as Indian ginseng).
Talk to your doctor for advice on supplementation dosage and frequency.
If you’ve been vegan for a while, chances are that your protein intake has dropped. Protein is essential for building muscle and repairing tissues, so if you’ve been vegan for a while without taking in enough protein, you may start to notice that your muscles are getting smaller. Soy products like tofu have lots of protein (about 30 grams per cup), but they also contain phytoestrogens which can lead to feminization.
A supplement is a good idea if you’ve been vegan for more than six months.
Tips For Choosing The Right Supplements
When you are choosing supplements keep the following tips in mind:
- Check the ingredients and check for added sugar, dairy, or animal product derivatives
- Keep an eye out for the words “vegan” or “plant-based.” These are usually a good sign of vegan-friendly supplements
- Check if it is non-GMO verified, and Gluten-free with no cross-contact warnings
- Check for any allergen warnings which can include nuts or soy. You want to make sure that the ingredients are not harmful before you consume them and if they contain a warning then avoid taking them altogether
- Opt for an environmentally friendly cruelty-free product that is not tested on animals
- You should also look at how each vitamin reacts with one another as this could either cause negative side effects in some people or mitigate any benefits they were hoping to gain by taking them separately. For example, Vitamin D is synthesized in the body after exposure to UV rays so if you are taking another vitamin that has Vitamin D in it, they may counteract each other.
The definition of a dietary supplement is something that you take to add nutrients or other substances necessary for good health. Supplements can be essential when following an alternative diet like veganism, which eliminates the intake of animal-derived products from its participants’ diets. As such, there are many more supplements that vegans need than non-vegan populations and it’s important to do your research on what these specific needs may be before settling on a particular brand.