Nutrition

Vital Vitamins For Vegans

Vital Vitamins For Vegans

Health conscious, we know the importance that vitamins have on our wellbeing. Actually, I could write ‘War and Peace’ on vitamin importance if I thought about it. But, regardless of how much we know about vitamins, getting enough can still be a challenge. Even if we eat healthily and get our portions of fruit and vegetables every day, we can still struggle to hit our RDA. Vitamin content can vary across the foods we eat; Vitamin C is readily available in citrus fruits and peppers, but Vitamin D3 is a little more difficult to find.

Vitamins For Vegans

If getting enough vitamins is a challenge for the average eater, imagine how difficult it is when you eliminate all animal products. No dairy, no eggs, no fish, no honey. Fortunately, a vegan diet can be really nutritious, but it can be difficult to source some vitamins from plant-based foods. Some vitamins and minerals are just more readily available from animal sources. So, what do we need to supplement a vegan diet? What are the most vital vitamins for vegans?

  1. D3
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    D3

    The sunshine vitamin! As the name suggests, exposure to the sun usually gets us our vitamin D. But, I mean, really, how often do we see the sun in England?

    Few foods naturally contain Vitamin D. Cold water fish, like herring and salmon, contain D3 in low amounts, but none of these are part of a vegan diet. So D3 is the first on our vitamins for vegans list. It helps our bodies to absorb calcium, improves mood, and boosts our immune system.

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  2. B12
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    B12

    If you’re a little tired and weak you might need to talk to this vitamin. B12 helps to convert carbohydrates into glucose. It doesn’t give us a sudden burst of energy when we’re a little tired, but the glucose does produce gives our bodies energy to function.
     
    Vitamin B12 occurs naturally in a range of animal foods. Beef liver and clams are the best sources, but it is also in eggs, milk, poultry, and fish. But, unless they are fortified, plants contain none. So, the only reliable source of vitamin B12 for vegans then is supplements.
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  3. Omega-3
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    Omega-3

    The human body has around 37.2 trillion cells. Each one of these is formed, in part, by omega-3. This essential fatty acid is integral to the structure and function of every single cell in our body.  It’s quite important then, that we have enough of it. But it’s a nutrient that we can’t produce ourselves, rather one that we need to get from our food.

    Although one type of omega-3, ALA, can be sourced from flaxseeds, chia seeds, and hemp seeds, other fatty acids can only be found in animal foods. It is most commonly found in the tissues of oily fish, which is a problem for those who don’t eat it. Algae oil is the perfect vegan-friendly source for omega-3.

     

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  4. Protein
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    Protein

    Okay, so it’s not technically a vitamin but protein is really important. It is a fundamental building block of bones, muscles, and skin, and helps our bodies to build and repair tissues. So protein is a vital part of our health.

    But protein is most readily found in animal sources, like eggs, cheese, and meat. Other foods like tofu, soy, and lentils, can be protein rich too, but there is no denying that protein is more concentrated in animal products. Plant-based diets can, therefore, benefit from a protein boost with a supplement like vegan protein powder. It can be made into a shake, baked in a cookie, sprinkled on porridge, or even added to bread!

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Rebecca Todd

Rebecca Todd

Writer and Researcher

A writer. A horse rider. A passionate foodie.


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