By Dr. Nicole Avena
Whether you are a vegan for health, environmental, spiritual, or ethical reasons (or all of the above), or considering making the switch to veganism, it’s essential to make sure you’re getting all the nutrients you need to stay healthy and strong.
There is a lot of research out there that shows us how beneficial a plant-based diet is for our health, especially in the long-run. Veganism, in particular, is a diet rich in vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, and antioxidants, but it can also be lacking in some essential nutrients. This is in part because some of these nutrients are more readily available in animal products, whereas others are plentiful in plants, but other compounds present interfere with nutrient absorption.
The most common nutrients lacking in a vegan diet are vitamin B12, vitamin D, iodine, calcium, zinc, and iron. That’s not to say that you won’t get any of these nutrients in a vegan diet, but if you take a supplement like Vegums Mulitvitamin for Vegans, you won’t need to worry about any potential deficiencies. Here’s why:
Vitamin B12 is predominantly found in animal products, and otherwise only in fortified cereals and fortified nutritional yeast. Vitamin D is naturally found in very few foods, regardless of dietary preference, and typically needs to be supplemented in a variety of individuals, especially if your sun exposure is low. Similarly, iodine is low in vegan diets, as it is commonly found in seafood and eggs.
Calcium, zinc, and iron are interesting in that these minerals are abundant in a vegan diet, yet vegans tend to be low in all three because the bioavailability is lower in plants. For example, oxalates, phytate, and fiber in plants can all inhibit the absorption of calcium (it has a lot working against it!), and our bodies also find it easier to utilize the iron and zinc from animal sources.
Even if your vegan diet is full of variety and whole foods, it’s easy to see why some vitamins and minerals may still be lacking. With Vegums, you can relax and know that you’re supported and cared for. When you take supplements specially formulated for a vegan diet, you’re reducing the likelihood that you’ll run into any nutritional deficiencies that could lead to undesirable health consequences, and you may find yourself experiencing other positives that come with a healthy diet, like better sleep, improved energy, and feeling good all around.