Important Supplements & Food to take for a vegan diet:
Important Supplements that vegans need in their diet. It’s important to support their diet with food rich in iron, vitamins , calcium and vitamin B12.
The vegan diet is becoming increasingly popular. Veganism has seen a 600% global increase since 2014. Especially amongst millennial and those conscious of what they are putting into their bodies.
A vegan diet is a plant based diet which eliminates the utilization and use of all animal produce.
Due to deficiency of animal produce, the vegan diet can lack in necessary vitamins. This can cause of an individual to have a vitamin deficiency. The easiest and most efficient way of fight this is with supplements. Although a vegan diet is highly nutritious, it sometimes lacks certain necessary vitamins.
1- Vitamin B12
Vitamin B12 is one of the key vitamins the vegan diet misses out on. This particular B 12 vitamin is essentially found in animal products. As the vegan diet remove all animal products. It eliminates easy access to vitamin B.
Vitamin B12 is a vitamin that helps manage and maintain many vital bodily functions. It can improve and increase healthy red blood cells in the human body, support the nervous system, increase fertility & metabolize proteins. Without this vitamin B12, these bodily functions can deteriorate and cause health issues.
Thus, it is very important to ensure you have enough vitamin B12 in your diet. Especially for those that are vegan and can lack this vitamin B12.These supplements to take for Vegans in the diet.
Foods rich in Vitamin B12 are an essential part of any balanced diet. Research shows that vegans have dramatically lower vitamin B12 in their blood than consumers of animal produce. The study suggests taking B12 supplements can easily increase levels.
Aside from supplements, there are other ways vegans can add this vitamin into their diet. Studies of this vitamin reveal that consumption of the following foods can improve vitamin B12 levels:
- Nori seaweed
- Nutritional yeast
- Soy products – tofu, beans and milk
- Breakfast cereals
The only way for vegans to reach the suggested daily intake of vitamin B12 of 2.4 mcg is to take supplements and add these foods into their daily diet.
2 – Vitamin D
Vitamin D is a fairly scarce origin when it comes to food options. Hence, vegans can struggle to complete the daily vitamin D intake requirements.
It is a necessary vitamin that typically promotes easy absorption of calcium and phosphorus. Foods rich in Vitamin D are an essential part of any balanced diet. Research reveals that vitamin D can inhibit many health conditions from cancers to autoimmune diseases. It is a vitamin D that expresses health amongst numerous parts of the body. Thus, without it the body can suffer and develop many serious health issues.
Other vital functions of this vitamin D include:
- Improving mood
- Helping with memory
- Maintaining healthy immune functioning
- Speeds up muscle recovery
Vitamin D typically comes from our regular foods such as oily fish, eggs, red meats, and fat spreads. All the foods are prohibited on the vegan diet.
Another way to increase vitamin D is with sun exposure. But, this is often heavy and not recommended due to skin damage and the negative effects of regular UV exposure.
Thus, Vitamin D is also promoted as a fortified vitamin in many plant-based kinds of milk.
To check your vitamin D level, you can get a reading from a doctor. Healthy levels measured at 30 mg/dL or more. If your reading is below that, vegan or not, it is important and necessary to take supplements to improve the reading.
3 – Iron
Anemia is a usual problem for vegan diets. This is simply an iron deficiency problem. Well, iron is a key vitamin for the healthy functioning of red blood cells, iron helps carry oxygen through the blood. The research concludes that iron is also necessary for energy absorption and metabolism. iron supplements to take for Vegans in diet
Foods rich in Iron are an essential part of any balanced diet. Iron-rich foods are categorized into two groups. One being heme, which comes from animal products such as meat. Heme iron is easier to digest and holds a high concentration of iron. The second group of iron is non-heme which is derived from plants.
Plant-based/nonheme sources that are rich in iron include:
- Nuts – pistachios, brazil, almonds, and cashews
- Legumes – beans, pea, and lentils
- Whole grains – oatmeal, barley, rice, buckwheat, and bulgar
- Dark leafy vegetables – spinach, kale, swiss chard, and collard greens
- Dried fruits – peaches, prunes, currants, raisins, and pears
- Seeds – pumpkin, flaxseed, sesame, and hemp
Whilst these foods can maintain sufficient levels of iron for vegans, studies show that some may still develop a deficiency of iron. Taking this supplement can combat and prevent a deficiency to help maintain the healthy functioning of cells.
Thus, consuming too much iron can cause other medical issues. So for an iron level reading, consult your doctor. From the reading, your doctor will suggest whether or not an iron supplement is necessary.
