5 Essential Nutrient Supplements You Need On A Vegan Diet
By Published On: September 13, 2022Categories: Plant-Based Health & WellnessComments Off on 5 Essential Nutrient Supplements You Need On A Vegan Diet

Veganism is a plant-based diet that consists of consuming only plants and plant-based foods. These include fruits, vegetables, grains, beans, pulses, seeds, and nuts. While these foods are excellent sources of vitamins, minerals, and protein, they may not provide you with all the essential nutrients you need.

A well-planned vegan diet should include nutrient-rich whole and fortified foods to help provide vital nutrients. You need to ensure that your plate is made up of fortified nutrient-rich plant foods, especially those rich in iron, vitamin B12, and vitamin D.

However, if you cannot meet your daily nutrients through diet, vegan experts recommend taking additional supplements to ensure you get all the required nutrients.

Let’s look at five essential nutrient supplements you need when following a vegan diet.

1. VITAMIN B12

Vitamin B12 plays a key role in various bodily processes, including forming and dividing red blood cells, synthesizing your DNA, protecting your nervous system, and providing energy.

Some of the common symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency are:

  • Nerve damage
  • Fatigue and weakness
  • Blurred vision
  • Digestion issues
  • Mood swings
  • Tinnitus

You can increase your vitamin B12 intake by consuming the following foods:

  • Fortified non-dairy milk
  • Meat substitutes
  • Fortified breakfast cereals
  • Nutritional yeast
  • Vegan spreads

2. Vitamin D

Vitamin D is essential for maintaining healthy bones and teeth. It also plays a crucial role in numerous bodily functions, including ensuring bone health and regulating your immune system.

If you have a vitamin D deficiency, you will likely experience symptoms like loss of appetite, vomiting, constipation, and diarrhea, among others.

Vitamin D deficiency can lead to:

  • Osteoporosis
  • Muscle and bone pain
  • Uncontrollable twitching
  • Arthralgias
  • Neurological diseases

Some of the best vegan sources of vitamin D are as follows:

  • Fortified soy milk
  • Mushrooms
  • Fortified cereals
  • Fortified orange juice
  • Fortified non-dairy milk

3. OMEGA-3 FATTY ACIDS

Omega-3 fatty acids play a structural role in your brain and eye development. The three main omega-3 fatty acids are – DHA, EPA, and ALA.

While certain plants have a high ALA content, EPA and DHA are primarily found in animal products. This is why you need to take omega-3 supplements.

The symptoms of an omega-3 deficiency are:

  • Dry and itchy skin
  • Increased acne
  • Eye issues
  • Joint pain
  • Hair problems

You can increase your omega-3 intake by including the following foods in your diet:

  • Flax seeds
  • Chia seeds
  • Hemp seeds
  • Soybeans
  • Walnuts
  • Seaweed
  • Brussels sprouts

4. Iron

Iron is a vital mineral that helps make new DNA and red blood cells, as well as aid the RBCs in transporting oxygen to the rest of your body.

If you are iron deficient, your symptoms can include:

  • Extreme fatigue and weakness
  • Breathing problems
  • Cold hands and feet
  • Headaches and dizziness
  • Brittle nails

To avoid anemia and iron deficiency, amp up your iron intake by consuming food like:

  • Beans
  • Tofu
  • Fortified cereals
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Dried fruit
  • Spinach
  • Broccoli
  • Quinoa
  • Nuts
  • Whole grain pasta

Remember to include equal portions of nutrient-rich whole and fortified foods in your daily diet to maintain your overall health and well-being.

When on a vegan diet, always consult with a dietitian to ensure you get the right mix of nutrients in your eating plan.

If you are interested to learn more about veganism and vegan meal plans, stop by our website.

Chef Lauren and Megan from Planted Table

Hi, we’re Chef Lauren and Megan from Planted Table.

After transitioning to a plant-based lifestyle, we want to inspire others with tips, easy vegan recipes and more. Our blog features our vegan journey and recommendations on lifestyle, cooking, nutrition, travel, parenting and more.

If you live in the CA Bay Area, check out our meal delivery service, Planted Table Meals.

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