As more and more people adopt a vegan lifestyle, it’s important to make sure that they are getting all the necessary nutrients for optimal health. While a well-planned vegan diet can provide many of the essential nutrients, there are certain vegan supplements that can help fill any nutritional gaps. In this article, we will explore the best vegan supplements to take to ensure a healthy and balanced vegan lifestyle.
1. Vitamin B12
Vitamin B12 is a crucial nutrient that is essential for the proper functioning of the nervous system and the formation of red blood cells. As a vegan, it can be challenging to get enough vitamin B12 through diet alone, as it is primarily found in animal products. Therefore, taking a vitamin B12 supplement is highly recommended for vegans. A daily dose of 250-500 mcg is sufficient for most adults.
2. Vitamin D
Vitamin D is essential for bone health and helps the body absorb calcium. While it can be obtained through sun exposure and fortified foods, many people, including vegans, may not get enough vitamin D. Therefore, taking a vegan vitamin D supplement is recommended, especially during the winter months or for those who live in areas with limited sunlight. A daily dose of 1000-2000 IU is recommended.
3. Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for heart health, brain function, and reducing inflammation in the body. While they are commonly found in fish, vegans can obtain omega-3s from plant-based sources such as flaxseeds, chia seeds, and walnuts. However, taking an omega-3 supplement that contains DHA and EPA is highly recommended for optimal health. A daily dose of 200-300 mg of DHA and EPA is recommended.
Iron is essential for the formation of red blood cells and carrying oxygen throughout the body. While it is found in many plant-based foods, the iron in plant-based foods is not as easily absorbed as the iron in animal products. Therefore, vegans may be at a higher risk of iron deficiency anemia. Taking an iron supplement is recommended for vegans who struggle to get enough iron through diet alone. A daily dose of 18 mg is recommended.
In conclusion, while a well-planned vegan diet can provide many essential nutrients, taking vegan supplements can help fill any nutritional gaps and ensure optimal health. Vitamin B12, vitamin D, omega-3 fatty acids, and iron are some of the best vegan supplements to take. As with any supplement, it’s important to consult with a healthcare professional before adding them to your diet.