How Can I Get Enough Calcium
Calcium helps you maintain strong bones. Non-vegans get most of their calcium from dairy foods, so it’s important for vegans to get calcium from other foods.
Good sources of calcium for vegans are:
- fortified unsweetened soya, rice and oat milk
- leafy green vegetables
- brown and white bread
Adults need about 700mg of calcium a day, so it’s important that vegans regularly include plenty of these foods in their diet.
The body needs vitamin D to absorb calcium. Fortified margarine and fat spreads, fortified breakfast cereals and egg yolks contain vitamin D. You also get vitamin D when exposed to sunshine.
Examples of iron and calcium in your diet include:
- 100g of canned red kidney beans contains 2mg of iron
- an 80g serving of boiled spring greens contains 1.1mg of iron, similar to a 30g portion of raisins
- a 25g serving of almonds contains about 60mg of calcium
- a serving of boiled broccoli contains about 28mg of calcium
- 2 slices of wholemeal bread contain around 1.9mg of iron and around 85mg of calcium
Bones get stronger when you use them and the best way to do this is through regular exercise.
Vegetarian And Vegan Eating During Pregnancy
A vegetarian diet can be safely followed during pregnancy provided you eat regularly to ensure you have enough energy. Include a variety of foods from the five food groups each day to meet your nutrient needs. Most women will need supplements of nutrients that are difficult to obtain just from food . Vitamin B12 supplements will also be needed for women following vegan diets for optimal brain development in their baby.
Best Vegetarian Multivitamin Gummies
Multivitamin gummies by Flamingo supplements might be a good choice because its vegan and vegetarian-friendly. Its created in an FDA registered facility and includes some of the essential vitamins we discussed above, such as vitamins D and Zinc. Bear in mind, however, that it might not be suitable for those on a low carb diet because it contains maltodextrin. There are also a few other vegetarian gummies available as individual groups of vitamins.
Read Also: How Do I Know What Vitamins To Take
Vegan Sources Of Folate And How To Supplement
Foods naturally rich in folate include beans, leafy greens, whole grains and oranges. Whats more, depending on where you live, folic acid the supplement form of folate may be added to white flour, making all products made from it rich in this nutrient.
However, since white flour isnt as rich in other nutrients as whole wheat flour, its probably best not to rely on it as your main way to meet your daily requirements.
Birth defects can have lasting negative effects on your little one. So if youre pregnant or currently trying to conceive, you may want to discuss taking a folate supplement with your healthcare provider.
In sum: Folate is important for your babys nervous system development. If youre thinking about getting pregnant or currently are, you may want to discuss supplements with your healthcare provider.
Why Getting Enough Vitamin D Is Important For Everyone No Matter What You Eat
Vitamin D is known as the sunshine vitamin because the only way to get it naturally is by exposing your body to sunshine.
While our ancestors lived outdoors and didnt wear much clothing, in the modern world, this has changed. Today, most people work indoors and wear clothes much of the time.
As well, many of us live in northern climates with low levels of sunshine, particularly in the winter months.
A vitamin D deficiency is the most common vitamin deficiency in the world today. In fact, an estimated 40% to 60% of the worlds adult population dont get enough vitamin D.
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Is There A Vegan Alternative To B12
If for any reason you choose not to use fortified foods or supplements you should recognise that you are carrying out a dangerous experiment – one that many have tried before with consistently low levels of success. If you are an adult who is neither breast-feeding an infant, pregnant nor seeking to become pregnant, and wish to test a potential B12 source that has not already been shown to be inadequate, then this can be a reasonable course of action with appropriate precautions. For your own protection, you should arrange to have your B12 status checked annually. If homocysteine or MMA is even modestly elevated then you are endangering your health if you persist.
If you are breast feeding an infant, pregnant or seeking to become pregnant or are an adult contemplating carrying out such an experiment on a child, then don’t take the risk. It is simply unjustifiable.
