5 Essential Supplements to Support a Vegan Diet
Interest in converting to veganism is booming, with “a quarter of 25- to 34-year-old Americans declaring to be vegans or vegetarians” in 2019.
Whether it be for health or environmentally conscious reasons, a cultural shift is undoubtedly taking place.
Now more than ever it's important to be educated on what this means for your health. Let’s take a look into 5 key supplements to incorporate into the vegan diet to optimize your nutrition:
Vitamin B12 s commonly found in animal products and not present in fruits or vegetables. The vitamin is an instrumental component of DNA production, the function of blood cells and nervous system processes. As a result, vegans and vegetarians are at higher risk for vitamin B12 deficiency. Older adults are also found to have lower vitamin B12 levels because they have difficulty absorbing it.
Vitamin D3 is usually found in fish, milk, and fortified dairy products, making this supplement important to incorporate into the vegan diet. Vitamin D is sometimes referred to as the “sunshine vitamin” because it’s produced in your skin in response to sunlight. Benefits from taking vitamin D include fighting disease, reducing depression & boosting weight loss. Common foods that are high in omega-3 fatty acids include fatty fish, fish oils, flax seeds, chia seeds, flaxseed oil, and walnuts, to name a few.
Omega-3 fatty acids
The Omega fatty acid family plays many important roles in the human body. We can not produce them on our own, so we must get them from the diet. Omegas can improve brain health including certain mental disorders. Further, studies indicate that people who consume omega-3s regularly are less likely to be depressed (4, 5).
Vitamin K2 can be found in animal foods as well as many fermented foods. The vitamin activates proteins that play a role in blood clotting, calcium metabolism, and heart health. Further, Vitamin K2 plays an essential role in bone metabolism, as studies suggest that it can help prevent osteoporosis and fractures.
Zinc is considered an essential nutrient, meaning that your body can’t produce or store it. For this reason, you must get a constant supply through your diet or supplements. Zinc is required for bodily functions such as gene expression, wound healing & immune function to name a few. Zinc is also a key factor in skin health, maybe acne sufferers use the supplement to combat their breakouts. Clear skin here we come!