Importance of Vitamins and Supplements for Vegans

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In the opinion of several nutritionists, veganism is one of the healthier forms of eating. As a result, some studies have shown that vegetarians and vegans tend to live much longer than people following other forms of diet.

In the opinion of several nutritionists, veganism is one of the healthier forms of eating. As a result, some studies have shown that vegetarians and vegans tend to live much longer than people following other forms of diet.

These studies indicate that the essential vitamins and minerals lacking in vegan diet followers are usually the ones that are rich in meat, eggs, and several dairy products- basically, the products that are absent in any vegan diet. 

Despite all this, several people have assertively adhered to their plant-based vegan diet for most of their lives. And due to the recent surge of consciousness for health and well-being, more people are opting for veganism as a part of their lifestyle.

Hence, the following question arises-

Do a person get all the needed nutrients from following a plant-based vegan diet? 

Well, of course, they can! But it is essential to choose the right kind of plants and other food that you consume to get the proper nutrients. What one plant may lack, other plants can make up for it. 

But if your diet is still insufficient to provide all the needed nutrients for your body, then you can turn to vitamins and supplements

There are several vitamin stores like Healthy Planet Canada that have several vegan vitamin and supplements options. These supplements help you bridge the nutritional gap in your body. 

In reality, it is almost impossible to have a perfectly balanced diet solely with plant-based foods. 

So, vegans need to think ahead and plan a diet that can meet all the nutritional necessities of the body. But to do so, they must first learn which nutrients and minerals are mostly lacking in a vegan diet. Then only they could choose the correct food items for their meals. 

The Vegan Food Pyramid

The vegan food pyramid is a guide that could assist you in planning your meals. This pyramid diagram shows the necessary food groups that must be prioritized in your daily meal plan to have a well-balanced diet, as recommended by the national health services.

Here is how the pyramid shows the priority of each food group:

  • Your meals must contain a large number of vegetables and fruits. They must be the main ingredient of every dish. 

  • The second comes grains and pulses. You must also try to add a good amount of these to your daily meals.

  • Try to add some beans, seeds, nuts, etc., as a part of your daily meal plan. Some milk substitutes as well. 

  • Last but not least, small amounts of fat and sweets are a necessity for now and then.

Following this food pyramid chart is not enough to sketch an efficient and effectively balanced vegan meal plan. You must also know which nutrients to focus on and how to include those nutrients in your diet. 

Which Nutrients are mostly Absent in Vegan Diets? 

Nutritional inadequacies frequently occur in vegans as they are eliminating various needed food groups from the diet. 

However, if you want to stick to a vegan diet, you do not need to consume animal products to fulfill your nutritional needs. This deficiency of nutrients is more frequent in people who are fussy eaters or are on a budget or do not have enough options of plant-based foods available near them.

We have listed the few essential nutrients that are deficient in vegans:

  1. Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 deficiency is common in most vegans and vegetarians, disregarding their gender or age. 

It is vital for the body as it involves forming DNA and maintaining healthy nerve and blood cells. 

This deficiency is essentially evident in vegans as vitamin B12 is naturally abundant in animal and milk products. 

People following a vegan diet can get the dose of vitamin B12 from nutritional yeast, different sorts of cereals, and oat milk or soy milk.

  1. Vitamin D

Vitamin D is essential for the proper healthy functioning of your bones and muscles.

Various milk replacements and enriched grains and cereals are also excellent vegan providers of vitamin D.

Although the best-known source of Vitamin D is the sun, a few minutes daily under the sun could be enough to provide you the needed Vitamin D.

  1. Iodine

You need iodine to sustain your thyroid hormones’ proper secretion and flow, which govern the body’s metabolic function and other physiological processes.

Vegans are more likely to suffer from an iodine shortage since they don't eat seafood such as fish and shrimp, milk, or eggs, which are among the most acceptable mineral sources.

  1. Iron

To manufacture hemoglobin and myoglobin, your system must have iron.

Typically, males require about 8 mg of iron daily, and females need about 18 mg or, in some cases, slightly more. The iron requirement in vegans is twice as much given the lower absorption of iron from plant-based food.

Nuts, beans, and fortified cereal are among the best vegan sources of iron.

  1. Zinc

In addition to boosting the immunological mechanism of the body, zinc plays an essential part in the production of proteins and DNA. Zinc also enhances your sense of smell and taste, and it is also vital for face wound recovery.

In addition to beans and nuts, whole grains and fortified cereals are good vegan sources of zinc. However, these sources are also rich in phytate, a chemical that blocks zinc absorption in the body.

The National Institutes of Health estimates that those who maintain vegan diets require roughly 50 percent extra zinc in their meals. A mature male requires 11 milligrams of zinc per day, whereas an adult female needs about 8 mg.

  1. Calcium

Vitamin D aids calcium absorption and vice versa, so calcium and vitamin D are equally essential for healthy bones. It's not just muscles that benefit from calcium; it's your neurological and hormonal functions as well.

There are some vegan-friendly sources of calcium, including vegetables such as broccoli, soy products, beverages, tofu, and alternative dairy products.

  1. Omega-3 fatty acids

Omega-3 fatty acids are a nutrient that is essentially only obtained from seafood. 

So the only option for vegans is to substitute it with different vegan Omega D3 supplements that could be found at any vitamin supplements store.

Which type of supplements is essential on a vegan diet?

Well, the answer is simple: you'll need to supplement all the nutrients mentioned above to meet the proper nutritional requirements of your body. You can easily find supplements for these nutrients at any nearby vitamin supplements store or any vitamin store online.

Even though the vegan diet is regarded as one of the world's healthiest diets, it's still not ideal. Well, to be honest, no diet is!

You can also easily figure out the means to get over those problems. For dietary deficiency in vegans, supplementation, making plans, and understanding your needs is the keys to having a healthy and balanced diet.