Vegans need a range of vitamins, but the main ones that are difficult to get from food are B12, folic acid, vitamin D, and iodine. However, it can be difficult to get enough of these vitamins on a vegan diet. This can lead to potential health issues such as tiredness, weakness, loss of appetite, weight loss, and megaloblastic anaemia.
Following a vegan diet can be amazing for getting all your A vitamins through all the amazing vitamins found in plants, but sadly it can also result in some vitamin and mineral deficiencies.
To help you with your nutrition, we’ve created this handy guide on the top 5 vitamins you need as a vegan which will keep you in tip-top shape and avoid those cliche ‘vegan deficiencies’.
Alright it’s sort of an obvious one. It’s the main vegan vitamin deficiency out there. B12 is however considered the most important when transitioning to a vegan diet. There are loads of vegan B12 supplements on the market today, and a lot of milk substitutes such as oat milk are fortified with it!
Vegan B12 is vital in ensuring the body continues to create red blood cells, keeping the nervous system healthy, allows the body to take energy from food, and allows folate to do its job creating cells.
Folates (Folic Acid)
Folate is also known as vitamin B9, this is used by the body to create healthy red blood cells. People who follow a vegan diet may experience deficiencies in this. This causes the body to make abnormally large red blood cells that do not work properly. This then leads to a folate deficiency anaemia, which can cause tiredness and other symptoms.
To combat this diet deficiency, you can take a vegan supplement containing manufactured folic acid. This folic acid is then converted into folate by the body. The reason folic acid is used as a dietary supplement is it’s more stable during processing and storage.
We can produce vitamin D as a response to sun exposure, but in the UK, it can be quite difficult. It can be even harder if you spend all day inside such as in an office too. It’s currently estimated that at least 1 in 5 of us have low levels of vitamin D in the UK.
The reason we need vitamin D is for calcium absorption and bone health. To ensure we get vitamin D, it’s recommended we use a supplement. There are loads of D supplements available for vegans, but we recommend using Vitamin D3. D3 is more powerful and is absorbed better by the body. You can read more about the science behind that here.
Iodine helps make thyroid hormones, these hormones control the body’s metabolism and many other important functions. The body also needs thyroid hormones for proper bone and brain development during pregnancy and infancy.
On average, adults require 140 micrograms (μg) of iodine a day. One of the main vegan diet deficiencies can be iodine, this is due to it being found in fish. Some types of plant-based milk are also fortified with iodine, but to ensure you get your daily dose, it’s recommended to use a supplement.
All in all, there are loads of different vegan supplement brands available, so it’s important to choose the one that’s right for you.
At Vegums, we’ve worked hard to create our multivitamin to give you everything you need and nothing you don’t, so why not check it out?
P.S – It tastes amazing!