Thursday, July 18, 2024
HomeWhat Vitamins Do Vegetarians Need

What Vitamins Do Vegetarians Need

The Booster Range Of Vegan Supplements

Do Vegans Need Supplements?

On top of the bare essentials, some people on a plant-based diet might want to boost their levels of non-essential nutrients. While a whole food plant-based diet can get you the majority of nutrients you need to feel your best, some vegans may choose to supplement for macronutrients and micronutrients that require some additional diet planning.

These are the nutrients that health-conscious vegans might want to get more of, according to the latest science!

Vegan Plant-Based Protein Powders

“Where do you get your protein?” is hands-down the most frequently asked question vegans get on a daily basis, and while it may seem obnoxious to most of us, there are reasons for this concern.

According to a 2019 study, vegans suffer a modest risk of inadequate protein intake compared to vegetarians and meat-eaters, so while the concern for protein deficiency is surely overstated, those on a plant-based diet should be mindful of their daily protein intake. If your diet doesn’t include enough legumes, nuts, and seeds, reaching for a vegan-friendly protein powder should easily get your levels to where they need to be.

Why vegans need to take a protein powder

Vegans who do not get enough protein from whole foods, whether because they are too busy to plan their diet adequately or struggle to enjoy legumes and other plant-based sources, need to take a high-quality protein powder to make up for it.

How to get plant-based protein without a supplement
How much protein powder should a vegan take

Vitamin Supplements For Vegans: Conclusion

After dealing with such a long list of vitamins and minerals that vegan diets are believed to lack, it’s only natural that you may be wondering if eating vegan is the right choice for your health.

The good news is that, yes, it is! A well-planned vegan diet can give you everything you need as long as you make sure you’re supplementing key nutrients with quality products. Whether you’re looking to boost energy, immunity, ease stress, sleep better, or give your appearance the ultimate glow, you can combat all nutrient deficiencies in 2020 by just remembering to take your daily vitamins.

Specific Nutrients Vegetarians Should Pay Attention To


Vitamin B12 is required for DNA synthesis, healthy neurological function, and the manufacturing of red blood cells that carry oxygen to our cells.3 Consequently, if youre deficient in B12, your cells may not receive the necessary amount of oxygen they need to function. A B12 deficiency is linked to anemia, neurological issues, low energy levels, and overall weakness.46 In other words, a B12 deficiency can leave you feeling tired and sluggishsomething none of us can afford these days. Because our bodies do not make B12, we must obtain it from food sources and/or supplements. Although there are plant-based sources that naturally contain B12 or are fortified with B12 , because these options are less prevalent than animal-derived sources, vegetarians are at particularly high risk for B12 deficiency.7



Like B12, iron plays a major role in red blood cell production, particularly in the formation of hemoglobin, which transports oxygen from the lungs to other parts of the body.11 Iron comes in two forms: heme iron and nonheme iron . It is important to note that the amount of iron your body actually absorbs from these sources is typically low and will depend on the type of iron consumed along with other dietary factors.11 Heme iron is moderately bioavailable and other dietary factors have minimal effect on its absorption , the bioavailability of non-heme iron is lower and can be strongly affected by the consumption of certain foods .11


Vitamin D

Don’t Miss: What Can I Get Vitamin C From

Vitamins And Minerals Needed By Vegetarians

Vegetarian diet patterns are increasingly being applied by various ages. Considerations in applying this diet vary. Starting from the awareness to have a healthier diet, religious teachings, or certain principles related to environmentally friendly lifestyles. Whatever the reason, being vegetarian can provide health benefits if done correctly.

Medical studies have proven that vegetarians tend to have a lower body weight than those who regularly eat meat. In addition, the level of bad cholesterol in vegetarians is also lower so that the risk of coronary heart disease is lower.

Not only that, vegetarian food also has higher fiber. This causes vegetarians not to experience constipation. The risk for developing colon cancer later on is also lower.

Food Sources Of 5 Important Nutrients For Vegetarians

Vegan Supplements: What Vitamins Do I ACTUALLY Need (2021 ...

No matter which vegetarian eating style you follow, it is important to choose a variety of foods, including whole grains, fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts and seeds. This can help you make sure you are meeting your nutritional needs each day.


