It’s an incredible feeling when you make the choice to go vegan! You realize how much willpower you truly have, and your body immediately feels the effects of your thoughtful eating.
At least at first.
When your body is used to getting most of the nutrients that you need from your everyday diet, it can be jarring to realize that your new vegan lifestyle may be creating gaps. If you’ve been feeling sluggish, it may be time to introduce vegan supplements into your daily routine.
Does walking through shelves and shelves of vitamins and supplements overwhelm you? If so, you’re not alone. How can you determine which supplements you need when there are so many options?
Read on to learn about the most common nutritional deficits that new vegans deal with, and how to figure out if you could be better supporting your body with the best vegan supplements.
Vegan B12 Supplement
The most common deficiency that vegans face is a lack of vitamin B12 in their diet. According to a study by The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 92% of seemingly healthy vegans were actually deficient in this essential vitamin. This is compared to only 5% of the meat-eating population.
Why does it matter? B12 is responsible for the formation of red blood cells and the metabolism of protein in the body. If you’re feeling tired lately, there is a good chance that your body is struggling to create energy due to the lack of vitamin B12.
Over time, a lack of this essential vitamin can damage your nervous system, and lead to cardiac and bone diseases. It can even affect your fertility if left unchecked. If you have chosen a vegan diet for health reasons, then ignoring supplements can be counterintuitive!
If you have heard that B12 can come from plants, there is some truth to this. The catch? Scientists are still unsure whether or not the form of B12 that comes from plants (such as mushrooms and spirulina) is actually active in humans.
Vegan Iron Supplement
If you are the type of vegan who eats a lot of spinach, this may not be an issue for you. If you have fallen into “junk food veganism,” however, and eat more Oreos than kale, you could be dealing with an iron deficiency.
There are actually two kinds of iron absorbed as a result of what we eat. One type is derived from animal products, meaning those who do not follow a vegan diet naturally get more. For that reason, even spinach eaters need to be careful about getting enough other iron into their diet.
If you are feeling tired and it’s not a lack of B12, it could be a lack of iron. Iron deficiency causes anemia, and the result of that is fatigue. It can also cause your immune system to work poorly, causing more minor illnesses, such as colds.
If you are a person who menstruates, you lose iron each month that way, too. If you are not replacing it in your diet, a supplement is a great way to make sure you will remain energetic all month long.
In addition to leafy greens, quite a few vegan-friendly foods are rich in iron. These include nuts, seeds, beans, dried fruit, and enriched plant milk. If you’re still struggling to get enough, a supplement can help bridge the gap for you.
Vegan Calcium Supplements
Speaking of plant milk, another nutrient that many vegans are missing in their diet is calcium. Calcium is a nutrient that supports bone health and strength, but it has a lot of other essential functions in the body, too.
Calcium is responsible for nerve signaling. It also contributes to cardiac health and muscle function. Even if your brain isn’t foggy, your vegan diet may be leading to some body weakness due to a lack of calcium.
Remember those leafy greens that are supplying you with iron? Most of them are also great sources of calcium. You can get calcium naturally from kale, broccoli, bok choy, and chickpeas.
If you think you may be deficient in calcium, a vegan and delicious supplement, even one which contains CBD, is a great way to add some more while helping your body work its best.
Vegan Collagen Supplement
This is a tricky one because collagen isn’t traditionally vegan. Naturally, this protein comes from animal sources such as chicken and fish, as well as eggs. About one-third of the protein in our bodies is made of collagen, however, it’s important to get enough somehow.
There are plant sources of collagen. You can absorb trace amounts by eating garlic, berries, and red and yellow vegetables. For some, this may not be enough, however.
Vegan collagen supplements do exist, and they come from a strange source – bacteria. A bacteria called P. pastoris is genetically modified to become a safe, vegan form of collagen that can be taken as a dietary supplement.
A collagen-rich diet can lead to better skin, improved muscle mass, and stronger bones. It can also strengthen your hair and nails. This is why it has a reputation as a “beauty supplement.”
Vegan Supplements Can Improve Your Health
Following a vegan diet is a health-conscious and ethical choice that can have a long-lasting impact on your life and health. If you think that you may be deficient in one or more of these vitamins, minerals, or nutrients, adding vegan supplements to your diet can be key to more energy and improved overall health.
You can feel great about your lifestyle and overall health!
If you want to read more about how CBD can be one part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle, check out other posts on the blog!