The 5 Nutrients Vegans Lack and Why You Should Take Them as Supplements
Are you a vegan and not sure which nutrients, vitamins, or minerals you’re lacking in your diet? Here are a few that you probably don’t have enough of and why you should take supplements.
Going all-out with a plant-based diet can improve your health immensely. Going on a plant-based diet from one that includes animal products can significantly lower your chances developing certain health problems, such as heart disease. This is because meat-eaters tend to overlook and not get enough of nutritious fruits and veggies in their regular everyday diet. The human body loves and needs its fruits and veggies to maintain healthy functioning in the body. They are all around the healthiest and most beneficial foods you can eat. Vegans and vegetarians tend to eat more fruits and veggies in their everyday diet, and benefit from their nutrition. However, while still being the healthiest possible diet you can choose, going vegan can mean that you may not be able to get enough of certain nutrients in only plant products. The solution for this is quite simple: supplements! There are lots of useful supplements out there that will fill in the gap that your diet may be leaving so you can still have the healthiest possible you without eating any meat products. All you need to do is find out which vitamins, nutrients, or minerals you may be lacking, so that you know what supplements you might need. To help you out, here are the top 5 nutrients that you are more likely to lack as a vegan:
Vitamin D is popularly known for being the “sun vitamin” because you can get it just from standing outside and exposing your skin to direct sunlight. Sadly, though, it is a vitamin that most people are lacking, not only vegans. Normally, 30 minutes of direct sunlight exposure will do the trick, but circumstances like school, work, just life in general, and even the weather can prevent this. Vitamin D helps with your bone health, normalizing blood pressure, blood glucose control, heart and brain function, and even enhance your mood, so it’s definitely an essential vitamin for your body. To prevent a deficiency, take some vitamin D supplements every day in the correct dosage.
Taurine is the most plentiful amino acid in your body. It is essential for maintaining your heart health, insulin function, hearing, boosting your immune system, and keeping a healthy electrolyte balance. It does a lot for your body and you definitely need it. It is, however, mainly found in meat products and fish, which is bad news for vegans. Taurine will be a bit hard to come by with a plant-based diet, and most vegans are found to be deficient of this particular amino acid. Make sure that you don’t get low on taurine and get the right amount of it in your body by taking some supplements. The correct dosage may vary from person to person depending on their medical history, so ask your doctor what your recommended dosage is.
Iron is widely known for the benefits it provides your blood. Your blood health is quite important to your body’s overall health. Iron makes sure that your blood produces more red blood cells to prevent anemia and fatigue. Iron deficiency is actually the most common nutritional deficiency in the world, not only for vegans. However, vegans are more likely to have this deficiency because of the iron intake they need. It’s not that iron isn’t found in plant-based diets, in fact, it is abundant in most vegetables. The reason that vegans are more prone to a deficiency is because iron that comes from plant sources (non-heme) is less readily and effectively absorbed by the human body. To make sure that you get the right amount of iron you need and that it is absorbed correctly, take some supplements in place of the dietary iron you might not be getting. Be sure to ask your doctor about the correct dosage based on your medical history.
Vitamin B12 has a key role in maintaining the normal function of your brain, metabolism, nervous system, as well as the formation of red blood cells. Only bacteria and archaea are capable of producing this vitamin and it is mainly found in meat and animal by-products. This means that vegans are quite prone to a deficiency of this vitamin. As it is unlikely that you will get the amount that you need from your diet, and it is highly recommended that vegans take daily or weekly supplements of vitamin B12 to meet the required intake for your body.
L-carnitine is one of the essential amino acids your body needs. It is also another amino acid that is more prevalent in animal products rather than plant sources. Because it is mainly found in meat products, vegetarians and vegans will have less of this essential amino acid in their diet as it is not consumed naturally. One way to get your L-carnitine fix is to take some supplements each day. You can ask your doctor for the best one you can take and the dosage.
Supplement and Complement
Veganism or vegetarianism is one of the best ways you can improve the quality of your life and health. However, it’s also important to note which nutrients you may be lacking in your diet. Supplements are very useful in this situation because they are going to fill that nutritional gap in your body, but also fully complement your diet to give you the full benefits.