I am generally not a supplement advocate because I believe (and science does, too), that if you eat a healthy whole foods diet that consists of minimally processed carbs, and you don’t have any absorption and/or health issues, you should get all the nutrients that you need to function well. Now, as a vegan, no matter how healthy or unhealthy you eat, there is one nutrient that you won’t get enough off, and that’s vitamin B12. Let’s have a look at that and also talk about two other supplements that you might want to look into:
Garden of Life My Kind Organics is one vegan-friendly option for B12 supplements available.
B12 is an essential nutrient for human health. Its role is mainly to maintain our nervous system and brain function. Only bacteria produce B12, and neither humans nor animals can produce it themselves. B12 can hence be found in fermented foods as well as some types of algae. A lot of vegan foods like nutritional yeast and soy products are fortified with B12. Nevertheless, I believe out of personal experience and after having spoken with a number of doctors about this, that taking a B12 supplement is a wise thing to do. Although the body can store B12 for a long time, if you run out, it can have detrimental consequences on your health and lead to fatigue, depression, memory loss, etc. I recommend to my clients that transition into a vegan diet (and the once that are already there) to get their blood tests done once a year and check on their B12 levels. Most of the time, the result is to take a supplement, the strength of which will on your B12 levels. By the way, you can’t really overdo it with B12 since excess will be automatically eliminated by the body.
Vitamin D supplements are available in both capsule and liquid form (like Now Liquid Vitamin D-3).
Vitamin D can only be found sparsely in food, and the main source for us humans is the sun. Vitamin D deficiency is common in countries with long and dark winters since we don’t see the sun enough. Moreover, a lot of us spend less and less time outside so we don’t really get the right amount of sunlight in. In addition, it’s not recommended to spend too much time in the sun either, as we should stay aware of cancer prevention. Vitamin D is responsible for the absorption of iron, calcium, magnesium, and zinc in our intestine. Vitamin D deficiency is mainly a problem when it comes to our bones, which can become softer so we break them easily, and ultimately, it can put us at greater risk for osteoporosis. Again, get your blood levels checked on this, and chat with your doctor.
Enjoy probiotic-rich foods, like this vegan Korean Burrito Bowl with Kimchi.
Probiotics are basically bacteria that help to take care of your gut. The benefits of these microorganisms are huge: they strengthen your gut, can boost your immune system, and help with bowel movements. Recent research links probiotics to skin health as well as allergy reduction. More and more research also links probiotics to mental health which is fascinating; the gut has been referred to as the second brain which is linked to the fact that there are as many nerves in the brain as in the spinal court! A recent study called “Assessment of the Psychotropic Properties of Probiotics” found that taking probiotics for a short as one month could decrease anxiety, depression, and anger. Probiotics can be found in fermented foods such as sauerkraut and kimchi. If you don’t eat any of these, think about taking a probiotic supplement from time to time, just to reboot your gut bacteria. Make sure it’s vegan though!
Do you incorporate these three supplements into your daily regimen?
Do you swear by any other vegan-friendly supplements?
Also by Isabelle: 3 Best Artisanal Vegan Cheeses to Try Now
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Photos: Pixabay, iHerb, GNC, Peaceful Dumpling