Vegetarians should consume a variety of calcium sources in order to meet daily requirements.

Dairy products are a rich source of calcium. If your diet does not include dairy products, calcium can be obtained from plant-based foods, but the amount of calcium that the body can absorb from these foods varies. Here is a list of vegetarian-friendly sources of calcium:

  • Low-fat or fat-free milk, yogurt and cheese
  • Fortified plant-based milks such as soy or almond
  • Fortified ready-to-eat cereals
  • Some leafy green vegetables including collard greens, turnip greens and kale
  • Broccoli
  • Beans including soybeans, chickpeas and black beans
  • Almonds and almond butter


Vegetarians should consume a variety of iron sources to meet daily requirements. Consuming a source of vitamin C at each meal helps increase iron absorption.

  • Some dark leafy greens including spinach and chard
  • Beans
  • Eggs


Protein is found in plant foods as well as animal foods. Your body will make its own complete protein if a variety of foods and enough calories are eaten during the day.

Vegetarian sources of protein include:

  • Legumes such as beans, peas and lentils
  • Whole grains
  • Eggs

Vitamin B12

Vegetarian sources of B12 include:

Vitamin D


Recommended Reading: Which Vitamin B Do I Need

Milk Infant Formula And Plant

Up to the age of six months, breastmilk or infant formula is the only food your baby needs.Until 12 months, breastmilk or infant formula should still be the main drink, although small amounts of full-fat cows milk can be used in cooking. Goats or sheeps milk is not recommended. Do not give your child unpasteurised milk it can cause gastrointestinal illnesses.Plant-based milks such as soymilk and other nutritionally incomplete plant-based milks are not suitable alternatives to breastmilk or infant formula for babies under 12 months.After 12 months, under the guidance of your nurse, doctor or dietitian, full-fat fortified soy drink or calcium-enriched rice and oat beverages can be used. Your childs diet should contain other adequate sources of protein and vitamin B12 before these milks are introduced.If you are going to place your child on a vegetarian or vegan diet, seek advice from a health professional on how to maintain a balanced diet and any supplements needed.

To Make Planning Ahead Go Smoother I Recommend Following The Portions Shown On The Vegan Food Pyramid

Heres how The Vegan Food Pyramid prioritizes food groups:

  • Veggies and fruits take up most of your plate
  • Whole grains come at a close second, followed by
  • Beans, seeds, nuts, and fortified dairy substitutes
  • And lastly, fats and sweets

Following this pyramid sets you up for a more balanced diet prescribed by the National Health Service .

But even with this guide, planning ahead wont work if you dont know what nutrients to focus on. So

Also Check: How Much Vitamin C To Take When Sick

Babies And Children On Vegetarian And Vegan Diets Have High

If your childs diet is high in fibre, their little tummy can easily feel full before theyve consumed enough energy or nutrients to meet their needs. High fibre foods can also lead to poorer absorption of some nutrients .Babies and children on vegetarian or vegan diets can get enough energy and boost their absorption of nutrients by eating a wide variety of foods and including lower fibre foods , in addition to wholegrain and wholemeal varieties.Another way to ensure vegetarian children meet their energy needs is to give them frequent meals and snacks.Feed and sleep patterns vary from baby-to-baby, as well as with age. A 79-month-old babys feed and sleep pattern might look something like this table:

On waking
Before bed Breastmilk or formula feed

This is an example only your childs eating and sleep and settling routine may be different.Try to include a mixture of refined and unrefined cereals and a variety of energy-giving foods in your childs diet:

  • hummus and other bean/pulse dishes
  • full-fat dairy
  • well-cooked egg
  • smooth nut and seed butters
  • avocado
  • starchy foods
  • vegetable oils or vegan spreads in cooking.

Vitamins Every Vegetarian Needs

What vegans and vegetarians need to know about vitamin B12

There are countless reasons why eating a vegetarian or vegan diet is fantastic for your health. Compared to meat-eating counterparts, people who eat mostly plants tend to weigh less and have lower rates of heart disease, cancer, and type 2 diabetes.

