It is a known fact that vegans do not eat animal products including meat, poultry, dairy products, fish, seafood, and honey. But avoiding these foods entirely can put them at the risk of deficiency of some nutrients. Hence, they will have to take supplements to meet the nutrition requirements of the body. The following are some important supplements that you have to take when you follow a plant-based diet.
This vitamin is naturally found in different animal products including meat, fish, eggs, and dairy products. They are not generally found in plant-based foods, except some fortified cereals and plant milk. Therefore, you will have to take a vitamin B12 supplement for avoiding the deficiency of this vitamin.
Vitamin B12 is important for many processes inside your body including the formation of red blood cells, protein metabolism, etc. It is also crucial for the health of your nervous system. Deficiency of B12 can result in different health problems including nervous system damage, anemia, infertility, bone and heart diseases, etc. Hence, including a vitamin B12 supplement can help to avoid these problems.
Vitamin D will be produced by your body when it is exposed to sunlight. But this may not be possible for everyone, especially for people who are living in colder countries and those who cannot go out of their home. Also, many people do not prefer sun exposure because of UV radiation. If you are one among them, then you will have to include a vitamin D supplement along with your plant-based meals.
Getting enough iodine is significant for the healthy thyroid function that regulates your metabolism. Deficiency of iodine during pregnancy and early infancy might cause irreversible intellectual disability. The deficiency of iodine can result in hypothyroidism in adults.
Foods that contain iodine include dairy products, seafood, seaweed, and iodized salt. If you do not want to include seaweed and iodized salt in your plant-based diet, then you might have to take a supplement that has iodine.
People usually take dairy products for getting enough calcium required by the body. This compound is necessary for nerve signaling, muscle function, and heart health. Some plant sources including kale, broccoli, bok choy, etc also contain calcium. But studies suggest that a large number of vegans suffer from calcium deficiency. Hence, if you also suffer from this condition, then it is important for you to take a calcium supplement.
There are some nutrients that might be lacking from your diet if you only eat plant-based foods. Hence, you will have to take supplements to avoid the deficiency of such nutrients.