Being vegan requires you to make sure that you are getting adequate nutrition because but when you are eating a vegan diet, sometimes you don’t consume as many vitamins and minerals as you should. Since many vitamins and minerals are more readily available from animal sources, it’s important to know how taking certain supplements could affect your health. So it is always recommended that you consult your doctor before taking any supplements. Here are few of the best supplements vegans should know about.
1. B12: Vitamin B 12 is one of the essential B-complex nutrients as it is important for brain and nervous system health, metabolism, and the formation of oxygen-transporting red blood cells. Studies show that vegetarians and vegans have a higher risk of suffering from B12 deficiency. Not enough B12 can lead to anemia, nervous system damage, infertility, bone and heart disease.
2. Vitamin D: Vitamin D is an important vitamin the body doesn’t produce it on its own and it is rarely found in foods. Vitamin D is essential for calcium absorption and many vegans don’t get any vitamin D at all from the food they eat. So if you are unable to get enough vitamin D from food and the sunshine, you should consider taking a daily vitamin D2 or vitamin D3.
3. Iron: Iron is used to make new red blood cells and carry oxygen in the blood. Too little iron can lead to anemia, fatigue and decrease the immune system’s function. Of the two types of iron, non-heme, found in plant sources, is harder for the body to absorb. What this means is that vegans and vegetarians can have lower iron stores in the blood. This is why supplementing with iron is so important. Before taking this vitamin it is necessary to get your hemoglobin and ferritin levels checked! Unnecessary intakes of this vitamin can do more harm than good by damaging cells and blocking absorption of other minerals.
4. Iodine: This vitamin is crucial for healthy thyroid function, which helps control your metabolism. In fact, your body can’t produce iodine on its own. Your only options are getting it from trace amounts in food and supplements. Studies show that vegans have up to 50% lower blood iodine levels. If you want to avoid taking a vitamin consider eating more seaweed or even a half a teaspoon of iodized salt.