And yet, for all the delicious benefits, veggie-centric diets can sometimes be at risk for falling short of important nutrientsthough that doesn’t mean you’re doomed to miss out. “A well-planned vegetarian or vegan diet can supply all the nutrition needed to live a healthy and full life,” says Rene Ficek, RD, lead nutrition expert at Seattle Sutton’s Healthy Eating.

The key to success? Figuring out which vitamins and minerals you might be more likely to fall short of and finding the foods that can help you fill those nutritional gaps. Here are 5 important nutrients that all vegetarians and vegans should be aware of, and how to make sure you’re getting your fill.

This article was originally published by our partners at

The mineral is essential for strong bones and teeth, and also plays an important role in proper blood vessel and nerve function. Milk, yogurt, cheese, and other dairy foods pack the biggest calcium punch, so if you don’t eat themor don’t eat them regularlyit can be tougher to get enough.

How much you need: Men and women 50 and under need 1,000 mg daily women over 50 need 1,200 mg daily.

How much you need: 600 IU daily

Read Also: What Vitamins Cause Weight Loss

Vegan Supplements: Dha And Epa

The Essential Background

Weve all heard of the importance of Omega-3s for vegans, but we dont often hear that not all Omega-3s are created equal.

Omega fatty acids from flax or chia seeds the ALA kind are an amazing addition to your plate, but vegans may not adequately consume other forms namely DHA and EPA, which are critical for cardiovascular and brain health.

Omega-3s play a key role in nearly every cell of your body. As such, a daily intake of these essential fatty acids is critical for optimal functioning from regulating your cholesterol levels to powering your nervous system.

One of the most important functions which we are just recently beginning to appreciate is controlling the low-grade, systemic inflammation that is tied to many chronic diseases, like Alzheimer disease. Some of the strongest evidence, however, relates to the benefits in preventing and treating heart disease.

Why They Matter for Vegans

Fish consume micro-algae and other marine plants, and these species of seaweed are the root source of high-quality EPA and DHA. Those compounds are then deposited in the fishs fat deposits. Thats why folks looking for a supplemental source Omega-3s take fish oil capsules. Its not that fish uniquely produce DHA or EPA its that fish eat Omega-3-rich seaweed.

How to Get Vegan Supplements: DHA & EPA on a Vegan Diet

How Much Vegan Supplements Do You Need

So how much should you consume?

What Vitamins And Minerals Are Lacking In A Vegan Diet

Many experts have said that plant-based diets are one of the healthiest diets around with the vegan diet standing at the forefront. As a matter of fact, theres research suggesting how vegans had longer lives even when compared to those who practice other vegetarian diets.

However, its not perfect particularly when it comes to nutrients, and figuring out what vitamins and minerals are lacking in a vegan diet all comes down to whats supposedly present in meat, poultry, and dairy which, of course, they avoid.

Still, there are a lot of vegans who have sustained their plant-only diet over the years, so youve got to be asking:

Also Check: What Is Vitamin D 2

What About The Omega

Chia seeds and flax seeds, in particular, have abundant ALA, which the body can convert to EPA and DHA. Walnuts and hemp seeds also provide ALA.

But whether youre getting enough depends on the amount of ALA youre consuming, your conversion efficiency, and your bodys particular needs.

Considering how critically important EPA and DHA are to human health, supplementation is probably a good idea for most people and especially for those who dont eat consistent amounts of salmon, sardines, or other high-fat fish.

How much do you need? Theres no official recommendation, but most experts suggest a minimum of 250-500 mg combined EPA and DHA each day for healthy adults.

Supplement Your Vegan Diet To Help It Last

Vegan Supplements: What Vitamins Do I ACTUALLY Need (2021 ...

Ive made it my mission, ever since I started No Meat Athlete, to remove the ideology, preaching, and dogma from healthy, plant-based eating and instead let evidence inform our food choices.Veganism has been around a long time, but until the early 2000s it really hadnt succeeded in reaching the mainstream. What made it take off?

To me, its when it people began to believe that this diet is one thats good for THEM, not just for the animals and environment . Its when Brendan Brazier, Scott Jurek, Hillary Biscay, and Rich Roll started doing their thing, standing on the podiums at the finish line with omnivores. Its when I started No Meat Athlete, and when Forks Over Knives hit the mainstream with the health message.

