Are you looking for the top supplements that vegans should take on a daily basis? Or trying to find out do vegans have to take supplements to make up for their diet?
In today’s article, we are going to be talking about vegan vitamins and vegan deficiencies and how you can eat a balanced vegan diet.
It is no secret that vegans do often have to make up for some of their diets through supplements and vitamins. This is because they cannot always get the necessary nutrients through a plant-based diet.
The good thing is that you really don’t need as many supplements as you think you do. In fact, you could get away with only taking these three daily supplements!
So, keep reading if you are interested in vegan vitamins and the best vegan omega-3 supplements.
Top 3 Supplements Vegans Should Take
Even though a vegan diet can be very restrictive by nature, that doesn’t mean that you necessarily have to live off of supplements.
It is very possible to be able to eat a vegan diet without having to supplement the bulk of your nutrition. Even without animal products, you can often get in all of the necessary nutrients through your diet.
If you eat a balanced plant-based diet and supplement what you cant get naturally from your diet. You can still maintain a healthy and balanced way of eating without having to supplement your nutrition.
So, if you want to find out more about how to eat a healthy and balanced vegan diet. While still getting in the necessary supplement, keep reading.
Vitamin B12 is by far the most common and most critical vegan vitamins that you should be aware of.
This particular vitamin is created from bacteria that live in murky water and soil. We often get this vitamin through the meat that has been exposed to the bacteria.
Because a vegan diet cuts out all meat it is important to find new ways of getting in this very vital vegan vitamin. Making it possibly the most important vitamin that every vegan should know about!
Vitamin B12 is responsible for preventing anemia as well as helping to make our DNA. It also helps your nerves and blood cells to remain healthy.
Vegans should take 250 mcg of B12 a day or 2,000 micrograms on a weekly basis. You will need to use a supplement made specifically for vegans like this vegan B12 supplement.
You can take the B12 vitamin in supplement form or you could eat foods that have been enriched with it. Such as nutritional yeast or fortified cereals and fortified plant milks.
Related: Foods High in b12 for Vegans
Iron is another one of the supplements vegans should take regularly.
Iron is important in a vegan diet because many animal products contain iron. This means that you might be low in it once you cut out animal products from your diet. Especially if you already had a tendency to be low in iron before becoming vegan.
A lot of iron that we get in our diet comes from red meat and poultry. This is why when you are figuring out how to start a vegan diet you will need to eat iron-rich foods.
Iron plays a very important role in many functions of the body. Including energy levels, immune function, body temperature, focus, and gastrointestinal health.
Without enough iron, you will most likely become anemic.
It is important to keep in mind that too high a dose of iron can be toxic so you should really get a blood test to clarify whether you need iron or not.
A common dose of iron is 18 mg per day for women and 8 mg for men.
This brand of iron supplement is a gentler option than many other iron pills. It is designed to slowly release to avoid causing stomach issues.
You could also try to eat more iron-rich foods such as spinach, lentils, soybeans, tofu, and chickpeas.
Omega-3 fatty acids are another thing that you might find yourself deficient in if you follow a vegan diet.
This is because most people get the majority of their omega-3’s from foods such as shellfish, fish, and eggs. This means that anyone could need omega-3 supplements even if they aren’t vegan.
Even though there are plant-based forms of omega-3’s, you should still make sure to get this important fatty acid in your diet. As it can be easily missed and forgotten about.
Omega-3 fatty acids help to keep your heart healthy while helping to prevent heart-related problems, such as cardiovascular disease and abnormal heart rhythm.
The recommended dose is 250-500 mg per day for most adults. This is a great vegan friendly omega-3 formula!
You can also find natural omega-3’s in foods like flax seeds, walnuts, hemp seeds, and chia seeds.
Most people will need to supplement omega-3’s as many of us don’t eat enough of these natural sources of omega-3 fatty acids.
Do Vegans Have to Take Supplements?
If you are reading this article on three supplements vegans should take. You may be wondering if vegans really have to take supplements.
One unflattering aspect of a plant-based diet is the belief that you have to substitute much of your nutrition through supplementation.
Though many vegans do choose to take vitamins and supplements, you don’t necessarily have to. Of course, there are some that you really should be taking.
Such as these three supplements that you should try to take regularly if not daily. These are the supplements that most on a vegan diet will end up needing.
Most vitamins and minerals can be naturally eaten through your diet. Even if you avoid eating things such as meat and dairy.
So, the answer is no, vegans do not have to take supplements. There are a few supplements that vegans should take but it isn’t necessarily required.
If you want to have a healthy diet you should consider taking a few key supplements for your health. But in general, supplements are not a required part of a vegan diet.
How Many Supplements do I Need on a Vegan Diet?
Many people think that being on a plant-based diet means having to take handfuls of supplements. But that just isn’t true.
