Vitamin D For Vegetarians And Vegans
Vitamin D is important for many important functions, supporting the regulation of hormones, maintaining immune function, and supporting calcium absorption for bone health. If your climate and lifestyle allow you to spend a lot of time in the sun, then you may be getting enough vitamin D. However, the likelihood is that you are not getting the recommended amount of vitamin D. A study published by the Archives of Internal Medicine in 2009 estimated that 77% of US teens and adults are deficient in vitamin D.
Vegetarians have far fewer options for foods that contain vitamin D. Outside of dairy, fish, or eggs, vegetarians must rely on fortified grains and cereals as their primary food sources of vitamin D.
If you are concerned that you may not be getting enough vitamin D from food or exposure to the sun, consider taking vitamin D supplements. Be sure to look for vitamin D3, rather than D2. A 2012 study published by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition indicates that vitamin D3 is more effective at raising the blood levels of vitamin D. Vitamin D3 has become more popular in supplement form, but many foods are still fortified with vitamin D2.
Can Babies And Children Have A Vegan Diet
If you’re breastfeeding and on a vegan diet, you may need extra vitamin B12.
Take care when feeding children a vegan diet. Young children need a good variety of foods to provide the energy and vitamins they need for growth.
A vegan diet can be bulky and high in fibre, which can mean that children get full up before they’ve eaten enough calories and nutrients. Because of this, they may need extra supplements. Ask a dietitian or doctor for advice before you start introducing your child to solids.
Read more about vegetarian and vegan diets for children.
Which Vitamins Do Vegetarians Need To Take To Stay Healthy
There are many vitamins and minerals that vegetarians should take if they plan on doing the diet for a long period of time or indefinitely.
The main nutrients you should consider supplementing include:
- Vitamin B12
- Omega 3 fats
Ive been involved in various online health communities and forums for over 14 years and Ive noticed a lot of misinformation about nutritional needs on a vegetarian diet.
People who become vegetarian often want to stay 100% natural and do the diet without supplementing, but unfortunately, this can lead to deficiencies and lead to health problems. All diets have their weaknesses and vegetarianism is no exception.
Deficiencies can take a long time to develop because the body can store some vitamins like vitamin B12 in the liver. It takes months or even years for the stores of B12 to become depleted.
Vitamin D is another one which can take many months to deplete because its stored in the body as a fat-soluble vitamin.
Iron may also take a long time to deplete, so its important to have blood tests done to ensure youre not becoming anemic. Once youve been on the diet for a long time, you can sometimes relax a bit and have tests done every now and then or as required.
Lets take at some of the evidence for what vegetarians need to supplement.
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Do Vegans Need An Iron Supplement
However, the non-heme type of iron they contain tends to be more difficult for your body to absorb than the heme iron found in animal products.
Because of this, daily iron requirements may be up to 1.8 times higher for vegetarians and vegans than for people who include meat into their diet.
A well-planned vegan diet is likely to provide you with enough iron.
Plus, there are several ways in which you can help your body absorb iron from plant foods more easily, including consuming iron-rich foods together with foods rich in vitamin C and cooking with a cast-iron pan.
However, an iron supplement may be beneficial to cover increased iron requirements during pregnancy or for those needing to avoid certain iron-rich foods due to food allergies or intolerances.
How To Find Vegetarian Supplements
There are all levels of vegetarianism, and I completely respect that. Im fairly strictI dont wear leather, I dont eat soup with animal broths, dont do jello, reject caesar dressing, etc. Im not perfect though, sometimes eating cheeses that arent 100 percent vegetarian. Oftentimes, with somewhat unregulated items like beauty products or supplements, I go vegan though because that way Im sure.
So when youre asking what vitamins should vegetarians take, theres also the issue of what kind to take, ingredient wise. There are a few ways to find vegetarian supplements. The easiest BY FAR is online. You can find almost any type of vegan supplement on Amazon. Since the supplement world is so Wild West, I try to go with a brand I recognize or one that has great reviews. The ones Im recommending to you here in this post I have used myself. Theres too much crazy stuff out thereI wouldnt suggest one Id never tried.
You can also, surprisingly, find vegan and vegetarian supplements at regular stores like Wal-Mart. Some of them are clearly marked vegetarian. Some, like this folic acid Im taking, will indicate plant source for the main ingredient. Almost all supplements can have an animal or a synthetic source.
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A Quarter Of Vegetarians Have An Iodine Deficiency
Iodine is a mineral that is often forgotten, but it plays an important role in the body, especially for maintaining proper thyroid function.
Its also hugely important for metabolic processes in the body, regulation of growth and energy expenditure, as well as maintaining a normal core body temperature.
