Vegan Supplements Part One: Your introduction to vitamins and supplements
If you are plant-based or vegan, chances are you might be worried about your vitamin levels. During the transition to a plant based lifestyle, this is often one of the biggest worries on a person’s mind. That’s why we’ve put together this introductory guide for you on vegan supplements.
Your guide to vegan supplements
Due to the nature of a plant based lifestyle, there are specific vitamins that you may lack. You should be aware of these, and supplement either with plant-based sources or store-bought supplements if necessary.
What are vegan supplements and vitamins?
Vitamins are organic compounds that are necessary for the body and its organs to perform its functions. There are 13 known vitamins. They can be either water soluble or fat soluble, which we will discuss in depth in part two of this guide.
The term ‘supplements’ is used for either store-bought pills or dietary additions to your normal diet, to maintain optimum vitamin levels. Vegan supplements contain no animal products. It is important to look at the label before buying store-bought pills as milk enzymes and gelatin are often used in production.
Why do we need vegan supplements and vitamins?
Vitamins need to be taken in because the body cannot produce them, or enough of them, on its own. In large part, vitamins are taken in through a person’s diet. In some rare cases, such as vitamin D, they may be absorbed through the environment (sunlight). As such, vegans or those living a plant based lifestyle may lack certain vitamins that are primarily gotten through animal products. To keep your body and metabolism functioning properly, you should be aware of certain vitamins, and how to get your ideal intake.
Vegan supplements and vitamins: Round up
People should aim to get their vitamins from whole foods, instead of store bought supplements. This is because supplements are often filled with synthetic materials, fillers, gums, and chemicals. Additionally, there is currently no federal regulation on supplements, so there is no guarantee that the supplement you are taking actually has enough of a certain vitamin in it to be absorbed by the body. Over time, some supplements can create imbalances within the body.
Nevertheless, for certain vitamins high quality vegan supplements may be your best option for intake. The most important vegan supplements are B vitamins and vitamin D. Make sure to purchase a high quality brand such as Metagenics. Personally, I take vitamin D in liquid form for best absorption by the body. Other vitamins can be taken through a well-balanced, thoughtful plant based diet.
Stay tuned for part two of our guide to vegan supplements and vitamins, where we will discuss important water soluble and fat soluble vitamins, and plant-based sources for each!