And its when the weak, scrawny vegan image began to be replaced by vibrant, thriving, plant-based athlete.

Plant-based, evidence-based is the future. And for a lot of unhealthy people, it represents hope, a solution to our health, environmental, and economic problems .

Its the smarter form of veganism. Veganism built to last. Veganism for the future.

So there you have it. But for all Ive learned about vegan supplements over the years, the biggest lesson is that they generate a lot of discussion !

The comments section is the place for that, as long as its friendly and productive. Let me know what you agree with and what you dont, and what vegan supplements you take , so we can all learn something from the discussion.

Don’t Miss: What Are The Best Vitamins For Women’s Health

Chemical Properties Of Cobalamin And Vitamin Activity

The synthesis of Cbl is a prerogative of some bacteria and archaea . Its presence in animal foodstuffs depends on the process of biomagnification through food chains . Small quantities found in plants and derived from biofilms bound by Cbl cannot be synthesized by either animals or plants . Cbl is the vitamin with the largest steric hindrance . It consists of a tetrapyrrolic corrin ring core with a central cobalt atom, grouped with four nitrogen, one nucleotide base group and one upper ligand. The cobalt atom accepts different ligands on the upper surface: hydroxyl , deoxy-5-adenosine , metyl , cyanide . Me-Cbl and Ado-Cbl are the active forms of vitamins used as coenzymes in the cell . On the lower surface of the ring, the cobalt atom binds a 5,6-dimethylimidazole nucleotide base . Naturally occurring corrinoids without vitamin activity bind lower ligands different from DMB such as 2-methyladenylcobamide, methylmercaptoadenylcobamide-2,5-methoxybenzimidazolylcobamide, benzimidazolylcobamide, 5-hydroxybenzimidazolylcobamide, p-cresolylcobamide .

Supplements You Need On A Vegan Diet

We include products we think are useful for our readers. If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a small commission. Heres our process.

One common concern about vegan diets is whether they provide your body with all the vitamins and minerals it needs.

Many claim that a whole-food, plant-based diet easily meets all the daily nutrient requirements.

Some even encourage vegans to avoid all supplements.

Despite being well intended, this type of advice can do more harm than good.

Here are 7 nutrients that you may need to supplement with while on a vegan diet.

You May Like: What Vitamin B Should I Take

What Are The Most Important Vitamins For Vegans

Vegans and omnivores alike should be on guard against nutrient deficiencies. For vegans, a well-planned diet can go a long way toward avoiding the most common pitfalls. That means plenty of vegetables, whole grains, beans, and fruitplus a small amount of nuts or seeds each day. But even with all this taken care of, some vegans will fall short on a few key nutrients, especially B12, Vitamin D, calcium, iodine, protein, and zinc.

This guide brings together key information about supplements that are of special interest to vegans.

Vegetarians Are Prone To Developing A Vitamin D Deficiency

What Do Vegans Need to Supplement?

Mushrooms are one of the only dietary sources of vitamin D2

Vitamin D deficiency is widespread even in sunny areas of the world. Most people in the west today dont get enough sun because they work inside an office during the day, they use sunblock, or dont consume vitamin D rich foods.

People living in the northern hemisphere and have dark skin are particularly at a greater risk of vitamin D deficiency, no matter what diet they are eating.

Its recommended that most adults should be receiving around 1000 2000 IU of vitamin D per day. A fair person with just 10-20 minute sun exposure can generate this amount of vitamin D, whereas a darker person would need to stay out in the sun for longer.

You can also get vitamin D2 from eating mushrooms, but the levels of vitamin D vary greatly, so its better to supplement.

Taking between 1000 2000 IU of vitamin D in supplemental form has been found to be sufficient in raising vitamin D levels to a healthy number in adults. Its also been found to be effective and safe in pregnant women and children .

Benefits of taking vitamin D

Achieving optimal levels of vitamin D may have several health benefits according to research conducted over the last decade.

  • Lower risk of infections.
  • Hair loss.
  • Poor immunity.

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin and therefore you do not have to take it every day. In fact, you could take one high dose pill once a week for convenience.

Also Check: What Dose Of Vitamin D Should I Take


Most Popular