5 Supplements You Need for a Plant Based Diet
I’ve been eating a mostly plant based diet for the past few years. I’m fairly health-conscious and do my best to eat whole foods and plenty of them. However, I’ve always been a bit curious if I’m getting the proper vitamins and minerals I need with my current diet. As discussed in a previous blog post, I know the importance of eating an adequate amount of protein and have found plenty of plant based options to meet my needs. Still, I know there are other nutrients that vegetarians and vegans struggle with reaching their daily intake needs. I believe that it is best to get our nutrition from whole plant foods but sometimes it’s a difficult endeavor.
I’ve heard many people say supplemental vitamins are absolutely useless and do nothing for our health. I personally believe that they are beneficial but shouldn’t be considered your only source of nutrition. Meaning to say, I don’t think you can take a multivitamin in the morning and eat junk food all day and believe your system is healthy. It’s all a balance! Below I’ve listed the supplements I’ve chosen for myself, because I believe they will be helpful for my optimal plant based health. Take into consideration that everyone’s body is different; this is just an overview of my own routine. I am totally open to opinion, please don’t hesitate to make recommendations or alterations!
I take a multivitamin every more with my breakfast. I really like the Alive: Multivitamin Adult Gummies because who doesn’t like to eat candy for breakfast 🙂 Nonetheless, while researching important supplements, I read about a multivitamin specifically for vegans called Deva. It’s a multivitamin that caters to the needs of people who don’t eat animal products. I definitely want to try them out. Let me know if you’ve had experience with this brand!
All vegans need to take a B12 supplement. This is a nutrient that can only be ingested through animal products. You can purchase plant foods that are fortified with B12 (I put Nutritional Yeast on everything), but it’s probably best to also take a supplement to be certain you are getting a sufficient amount. I take a liquid vitamin B12 that squirts on your tongue and you keep it in your mouth for 30 seconds before swallowing. There are also sublingual tablets you can take that are highly recommended.
I hadn’t thought about this before until doing a little research this week, but those following a plant based diet should probably take a Vitamin D supplement. Most people get their Vitamin D from fortified milks and now some nondairy milks are beginning to fortify with Vitamin D as well. However, a supplement is a good idea if you’re unsure about your current Vitamin D levels. You can get Vitamin D from the sun as well, but during the winter we spend most of our time indoors and this can make it hard to meet sufficient levels.
I think meat and plant eaters alike should take a daily probiotic supplement. It’s really good for your digestive system. Everyone’s body is different so you’ll need to find the right probiotic for yourself. I’ve found some probiotics to be harsh on the stomach. What I’ve found to be the best choice for me is Acidophilus tablets. You can take between one and three chewable tablets throughout the day with your meals, and it makes for a less harsh dose of probiotics compared to the once daily pills.
Something else new I learned was that vegans can sometimes have an iodine deficiency. This is a nutrient that’s often found in dairy and seafood. So if you’re not eating these foods, a deficiency can occur. However, iodized salt is a quick supplement that doesn’t require ingesting pills. I also read that the Deva vegan multivitamin includes iodine, which will cover your needs sufficiently.
What do you think are the most important supplements you need for a plant based diet?