Claimed sources of B12 that have been shown through direct studies of vegans to be inadequate include human gut bacteria, spirulina, dried nori, barley grass and most other seaweeds. Several studies of raw food vegans have shown that raw food offers no special protection.
Vegan Supplement Recommendations: Based On Your Goals & Lifestyle
Your specific nutrient requirements will vary according to your age, gender, activity levels, and overall lifestyle, so it’s always best to choose supplements that will cater to your unique needs!
Here is what we recommend for specific target demographics that may need supplementation the most.
Vegan kids vitamins
If your children don’t eat meat, dairy, and eggs, they will have the same nutrient requirements as vegan adults, with the only difference that they’ll need much lower amounts.
What are the benefits of vegan kids vitamins?
Choosing vitamins designed for vegan kids will ensure that they are getting adequate amounts of vitamin B12, vitamin D, iron, and non-ALA omega-3, as their requirements as vegans are higher than kids who eat meat, dairy, and eggs.
How many vitamins should a vegan kid take?
A good multivitamin will take care of the majority of your children’s nutritional needs. Just make sure it contains enough vitamin B12, vitamin D, and omega-3 fatty acids if not, have them supplement these nutrients separately.
The Best Vegan Kids Vitamins Brands
Based on the latest Amazon reviews, these are the top vegan kids vitamins in 2020.
Vegan collagen vitamins
Real vegan collagen has yet to be available on the market, but vegan collagen boosters are all the rage.
What are the benefits of vegan collagen?
How much collagen should a vegan take?
Taking a serving once or twice per week will give you visible results.
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Do Vegetarians And Vegans Need Vitamin Supplements
With good planning and an understanding of what makes up a healthy, balanced vegetarian and vegan diet, you can get all the nutrients your body needs to be healthy without the need for supplements.
However, if your diet isn’t planned properly, you could miss out on essential nutrients. Vegetarians need to make sure they get enough iron and vitamin B12, and vegans enough calcium, iron and vitamin B12. Women are thought to be at particular risk of iron deficiency, including those on a vegetarian or vegan diet.
Some groups are advised to take vitamin supplements, regardless of whether they follow a vegetarian or vegan diet. For more information, see:
What To Check For In A Supplement For Vegans And Vegetarians
Getting the right supplements is about making sure you are getting the nutrients you need in the right form, quantity and quality. Heres a quick checklist:
- The Right Form – choose supplements that are in the most effective form of the ingredient your body needs Vitamin D3 and Omega-3 DHA and EPA are two such examples
- Quantity check the contents of the supplement how much of your daily allowance are you really getting in a supplement?
- Quality choose supplements that have been tested and thoroughly researched for the most effective way to store and combine ingredients. Some multivitamin formulas can actually cancel out the effects of each other
- Vegan Society and Vegetarian Society approved this is a badge of honour choose supplements that have been approved by these societies to ensure quality and animal free products
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How Much B12 Should A Vegan Take
Getting enough vitamin B12 on a vegan diet is key to help your nervous system function normally, keep your energy levels up and maintain good moods and memory .
While its true that your body can store enough vitamin B12 to prevent a vitamin B12 deficiency for several years, markers of B12 deficiency tend to increase abnormally within a few months of switching to a vegan diet low in vitamin B12.
This is why its important to plan to get enough B12 on a vegan diet from the get-go. To maintain proper vitamin B12 levels, vegans should aim to get either:
- 2.4 mcg per day from foods fortified in this vitamin ideally eaten over three different moments in the day.
- 25-100 mcg from a daily supplement
- 1000 mcg, taken as a supplement twice per week
Vitamin K2 From Natto
As already mentioned, vitamin K2 is hard to get on a plant-based diet.
Its very important that we maintain healthy bones and heart health by consuming vitamin K2 in our diet.
Taking a supplement is the most convenient way to do that if you are not a fan of eating fermented foods.
This supplement is from fermented chickpeas. To ferment the chickpeas, they used Bacillus subtilis natto. Each serving will provide you with 90 mcg of Vitamin K2 .
