A major concern for every vegan is whether they get all the vitamins and minerals required by the body from their nutrition. Despite the fact that vegans are always encouraged that they can be able to get all the nutrients from plant foods, incorporating supplements into your diet is very crucial.
According to research carried out by university of Eastern Finland some vegans can be able to get close to the required allotment of nutrients while others encounter deficiencies due to inadequate intake of the necessary foods required to supply such nutrients. In this article we take a look at some of the supplements that will be able to supply you with the required nutrients.
Foods that are rich in this vitamin include mushrooms that are grown in soils rich in vitamin B12, nutritional yeast and chlorella. From this we can see that it is a bit difficult for vegans to access vitamin B12 due to the unavailability and lack ease of access to these nutrient rich foods.
Studies suggest that vegans have an increased risk of having deficiency in vitamin B12. This is especially the case with those that do not incorporate vitamin B12 supplements in their diet. Lack of this vitamin can lead to anemia and can probably damage your nervous system. Additionally a deficiency in Vitamin B12 can lead to infertility, heart disease and even bone disease Vegans can remedy this situation by having a daily intake of 25-100 mcg of cyanocobalamin supplement or a weekly intake of 2,000 mcg
Vitamin D plays a very vital role in absorbing calcium and phosphorous from the gut. It is also important to your immune system and very many other bodily processes such as memory, mood and recovery of your muscles.
Unfortunately very few plant foods are able to give you the recommended intake of this vitamin. This to a great extent explains the deficiency in vitamin D among vegans. Vitamin D can be obtained from exposure to the sun for around 15 minutes during midday hours when the sun is strong. However the best way to raise your intake of vitamin D as a vegan is to take vitamin D2 and D in daily supplement. a good supplement of D3 can be vita shine or viridian.
Omega 3(long chain)
Omega 3 fatty acids can be said to exist in two categories namely essential omega-3 fatty acids and long chain omega 3 fatty acids. The latter plays a very vital role in the structure of your brain and eyes. Lack of this fatty acid can have a very serious effect on the development of your brain.
There is no official recommended daily intake for long chain omega 3 fatty acids, but professionals are of the opinion that 200-300 mg of any supplement that contains EPA and DHA (types of fatty acids) should be adequate. Vegans can obtain this through a supplement of algae oil
Adequate intake of iodine is crucial to your metabolism processes since it is needed for the health and proper functioning of your thyroid. Lack of iodine in crucial stages of pregnancy and infancy can lead to mental retardation.
Studies show that vegans have a 50% lower level of iodine as compared to vegetarians. The daily recommended intake level for adults is 150 mcg while pregnant women are advised to up this level to 220 mcg per day. To supplement this, a half a teaspoon or 2.5ml of iodized salt should be enough for you as a vegan.
Iron is needed to make new DNA and red blood cells and also carry oxygen around the blood. Deficiency in iron leads to anemia and a weak immune function.
The daily recommended intake for men is 8mg,adult women should take 18mg while pregnant women being at a higher risk of blood loss should aim at taking in 27mg per day. Iron can be found in many vegan foods and therefore it is important to check your hemoglobin and ferritin levels to see whether you are in need of a supplement. Vegans are advised to take in 1.8 times more than the recommended daily intake (RDI)
Known for the crucial roles it plays in the formation of strong bones and teeth, iron is also important in the proper functioning of muscles, the health if the heart and nerve signaling. The daily recommended intake for adults is 1000mg while those above the ages of 50 are advised to increase this daily intake to 1200mg.
Studies agree that most vegans lack in calcium. Apart from plant sources that are rich in calcium such as kale, broccoli, watercress and mustard greens vegans can obtain extra calcium through intake of supplements.
This mineral plays an important role in the repair of body cells, metabolism processes and also a strong immune system. Deficiency of this mineral always leads to hair loss; diarrhea and may delayed healing of wounds.
The daily recommended intake of zinc is 8-9 mg for adults and 11-12 mg for women who are pregnant. If you feel that you are not getting enough zinc from plant sources, as a vegan you can consider taking a zinc supplement in the form of zinc gluconate or zinc citrate which will provide you with 50-100% of the recommended daily intake
Selenium is a mineral that is only needed in small quantities by the body. This mineral has antioxidant properties that helps prevent the cells of the from damage through infection.
The daily recommended intake is 55mcg.because of its small required amount make sure that you talk to your physician before engaging in its supplement
Beta carotene is normally converted into vitamin A when it enters your body. Vitamin A plays crucial roles in the immune system, vision, reproduction as well as ensuring the proper functioning of your major body organs.The average daily recommended levels for beta carotene is 10000 international units.
It does not matter the kind of diet you have. a supplement in form of enzyme will provide the body with a lot of benefits. As a vegan it is worth noting that your supplements of enzyme should not come from animal products. A good supplement for you would be in the form of a high quality supplement such as VeganZyme
If you as a vegan can plan out your diet you can be able to achieve all nutritional needs no matter the stage of life you will go through. And to help you out in a major way are supplements. Basically these are supposed to provide you with enough cover in places where you are lacking.