Vegetarian & Vegan Friendly Supplements
Vegetarian & Vegan Friendly Supplements
Vegetarians, vegans, and non-vegetarians alike should always be on guard against nutritional deficiencies. For vegans and vegetarians, a well-thought diet can go a long way to avoid the most common pitfalls. In this guide on vegetarian and vegan friendly supplements, we will be reading about some of the best vegetarian and vegan friendly supplements.
Popular vegetarian and vegan friendly supplements
Two omega-3 fatty acids [docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA)] are responsible to promote overall health, including but not limited to a healthy heart and normal brain function. They also contribute to a reduced risk for diabetes and stronger bones.
The primary source of EPA and DHA is fish. Plants include the most basic form of omega-3 known as alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) that is available in plenty in ground flaxseeds, walnuts, chia, soybean, tofu, and flax oil. It is best for vegetarians and vegans to opt for fish-free omega-3 supplements that deliver either DHA or a blend of DHA and EPA made from microalgae. If you are breastfeeding or pregnant, you may have a word with your physician about DHA supplementation, which is highly important for the central nervous system and the brain, and supports the healthy development of your baby.
Each one of us requires Vitamin B12 for healthy nerves and blood and a deficiency of Vitamin B12 can cause fatigue, anemia, or irreversible nerve damage. B12 is produced by the gut bacteria and large amounts are naturally found only in animal foods though dairy and eggs do provide some B12. You may embrace plant-based milks, B12-fortified breakfast cereals, nutritional yeast or meat substitutes. You may even opt for multivitamins or B12 supplements in non-veg gelatin capsules.
Iodine is used by the body to create thyroid hormones that assist with cell repair and metabolism. It is found naturally in some foods. The deficiency of iodine can result in hair loss, dry skin, weakness, fatigue, weight gain, swollen neck, learning difficulties, heavier or irregular menstrual flow, or slower heart rate. Some foods that are rich in iodine include eggs, dairy, seaweed, lima beans, prunes, and iodized table salt.
It protects against excessive bleeding and assists with blood clotting. It is available in two forms: vitamin K1 (found in certain plant oils and vegetables) and vitamin K2 (found in fermented foods and animal products). The deficiency of vitamin K can cause blood clots under nails, dark and bloody stool, easy bruising, and excessive bleeding. Some foods that are rich in vitamin K include kale, spinach, collard greens, broccoli, vegan sauerkraut, kimchi, Brussels sprouts, and dairy-free kefir.
Iron is a vital mineral that helps red blood cells transport oxygen from the lungs to the rest of your body. It assists with brain development and is used to create certain hormones. You can find iron in plant- and animal-based food products but vegans must consume nearly twice the recommended dietary allowance when compared to their meat-eating counterparts. This is simply because it is difficult for the body to absorb iron from plant-based sources (nonheme iron). The deficiency of iron in the body can lead to weakness, thin and brittle nails, dizziness, cold hands and feet, shortness of breath, chest pain, or fatigue. Some foods that are rich in iron include pumpkin seeds, dried fruit, spinach, broccoli, quinoa, beans, tofu, fortified cereal, nuts, and whole grain pasta.
Vitamin D, which is also known as the sunshine vitamin, helps in absorbing calcium for stronger bones. The deficiency of Vitamin D is associated with an increased risk of high blood pressure, cancer, and depression. You can opt for vitamin D-fortified foods, orange juices, and vegan vitamin D3 options that are sourced from lichen.
Calcium, which is essential for bone health, helps in reducing the risk of bone fractures, especially in the elderly. You also need vitamin D to absorb calcium. Greens such as collards, kale, and cabbage are rich sources of calcium beside dairy products. You can also count on orange juices, tofu, and fortified plant milks.
Multivitamins are a convenient and easy way to add overall value to your daily diet. In addition to vitamin D, B12, and calcium, it contains essential nutrients such as iron, zinc, and iodine that you may be otherwise missing.
There is a sufficient quantity of immune-boosting zinc in seeds and nuts, but absorption may be blocked by phylates in legumes and whole grains. Similarly, iodine (vital for thyroid health) can be found in iodized table salt (not kosher salt or sea salt) and sea vegetables but cruciferous veggies, soybeans, and sweet potatoes may interfere with the absorption of iodine.
Iron can be a tricky contender too. Women who are yet to reach the stage of menopause may require extra iron that gets lost during monthly periods. The absorption of iron is facilitated by consuming iron-rich leafy green vegetables and beans along with foods that are rich in vitamin C. It is best to choose multivitamins that are labeled “vegan” or “vegetarian” as some include digestive enzymes and probiotics (often referred to as friendly bacteria) that improves digestion and absorption of nutrients from both supplements and foods.
Sticking to a well-planned plant-based diet can be a good way to safeguard yourself against certain illnesses and diseases. If you are a vegetarian or a vegan, it is important for you to be mindful of your daily intake of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients.
We hope that this guide on vegetarian & vegan friendly supplements was useful to you.
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