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How We Get Enough Vitamin D Following A Plant
Vitamin D is essential for maintaining healthy bones because it helps us absorb and retain calcium, for healthy teeth, its important for muscle function, for keeping the heart and cardiovascular systems
working, brain development, immune system, and we could go on. But and its a big but Public Health England tells us that most of us arent getting enough Vitamin D in the UK because of a lack of sunlight throughout the year. Now it is found in some food sources, but when it comes to vegetarian and vegan diets, the key thing is the type of Vitamin D in your diet. Chris explains:
We hear about Vitamin D2 and D3. Now, Vitamin D3 traditionally is an animal-source vitamin D, so thats why its not suitable for vegans or vegetarians. The problem is that Vitamin D2 is very different to Vitamin D3. The easiest way to explain it is that Vitamin D2 is an analogue of Vitamin D, which means when it goes into the body it needs to be converted to behave like Vitamin D. Some data published suggested that Vitamin D2 is nearly 90% less effective than Vitamin D3. Thankfully there is now a source of vitamin D3 that is 100% plant source.
Chris Smith – Vegetology
Vitamins Vegetarians Should Consider Taking
Plant-based diets have been suggested to foster a healthy weight and reduce chronic disease. But when cutting out animal proteins, the diet may become off-balance and require supplementation to keep nutrients stabilized and present. These vegan and vegetarian supplements deserve some consideration if following such diets or lifestyles.
Although following a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle is based on an individuals own preference, plant-based diets have been suggested to foster a healthy weight and reduce chronic disease. But when cutting out animal proteins, the diet may become off-balance and require supplementation to keep nutrients stabilized and present. These vegan and vegetarian supplements deserve some consideration if following such diets or lifestyles.
What Is Vegetarianism and Veganism?
Both vegetarians and vegans dismiss animal meats. Each diet is plant-based and embraces nutrient-rich, whole foods, including whole grains, colorful fruits and veggie, nuts, seeds, and legumes. Vegetarian practices do vary and are further broken down into subgroups:
- Lacto-vegetarian: includes dairy products, including milk, cheese, and dairy
- Lacto-ovo vegetarian: eats as a lacto-vegetarian but includes eggs
- Semi-vegetarian: tends to exclude red meats but will include chicken, dairy products, and other animal-derived products
Minerals and Vitamins for Vegetarians and Vegans
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Getting An Adequate Amount Of B12
National recommendations for B12 intakes vary significantly from country to country. The US recommended intake is 2.4 micrograms a day for ordinary adults rising to 2.8 micrograms for nursing mothers. The German recommendation is 3 micrograms a day. Recommended intakes are usually based on 50% absorption, as this is typical for small amounts from foods. To meet the US and German recommendations you need to obtain sufficient B12 to absorb 1.5 micrograms per day on average. This amount should be sufficient to avoid even the initial signs of inadequate B12 intake, such as slightly elevated homocysteine and methylmalonic acid levels, in most people. Even slightly elevated homocysteine is associated with increased risk of many health problems including heart disease in adults, preeclampsia during pregnancy and neural tube defects in babies.
Achieving an adequate B12 intake is easy and there are several methods to suit individual preferences. Absorption of B12 varies from about 50%, if about 1 microgram or less is consumed, to about 0.5% for doses of 1000 micrograms or above. So the less frequently you consume B12, the higher the total amount needs to be to give the desired absorbed amount.
Best Vegetarian Multivitamin: Nutrigenesis Multi By Performance Lab
The NutriGenesis® Multi is an ultramodern multivitamin designed to improve overall health and aid human performance. This multivitamin product contains over 17 essential daily vitamins and minerals and has two separate formulations for men and women.
NutriGenesis® Multi is made with whole-food cofactors to aid absorption and is encapsulated in NutriCaps® to promote digestive comfort. The design of this multivitamin product supports healthy cell performance across all body systems leading to better overall health.
