Whether it's a lifestyle or a one-month experiment, more people than ever before are going vegan. Food Revolution Network
shares these global statistics as evidence:
- Self-identifying vegans have increased by 600% over the last three years in the U.S.
- GrubHub users chose vegan food 19% more in the first half of 2017 than in the first half of 2016.
- "Nestlé, the largest food company in the world, predicts that plant-based foods will continue to grow and … this trend is here to stay.'
If you're making the decision to go vegan in 2019, make sure you pay special attention to these six vitamins and supplements for vegans that can be more difficult to get adequate amounts from a plant foods diet.
Calcium = dairy, right? Yes, sure, but there are many other non-dairy sources from which you can source adequate calcium! If you haven't quite made friends with tofu and kale (good calcium sources, by the way), then you can get this mineral through dried fruits, almonds, and fortified foods like soy milk.
Dairy, fish, and shellfish tend to be the most common sources of iodine, which is essential for regulating thyroid function. Of course, with a vegan diet, those food groups are out of the question. A supplement may be your best alternative. Or, if you like seaweed… that will
get the job done. Up to you.
There are two types of iron, heme iron, which can be found in primarily in animal products and is more easily absorbed into the body and non heme iron which is found in small amounts in plants, but isn't absorbed as easily. Critical for the production of healthy red blood cells, iron is commonly consumed via fish and meat. Vegans can turn to whole grains, leafy greens, and fortified breakfast cereals or they can look for a vegan vitamin supplement.
Most people get their omega-3 fatty acids from oily fish. If you're on a vegan diet, flaxseed is a great alternative. Just grind it up and sprinkle it on yogurt or cereal.
The naysayers' favorite claim: You know, you can't get vitamin B12 from plants. It's only found in animals. True, most vegetarians and vegans need to be conscious of their B12 levels as they are more susceptible to a b12 deficiency which can cause anemia or damage the nervous system. Good thing there's supplements! Also, some foods, like breakfast cereals, are fortified with vitamin B12. Just check the label.
Shop Vitamin B12
Zinc boosts the immune system and helps the body heal. It also supports your sensory health (taste and smell). You can make sure your zinc levels stay where they should be by eating plenty of nuts and seeds. As always, topping off your levels with a daily supplement can't hurt!