I have been vegan for going on 4 years now and have never supplemented my diet in any way. Recently I’ve begun wondering all about supplements and vitamins and whether or not myself and my family should be taking them.
I now have kids and wanting what’s best for them, I began doing some research as per living off of a vegan diet and what deficiencies may in fact occur. I was a little shocked by what I found, not so much because it is geared towards vegans exclusively, but more so because the supplements and vitamins I found that we should and would benefit from taking, are actually something that most people would probably benefit from as well. It’s made me realize just how ignorant we are about health and food in general.
Here are my thoughts and take aways from my research.
Vitamin B12 – Helps prevents anemia, nerve damage. It is great for brain health and your heart. Vitamin B12 can be found in fortified plant-based milks and potentially in nutritional yeast. Animals get their B12 from the soil and dirt and can easily assimilate and make their own; we can not.
Recommended dose of B12: 25-100 mcg/day (cyanocobalamin)
Or 1000-2000 mcg/day (methylcobalamin)
Vitamin D – Lowers risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s. Helps our immune system and our bodies absorb nutrients. Sun exposure is the only way for us to get our daily intake of Vitamin D, since this is not healthy and sunscreen is always recommended we oftentimes are not meeting daily requirements of this essential vitamin. Vitamin D3 would be more effective/beneficial than Vitamin D2. Previously Vitamin D3 was non-vegan, there are now vegan formulas.
Recommended dose of Vitamin D: 1000-2000 IU’s/day (read the label).
Omega 3’s – Great for brain and eye health and would also be beneficial in acting as a mood stabilizer. Omega 3’s come in three forms ALA, EPA and DHA.
ALA can be found in a plant based diet, namely through flax and chia seeds, but our body has to then take the ALA and convert it into EPA and DHA in order for it to be beneficial. Conversion rates vary, but it’s estimated that only 5-10 % of the ALA gets converted.
EPA and DHA is commonly sold under fish oil, but where do fish get theirs?? In their diet! Algae!
Recommended dose of Omega 3’s: 250-500 mg/day.
Please note: I am not a health professional. These are just findings I’ve made and thought I’d share with you. Please do not hesitate to speak to the appropriate person if you have questions or concerns about your health and well being (or your children’s).
01:35 Vitamin B12
07:15 Vitamin D
09:42 Omega 3’s
MORE NATURAL VEGAN MOM
WHAT I EAT IN A DAY: A