By nature, vegan diets tend to lack essential nutrients that meat and other animal byproducts usually provide the body. Whether your veganism is by choice or for dietary reasons, there are certain vitamins and minerals that should be supplemented to ensure your diet has sufficient nutrition. Nutritional product manufacturers work closely with pharmaceutical companies to provide the public with high-quality supplements that vegans can trust. Get the most out of your diet, your body, and your health by supporting your vegan diet with these helpful nutrients:
Commonly referred to as the most effective vitamin for staying energized throughout the day, Vitamin B12 is an essential supplement for vegan diets, as it supports nerve function and contributes to the production of red blood cells. People on traditional diets can easily get a healthy dose of B12 from the animal byproducts they ingest, but vegans must supplement with daily vitamins or rely on fortified dairy products.
Many adults are already deficient in Vitamin D, but vegans have even more to be worried about if they don’t get sufficient amounts in their diet. While there are low levels of Vitamin D in mushrooms and fortified products, the highest levels of Vitamin D come from fish and eggs. The silver lining here is that vegans can still produce Vitamin D via sun exposure, but unless you plan to sunbathe daily, you likely won’t soak up enough sun to overcome the deficiency resulting from your diet.
While certain types of iron can be found in plants, most of the iron in a traditional diet comes from animal byproducts, making it difficult for vegans to ingest a healthy amount. Iron deficiency is a common cause of anemia, but consistently supplementing your diet with beans, peas, and other iron-rich vegetables could help keep your iron blood levels in a healthy range. While it may be a good option for some, you should always talk to a doctor before taking an over-the-counter iron supplement.
Essential for a healthy thyroid, iodine is rarely found in plant foods unless they are grown near the ocean. Unfortunately, this means vegans are prone to iodine deficiency, which can lead to hypothyroidism and negatively impact pregnancy. Vegans should talk to their doctors about a healthy way to supplement iodine in their diet.