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Should Vegans Take Protein Or Amino Acid Supplements
Protein is not a nutrient typically lacking on most vegan diets.
In fact, all plant foods contain some protein, which is likely why most vegans meet their daily protein requirements without a problem.
That said, some plant foods tend to contain limited amounts of some individual amino acids, which are the building blocks to protein.
For instance, legumes tend to me low in the amino acid methionine while most other plant foods tend to be low in the amino acid lysine.
As long as you include a variety of plant foods in your diet, you should have no problem meeting your protein and amino acid requirements without the use of a supplement.
That said, vegan protein supplements may be beneficial for women with increased protein requirements or who need to avoid some high-protein foods due to food allergies or intolerances.
Vegetarians Are Prone To Developing A Vitamin B12 Deficiency
Vitamin B12 is important for a wide range of functions in the body. If you develop a deficiency, it can have disastrous consequences for your health.
Maintaining low levels of vitamin B12 on a vegetarian diet can also increase the risk of heart disease by raising levels of homocysteine.
Studies have found that in order for a vegetarian to benefit from the diet and have a reduced risk of heart disease, B12 levels must be normal. Some studies show vegetarians do not benefit from the diet because they are B12 deficient.
In one study, researchers discovered that 52% of vegans, 7% of vegetarians, and 1% of omnivores were deficient in vitamin B12 .
However, in another study, they found elevated levels of methylmalonic acid in 68% of vegetarians and 92% of vegans. While only 16% of omnivores had elevated levels of MMA .
This is a very important finding and proves that vegetarians must take a B12 supplement.
If you are eating a diet that excludes animal products, you should take a vitamin B12 supplement and choose sublingual methylcobalamin.
Symptoms of B12 deficiency
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How Can I Reassure My Parents That I Can Still Be Healthy While Following A Vegetarian Diet
Your parents may be worried that you are choosing to follow a vegetarian diet without knowing how to do it in a healthy way. If you can explain your plan to stay healthy and your reasons for wanting to become a vegetarian, your parents may be more likely to understand. You still might need to give them time to accept your new diet. Read vegetarian cookbooks or nutritional information with your parents and offer to help with the shopping and cooking.
Here are some ideas for kitchen staples that will be helpful when following a vegetarian diet:
Garden Of Life Vitamin B12 Spray Whole Food Supplement
Garden of Life serves people who want natural products which contain no animal-based ingredients at all. This B12 supplement is made from whole foods and delivered to the body as a spray.
Each serving will give you around 500 mcg of vitamin B12, which is high enough to not only restore your B12 levels rapidly but give you a bit of an energy boost as well.
If youre on a vegetarian diet and want to support an ethical company, MyKind Organics is one product line that you should think about using from now on.
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Vegan Supplements: Vitamin K2
The Essential Background
Most of us dont realize is that Vitamin K, like the Omega-3s, comes in multiple forms. One of those, K2, has only recently been understood to serve as a vital component of an optimal nutritional profile.
If you only take away one thing about K2, you should remember that it is critical to enable your body to properly manage calcium. That means moving calcium away from soft tissues, like your brain and your heart, and towards your bones and teeth.
The biological mechanisms by which K2 operates are the subject of many ongoing investigations, but the benefits and potential risks are already quite clear. K2 plays many diverse roles and recent studies suggest it helps prevent a variety of chronic diseases, like coronary artery disease. One way this is accomplished, similar to the Omega-3 fatty acids, is by combating chronic inflammation, which is linked to many of the leading killers worldwide.
But thats not the only way K2 impacts our body. By ensuring calcium is properly managed, K2 is critical in everything from preventing calcification of arterial walls to promoting strong bone density.
Why It Matters for Vegans
The critical realization is that Vitamin K comes in different forms. Many of us fail to recognize this, and assume were covered because we consume lots of Vitamin K1 through a typical plant-based diet. Indeed, K1 is easily attainable through a variety of plants, especially green, leafy vegetables, but K2 is not.
How Much You Need