4 – Omega-3 fatty acids
Omega-3 are necessary fatty acids that derive from a variety of foods. There are 2 types of omega-3’s. First are necessary omega-3 fatty acids which you can only get from your diet. These foods are known as ALA’s and can be easily ingested by vegans as they are from plant-based food sources such as seeds and soybeans.
However, the 2nd type of omega-3 is long-chain omega-3 fatty acids, which vegans can easily lack. There are 2 forms of long-chain fatty acids, EPA and DHA. Although these are not necessary, they are found to be crucial for brain and cardiovascular health. Long-chain omega-3’s can reduce the risk of many diseases from cancers and inflammation to mental disorders in the human body. EPA and DHA acids are most often derived from fatty fish and their oils. Hence, they are not vegan-friendly. Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acid are an essential part of any balanced diet
Long-chain omega-3’s can be preserved through adequate amounts of ALA. But it’s not for all vegans. The study has discovered that vegans typically have 50% less long-chain fatty acids in their blood than non-vegans.
Thus, taking long-chain omega-3 fatty acid supplements can improve this quantity and promote good health and disease avoidance.
5 – Iodine
Iodine is a vitamin that is often hard to maintain if your diet removes animal produce. This is because of foods high in iodine being grown on farms or in the ocean. These include fish, dairy products & salts.
As vegans lack these foods, they can simply become iodine deficient. Iodine is key for thyroid metabolism and can prevent hyperthyroidism. This is an important issue that can cause issues for pregnant women and from that, can stunt an infant’s growth. In rare cases, its deficiency can cause infant disability. Studies found that symptoms of hyperthyroidism are commonly fatigue, dry skin, weight gain, and depression. Foods rich in iodine are an essential part of any balanced diet
Iodine is an important supplement to take for a vegan diet. To prevent becoming iodine deficient, it is suggested for vegans to take supplements daily. Iodine can be absorbed from seaweed in high quantities. Or, fortified foods can be iodized, but are more often than not very unhealthy. So, if you do not wish to eat seaweed or fortified foods daily, supplements are the best option.
7 – Zinc
Zinc plays a very important role in the human body. It is a mineral that acts as a tonic for over 100 enzymes in the body. Zinc can improve immune function, metabolism, and gene regulation. As well as that, it can combat chronic disease and inflammation.
With there being very few plant food sources being rich in zinc,.It is highly suggested supplements to take for a vegan diet.
Well, plant-based zinc food sources include whole grains, tofu, legumes, seeds and nuts. These foods can increase zinc intake but may not help a vegan reach the daily zinc average intake. The average intake of zinc is 8 to 11 mg daily. Research reveals that non-omnivores have considerably lower zinc readings than omnivores. So, a daily supplement to meet the daily zinc requirement is advised.
8 – Vitamin K2
There are two types of vitamin K that the human body must need for healthy functioning. Vitamin K1 is found in dark leafy green, which is suitable for the plant-based diet. This vitamin can be found in some plant-based sources such as fermented soy and vegetable dishes. But, vitamin K2 is typically found in dairy products and egg yolks. Which prohibited the vegan diet.
Both forms of vitamin K are necessary for managing and digesting calcium. Those that lack this essential vitamin may have issues with bone density.
There are very few vitamin K2 enriched plant-based foods. Supplements are an ideal method of increasing the daily intake of this vitamin.
9 – Selenium
Selenium is an important supplement to take for a vegan diet. It is a mineral that helps protect the human body from neurodegenerative disorders and cardiovascular diseases. Selenium is very rarely found in plant foods due to soil depletion. Its rich foods include red meats, poultry, fish, and eggs. Therefore, it can be difficult for the vegan diet to obtain selenium. Selenium supplements to take for a vegan diet are very important.
The highest selenium plant-based food is Brazil nuts. Thus, unless you wish to eat up Brazil nuts with most meals, so supplements are an easy way to maintain healthy levels of selenium.
10 – Magnesium
The magnesium mineral can easily lack in the vegan diet always. Again, due to soil depletion. It is necessary to have good levels of magnesium as it helps with iodine absorption, muscle and nerve regulation. But if you plan to take iodine supplements it would be beneficial to take magnesium too. because its supplements to take for a vegan diet are very essential.
Most foods rich in magnesium include non-vegan-friendly options such as dairy foods. And meat. These are essential supplements to take for Vegans in the diet.
But, there are a few plant-based options. We have that are vegan friendly such as nuts, brown rice, leafy greens, and whole grain.
Well if you wish to maintain healthy magnesium levels, consuming these magnesium-rich foods daily alongside supplements will be highly beneficial.