Veganism has made steady progress in recent times with more and more people ensuing for its incredible health benefits. Being a vegan means refraining from all animal-based food products be it meat, egg, or even dairy stuffs.
Being vegan is not easy as you not only give up your favourite food but also refuse much-needed proteins, vitamins like D, B 12, iron, omega fatty acids and other minerals that are available in dairy and meat products.
If you are a vegan, the only way you can provide all necessary nutrients to your body is to turn to health supplements. Talk to your doctor and take these health supplements daily, to maintain proper levels of energy.
5 Best Nutritional Supplements For Vegans
Foods generally hyped as a great source of vitamin B 12 for vegans include organic products, mushroom grown in B 12 rich soil, spirulina and nutritional yeast. However, these sources are not proven to be rich in vitamin B12.
Vitamin B 12 is essential for many bodily functions, including protein metabolism, the formation of red blood cells, and maintaining the health of the nervous system. Deficiency can lead to anaemia, infertility, nerve damage and heart disease.
The most reliable way for vegans to meet vitamin B12 needs is to take oral vitamin B12 supplements.
Vitamin D, a fat-soluble vitamin is essential for absorbing calcium from the intestine and development of bone and teeth. Vegans are also prone to vitamin D deficiency.
Few foods which are fortified with vitamin D do not meet the needs. Vitamin D can also be obtained through sunlight.
Vegans who find it hard to get enough vitamin D through sunshine or fortified food should go for vitamin D3 or D2 supplements.
Omega 3 Fatty Acids
Long chain Omega 3 fatty acids include- eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) are found only in animal products such as fatty fish and fish oil. Vegans completely lack this essential fatty acid, which plays a very potent role in foetal and childhood brain development.
Recent research shows that adults who take higher amounts of DHA have a lower risk of disease - Alzheimer’s, depression, and other chronic diseases. Therefore, vegans get benefited by taking DHA supplements.
Calcium is a vital mineral required for healthy bone and teeth, nerve signalling, heart health and muscle function. Few plant sources of calcium include kale, mustard green, watercress, broccoli, tofu and fortified milk or juices. However, evidence shows that vegans don’t meet their needs. So, all vegan consuming less dietary calcium should go for supplements.
Iron is an essential mineral which makes DNA and red blood cell, carry oxygen and nutrients to the cells and vital for metabolism. Deficiency of iron can lead to anemia, fatigue and lowered immune function.
Vegans tend to have low iron store despite having a range of plant products rich in iron. The type of iron found in plant-based food is non-heme iron which is not completely absorbed, whereas heme iron found in the animal source is readily available to the body.
Vegans not getting enough iron from their diets should go for iron supplements.
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