In 2003 there was a study published, which showed that 25% of vegetarians suffered from iodine deficiency compared to just 9% of people eating a standard mixed diet . Therefore, this shows the need for vegetarians to supplement it in their diet.
Symptoms of iodine deficiency
- Feeling cold and not able to maintain your body temperature.
Are Vegan Diets Healthy
Vegan diets can definitely be healthy as long as they are well-planned.
For instance, vegans appear to have up to a 78% lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes and a 42% lower risk of dying from heart disease .
Vegans may also benefit from a 15% lower risk of developing or dying from cancer, although more studies are needed before strong conclusions can be made .
Moreover, vegan diets appear to be very effective at lowering total-, bad LDL-cholesterol and blood sugar levels .
In fact, they are often more effective at doing so than diets recommended by the American Dietetics Association , American Heart Association or the National Cholesterol Education Program .
That said, its important to make sure thatyour vegan diet remains well-balanced. You can do this by including a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds to your diet.
To make sure you stock up on the right foods, feel free to download a free copy of my ultimate vegan grocery list.
You should also pay particular attention to the vitamins and minerals listed above and include either fortified foods or supplements to ensure you meet your daily requirements.
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Vegans Need To Be Diligent About Nutrition Too
There is no single healthiest way to eat, and those eating a plant-based diet need to be diligent about nutrition just like everyone else.
Despite all the health benefits listed above, eating plant-based does not provide immunity against all disease or guarantee excellent nutrition or perfect health.
Of course, a well-planned vegan diet can be perfectly healthy for people all throughout the lifecycle. But the truth is, no matter your eating pattern, you still need to be mindful of getting all the nutrients your body needs.
This doesnt mean you need to track every morsel of food you put in your body . But it does mean that learning and applying the basics of nutrition and listening to your body will help support your overall well-being and reduce the risk of nutrition-related health issues. So thats what were going to talk about today!
Vegan Dietary Supplements Faq
Can you be vegan without supplements?
You can be vegan without supplements for most nutrients as long as your diet is balanced and nutritionally dense, but you should always supplement vitamin B12, vitamin D, and DHA/EPA omega-3 as you cannot obtain thee nutrients from a plant-based diet alone.
How long after becoming vegan do I need to take supplements?
You need to take supplements for vitamin D and DHA/EPA omega-3 soon after you become vegan, while vitamin B12 can be stored in your liver for up to five years after going vegan though we wouldn’t recommend waiting that long!
What vitamins and supplements should I take when starting vegan?
You should take between 500 and 1000mcg vitamin B12, 50mcg vitamin D, and 650mcg omega-3 when going vegan.
What supplements are not vegan?
There are vegan-friendly versions for all major nutrients but supplements containing gelatin, carmine, or dairy byproducts are not vegan.
What supplements does a pregnant vegan woman need to take?
A pregnant vegan woman needs to take Folate, iodine supplements , vitamin B12 , vitamin D , omega-3 , and possibly iron and magnesium .
Best vitamins for women who are vegan?
The best vitamins for women who are vegan are iron, vitamin B12, iodine, vitamin D, and EPA/DHA omega-3 fatty acids.
How do toddlers get vitamins on a vegan diet?
Toddlers get vitamins on a vegan diet by supplementing lower amounts of vitamin B12 , vitamin D , and non-ALA omega-3 or taking a vegan kids multivitamin.
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How To Buy Vegan Capsules
Quick note: if youre strictly vegan, know that most of the clear or brown-is capsules , are not vegan. Even if they are holding vitamins for vegetarians/vegans.
They use the same animal byproducts as gelatin.
While Im traveling, I tend to get a little relaxed on this point. You simply have to pick and choose your battles. But, when in the US, I do take the extra step to see if I can find a vegan capsule.
Some vitamins for vegetarians like D3, calcium, and magnesium are mineral-y looking and dont have a clear coating.
Common culprits Ive noticed of non-vegan capsules are D3, omega-3, and probiotics. D3 can be found without gel capsules. Since I cheat on omega-3 anyway , I dont worry about that one. And probiotics can also be taken as a liquid.
Vegans Want Extra Than Simply B12
vegans want extra than simply b12
im right here with a message that, no doubt, isnt going to make me the preferred man on the vegan potluck. Lets dive into vegan dietary supplements and why we have to give attention to them. Right here goes
certain, vitamin b12 could be the one vegan complement required by vegans so as to survive. However in the event youre something like me, youre concerned about way more than survival you wish to thrive. Because it seems, theres compelling proof suggesting handful of sure vitamins not usually a part of the plant-based eating regimen may help guarantee optimum wellness and most healthspan.
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Taking Omega 3 Fatty Acids Is Also Important For Vegetarians
Omega 3 can be obtained by consuming foods that are high in ALA, which then gets converted to EPA and DHA. However, this is much less efficient than eating fish or taking omega 3 in the form of fish oil.