As we have talked about in this article, there are a few supplements that you really should consider taking if you are vegan. But a balanced diet is usually all you have to worry about.
Generally, you shouldn’t take more supplements and vitamins than you need. Most of the time you will be getting the bulk of your nutrients through your food alone.
It can be just as bad to take too many supplements as it is to become deficient.
The best course of action to take is to only take supplements that you know your diet is lacking.
If you are vegan you should take b12 vitamins because a vegan diet is almost always low in b12. You could also focus on other things that a vegan diet is naturally low in such as iron, omega-3’s, and vitamin D.
You don’t need to go overboard when it comes to taking supplements. Even on a vegan diet you are most likely getting all of the nutrients that you need.
Should You Take Supplements Regularly?
One thing that many people might be unsure of is whether or not they should take supplements regularly.
Many supplements recommend several doses throughout the day but is that really necessary?
If you plan on taking a specific supplement for a long period of time you can take much smaller doses on a regular basis. Or you could take a few much larger doses.
B12 is a good example of that as you can take a few large doses twice a week or you can take one small dose every day. It really depends on your personal preference and whether or not you can remember to take supplements daily.
Most supplements that you take long-term can be spaced out or taken in very small daily doses.
How to Know if You are Deficient on a Vegan Diet?
If you are worried about not getting the necessary vitamins and minerals through your diet there are a few things that you can watch for.
Sometimes deficiencies come with no symptoms while other times you can notice an immediate difference in your health.
Here are a few common symptoms that can be a sign that you have a vitamin or mineral deficiency:
- Brittle and dry hair or nails
- Dull skin
- Shortness of breath
- Weight loss
- Muscle weakness
- Numbness or tingling in your hands and feet
- Irregular heartbeats
These are just a few common signs of a deficiency that you can look out for if you are worried about not getting enough nutrients through your plant-based diet.
Possibly the best thing that you can do if you are worried about being deficient is to see your doctor. Have your lab work done to check on your nutritional levels and blood work.
This will help your doctor to know whether or not you have a deficiency or are becoming low in a vitamin or mineral.
This is the best option as it is always better to know exactly what you need to take. Instead of just taking supplements that you think you might need.
How to Eat a Balanced Vegan Diet
When you are looking into how to start a vegan diet, you should prioritize balance above all else. Because balance is what will help you to eat a healthy diet that is full of abundance.
Try to branch out and try new foods in order to replace the animal products that you are cutting out. And eat a variety of different vegetables, fruits, legumes, and grains.
Every meal that you eat should contain several different kinds of foods and every meal should look different from the rest to create a balance. Eating a diet that is varied will help you to get in a variety of vitamins and minerals throughout your daily meals.
And if there is a vitamin that you just struggle to eat enough of, think about supplementation. Even the healthiest people often take daily or weekly supplements for one reason or another even if they don’t follow a vegan diet!
Here are a few ways that you can encourage balance in your vegan diet and avoid vegan vitamin deficiencies:
Eat a Variety
The best way to eat a balanced diet full of vitamins and minerals is to eat plenty of variety.
Try out different types of vegetables, fruits, grains, and legumes. Mix and match different foods throughout the day in order to get a variety of nutrients and vitamins.
Avoid eating the same thing over and over throughout the week.
Eat Fortified Foods
Fortified foods are foods that have had vitamins and minerals added to them. This can be very handy if you know that you need to be eating more nutrients.
Fortified foods provide an easy way to get in extra vitamins and minerals. So that your diet can be more substantial and nutritious.
Plenty of foods are fortified with important vitamins such as b12 and iron. Organic soy milk, certain cereals, and grains are often fortified foods.
Supplement When Necessary
It is important to remember that sometimes supplementation is necessary. Even people who eat animal products often have to take one or two supplements daily.
If you either can’t get certain nutrients through your food or don’t absorb them properly. It is important to start to supplement those nutrients.
Taking supplements doesn’t necessarily mean that your diet isn’t healthy it just means that you need a little bit of help.
Supplements shouldn’t replace nutrition but they can help you to have a more balanced vegan diet!
3 Daily Supplements Vegans Should Take Conclusion
I hope that this article on supplements vegans should take has been helpful to you. And that maybe some of your questions are now answered.
If you were wanting to know do vegans have to take supplements you can walk away with a better understanding o a vegan diet.
Every diet is going to fall short of some kinds of nutrients and everyone is going to struggle in one way or another.
Sometimes needing to take supplements has nothing to do with your diet. There are times where you can be eating all of the right things, but you aren’t absorbing the vitamins and minerals from your food.
There are many reasons why you might need to take supplements whether you follow a vegan diet or not.
So, if you are considering becoming vegan, don’t let the thought of supplements scare you away. You do not need to live off of supplements on a vegan diet as long as you eat a balanced diet.