Do Vegans Need to Take Supplements

A plant-based diet is a great way to make healthier choices as you are eating lots of fruits and vegetables. Vegan diets have been clinically proven and shown in research to have benefits for health like being thinner and having lower cholesterol levels and blood pressure. However, eliminating meat and other dairy products may result in nutrient deficiencies.

Meat is a rich source of protein, which gives us energy and keeps us full for longer periods of time. Iron and vitamin B12, two nutrients found in meat, support our immune system and help blood and nerve cells function properly. Dairy products, on the other hand, are a fantastic source of calcium and contain vitamins A and D. These nutrients contribute to many functions, including reproductive and bone health.

Protein is incredibly important, but vegans do not always get the right amount through their diet. So the question here is, “Do vegans need to take supplements?”

If you are on a plant-based diet, you may believe that vegans do not need to take supplements, but many nutritionists have suggested that anyone eating a purely plant-based diet should definitely be taking supplements.

In the case of vegans, all animal-based ingredients are eliminated, and these foods provide some nutrients that are not found in sufficient quantities in plant-based foods. These nutrients include B12, vitamin D, calcium, zinc, iron, and omega-3 fatty acids.

Keep reading this blog post to find out why vegans need to take supplements.

Vegans and Health 

The most important query is: Do vegans typically have better health than non-vegans? And the answer to that is: Yes, it is true that vegans tend to consume more nutrients and have lower rates of some diseases than non-vegans.

Research conducted on seventh-day Adventists (A group of vegans) found that

  • They have a lower risk of heart disease and certain types of cancer.
  • The fewer animal products they ate, the lower their risk of type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and high blood pressure. 
  • Vegetarians have a lower mortality risk than non-vegetarians.
  • Overall, vegans tend to enjoy better health than nonvegans as what we consume on a daily basis, in combination with lifestyle behaviors has an enormous impact on our health. 

Is it necessary for Vegans to take supplement

Many people think that if you are vegan and eating nutrient-rich plant foods, you are immune to nutrient deficiencies because vegans tend to eat more nutrient-rich plant foods than non-vegans, which is good. The short answer is, you aren’t.

Don’t make the same mistake that many others have by assuming that eating your beans, kale, oatmeal, and fruit smoothies will keep you healthy.

To make sure you are getting all the nutrients you require, you occasionally need to go a little further. Regardless of your dietary habits, nutritional deficiencies can be harmful, so taking precautions is a serious matter. Vegans are deficient in calcium, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin D, and a few other nutrients.

When you are vegan, it is important to replace the vitamins found in animal-based foods with nutrient-dense plant-based foods. This way, you are not missing out on any nutrients that those animal-based foods used to provide.

Nutrients needed with a Vegan Diet 

Here are a few nutrients that you need to supplement with while on a vegan diet.

Vitamin B12 

The development of red blood cells and the maintenance of a healthy nervous system are both aided by vitamin B12. People who do not consume animal products need to obtain B12 from fortified foods or supplementation. The supplement can be a straightforward way of ensuring that you consistently get enough vitamin B12.

Iodine 

Sea life is a source of iodine which obviously vegans do not consume. To get iodine, you have to consume sea vegetables several times a week or use iodized salts. It is important to give the right amount of iodine to your body as not getting enough of this nutrient can effect your thyroid health.

Calcium 

The majority of people get the majority of their calcium from cow’s milk, so how will you get your calcium if you don’t drink? 

Cow’s milk contains calcium, but plants also contain a lot of it. Calcium that is easily absorbed can be found in tofu, kale, oranges, and collard greens.

In order to get enough of these nutrients, which are essential for bone health, it is important to eat a variety of calcium-rich foods every day. You can always take a calcium supplement if you are worried about not getting enough calcium from food. 

Zinc 

Zinc is a nutrient that is abundant in meat and is also present in foods high in protein from plants, such as beans and nuts. However, the majority of vegans don’t consume enough zinc in food. There are many supplements related to zinc available on the market; therefore, under the direction of your dietitian, you can take such supplements.

Closing Thoughts 

Well-planned vegan diets can satisfy your nutritional needs, but it may be difficult to satisfy all of your nutritional needs through diet and fortified foods. This is especially true for long chain omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D, vitamin B12, and iodine. All vegans who can’t get all the nutrients they need from their diet should think about taking supplements. However, it is always advisable to consult your doctor before starting a new supplement regimen.