Women tend to be better at converted ALA to DHA, and therefore may not need to supplement. However, men, due to the fact that they have a reduced ability to make the conversion, may benefit from taking omega 3 supplements from algal oil .
Benefits of taking omega 3
- Help reduce inflammation in the body.
- Keep the brain sharp and may protect against dementia.
- DHA can reduce the risk of heart disease.
- EPA may reduce depression and anxiety.
- EPA can help improve skin health.
- Improve memory and cognition.
Those are just some of the benefits that have been shown in studies where people took omega 3 supplements.
Symptoms of omega 3 deficiency
- Feeling depressed and anxious.
Vitamins And Minerals Healthy Vegan Women Should Take
February 28, 2019 By Alina Petre, MSc. RD.
As a woman eating a vegan diet, or perhaps thinking about transitioning to one, you may wonder about the vitamins vegan women should take.
On the one hand, many vegans strongly claim that a whole food, plant-based diet can easily meets all of your daily nutrient requirements.
But on the other, media and some healthcare professional often warn vegans about the slew of nutrients that cant be easily found on a vegan diet.
So with so many conflicting views, it can be easy to feel confused.
Thats why this article reviews the 10 nutrients you may have difficulty getting on a vegan diet, which supplements vegan women should consider taking and when its most beneficial to do so.
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How Can I Get Enough Vitamin B12
Vitamin B12 is only found naturally in foods from animal sources, so sources for vegans are limited and a vitamin B12 supplement may be needed. If you eat dairy products and eggs, you probably get enough.
Vegan sources of vitamin B12 include:
- yeast extract, such as Marmite, which is fortified with vitamin B12
- breakfast cereals fortified with vitamin B12
- soya products fortified with vitamin B12
Adults need about 1.5 micrograms of vitamin B12 a day. Check the labels of fortified foods to see how much vitamin B12 they contain.
Personalized Nutrition Tips For Vegetarians
No two vegetarian diets are exactly alike. Every aspect of your lifestyle, not just your dietary preferences, can influence what supplements you should take. Its important to be thoughtful about your daily nutrition, as vitamin deficiencies can have long-lasting effects.
You can consult a physician to ensure youre taking the right vitamins and supplements to complement your diet and lifestyle. For nutrients like vitamin D and iron, a blood test may be necessary.
In most cases, an online assessment can provide a personalized vitamin and supplement pack that will help you reach your health goals.
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Do You Need To Take Supplements On A Vegan Diet
In the U.S, the CDC notes that nearly 10 percent of people have a nutritional deficiency. Across the pond, in the UK, the NHS has referred to malnutrition as a common problem that affects millions. If youre not eating a balanced variety of healthy foods, vitamin deficiency is a risk, whatever lifestyle you follow . Lets look at what nutrient deficiency is, whether we can get important vitamins from food, and examine: Do vegans need supplements?
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Where Do Vegans Get Vitamin B12
Vitamin B12 is a vitamin generally found in all animals foods other than honey.
Despite what some vegan proponents may claim, neither tempeh, seaweed, dirt, nutritional yeast nor mushrooms grown in B12-rich soil are reliable source of this vitamin.
Therefore, vitamin B12 supplements and foods fortified in this vitamin are the only reliable form of vitamin B12 on a vegan diet.
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Types Of Vegetarian Diets
There are a few variations on the vegetarian diet. There are ovo-vegetarians , lacto-vegetarians , pescatarians and flexitarians .
There really is only one diet when it comes to cutting out animal products and that is the vegan diet. Vegetarianism and its variations can be a great stepping stone to a vegan diet, but eventually we should all be looking to cut all animal products from our diet.
So Do Vegans And Vegetarians Really Need Nutritional Supplements
The verdict from scientist Chris Smith is an overwhelming yes. And thats not just Chris opinion, the Vegan Society and Vegetarian Society also suggest taking supplements to ensure you get all the nutrients you need following a plant-based diet. Thats not to say those diets arent healthy they are actually super healthy and great for the body but there are some nutrients you cannot get following those diets.
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Vitamin D3 And B12 Gummies
If you want to get your daily dose of B12 and Vitamin D3 in one go, these are a tasty way to do that! Both ingredients are plant-based and suitable for vegetarians and vegans alike.
This supplement is popular and has very good ratings. Not much to say about it other than they are tasty and I highly recommend the product.
If youre going to choose this supplement, you wont need any other B12 of Vitamin B12 supplements.
And since this supplement only contains 1000 IU of vitamin D3, you are able to also take a vegetarian multivitamin. This would be a perfect combo with the Naturelo supplement above!
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.
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