What Supplements Should I Take on a Plant Based diet?

June 1, 2019
Vegan Living

What are the best vegan supplement brands?

What vitamins do a plant diet based lack? Sticking to a plant based diet is great. Most vegans manage to eliminate harmful substances from their diet. Unfortunately, it does not mean you are getting all of the vital ingredients to stay healthy. Fresh plant based foods are packed with vitamins and micro minerals, but we need to ask ourselves how fresh our food is when it arrives in our homes. Homegrown food is still a lot better for you than commercially produced food as it is much fresher.

How Many Vegan Supplements Do I Need to Take?

Some vegans supplements are suitable for everybody. At the same time, it is important to recognize the need to personalize your vegan supplements routine to suit you. For instance, if you need to stay in top shape like Formula 1 racing driver like Lewis Hamilton, you need to take certain supplements. Plant-based athlete Lewis Hamilton credits his success to his plant based diet, but at the same time, he knows he needs to supplement his diet with the right supplements. One of his favorite supplements is Omega 3 Fish Oil.

Vegan bodybuilding supplements may be suitable for you if you are a keen athlete or a bodybuilder. Lewis Hamilton now has his own range of supplements which he uses to complement his plant based diet.  A good vegan pre workout supplement should contain vitamin B which can help to release extra energy from food. Vegan supplements for bodybuilding should also include magnesium and calcium.

Omega 3 Fish Oil -Is It Suitable Supplement for Vegans?

If you want to thrive and stay healthy on a plant based diet, it is important to compromise at least a little. There is no real substitute in the plant world for the long chained fatty acids which you will find in an Omega 3 supplements. Our bodies can’t manufacture Omega 3 long-chained fatty acids, so we need to derive them from eating oily fish or taking a supplement. Both EPA and DHA essential fatty acids are crucial for good health throughout our lives.

What Are EPA and DHA?

EPA and DHA are both fatty acids which you can only find in fish oils. For instance, a lack of both is thought to be the root of dyslexia. DHA is vital for normal brain development in the unborn child, and EPA is a must when you would like to maintain good eyesight.

Your need for these two essential fatty acids. When you are younger, you are likely to need more of them. As you age, it is once again important to make sure you are getting enough EPA and DHA in your diet or as a food supplement.

Fish oils can help you to balance your cholesterol levels, thin the blood, and are crucial for your cognitive function. Children with a diet low in oily fish are more likely to have problems with reading skills and may even go on to develop ADHD.

Should you take fish oil as part of your vegan supplements routine? This is one of the most important supplements to take as part of a balanced plant diet. Buying your supplement from a quality supplier ensure that you are using a supplement which has been screened for common pollutants such as mercury and PCB’s.

Vegan Supplements You Should Make Part of Your Diet

What is all the talk about foods with B12 for vegetarians? Vitamin B complex is another must-have supplement you should add to your daily routine. In the popular press, you will read a great deal about the importance of vitamin B12. Yes, vitamin B12 is important as part of a healthy diet or supplement routine, but the truth is that you need the rest of the vitamin B group to help it fulfill its function. No vitamin B works on its own, and unless you take a multivitamin B supplement, you will not gain any health vitamins. The RDA (Recommended Daily Allowance) of vitamin B is higher than you may think, and this crucial vitamin is fact what most vegans or followers of a plant based diet, are lacking in.

It is not their fault. Modern day food production has been compromised, and unless we eat homegrown vegetables and fruits which have been harvested on the day, we are all likely to need a vitamin B supplement.

Is there such a thing as vegan supplements which is better than others? Today, there are many vegan multivitamins brands. Look out for specialist vitamins such a list halal vitamins.  The best vegan multivitamins are the ones which suit you, but in general, it would be fair to say all vegan multivitamins should contain vitamin B.

Vitamin B Group

B Vitamins and Role in Health

B1 Thiamin

Needed to make collagen and neurotransmitters. Aids absorption of iron from plant food

B2 Riboflavin

Release of energy from food, and for B6 and niacin to function

B6 Pyrixodine

Releases energy from proteins. Supports the immune and nervous system. Aids the formation of red blood cells

B3 Niacin

Needed for energy production in the cells

B5 Pantothenic Acid

Helps to Release energy from food


Important in the synthesis of fat

Folic Acid

Required for healthy cell division, and the formation of DNA, RNA and proteins


Crucial for making DNA, RNA and myelin. Needed for cell division

Iodine Vegan Supplements: Why Are Iodine Vegan Supplements Important?

Iodine can mainly be found in fish and seaweed. Even if you eat seaweed as part of your plant based diet, you are unlikely to be getting enough iodine in your diet. In Japan, where seaweed is eaten at almost every meal, iodine deficiencies are rare. In recent years, the occurrence of iodine deficiency is becoming more common.

Why do we need iodine in our diet? Unless we have iodine in our diet our thyroid can’t function correctly. It fails to produce the correct of the hormones which control the body’s metabolic rate. Our metabolic rate is vital to us, it controls the way food and oxygen are burnt to produce energy.

We are beginning to learn more and more about the function of the thyroid, and we know that many modern health issues are linked to small changes in thyroid function. For instance, a healthy thyroid function can help to reduce symptoms of the menopause and help to balance cholesterol in the body. Thyroid function is also related to diabetes, and if you suffer from diabetes and thinking about switching to a plant based diet, you must make sure you get enough iodine in your diet. Eating seaweed will help, but at the same time, it could be a good idea to take a kelp supplement.

Do I Need to Take an Iron Supplement?

The answer to that question is very simple. Yes, when you are on a plant based diet, or vegan diet, it is a very good idea to take an iron supplement. You may be lucky enough to get enough iron from plant based foods such as spinach, and other green vegetables.

The recommended daily intake of iron per day is 14 mg. In order to obtain that from plant based foods, you would have to spend rather a large part of your day eating, or grazing on foods.

Many foods are fortified with iron, but iron from fortified foods are poorly absorbed by the body, and can even lead to digestive disorders. More than 50% of the adult population suffer from low-level iron deficiency without knowing about it.

Symptoms of Iron Deficiency Include


Hair loss



Brittle Nails



Inflamed tongue

Muscles pains

Probiotics can help to support the correct level of iron in your blood by improving the way your body absorbs food. The symptoms are more commonly seen in women who mainly eat a plant based diet, and do not add an iron supplement to their supplement routine.

Calcium As Part of a Vegan Supplements Routine

A few vegans to add dairy products such as yogurt and milk to their diet. However, the vast majority of vegans don’t, and a lack of dairy may lead to arthritis, and more crucially osteoporosis. When calcium is withdrawn from the diet, the body starts to withdraw calcium from the bones, and of course, this will lead to problems with the bones and joints.

Calcium is also needed for the smooth functioning of muscles and nerves. Without it, we will quickly experience painful muscle spasms which are often worse at night or directly after exercise.

Most of the calcium in the body, almost 99%, is used by the bones and the teeth. Don’t for one moment think that the remaining 1% is not important. In fact, the remaining 1% is used in cell structure and function, and blood clotting.

It is all very well to remove dairy products from the diet, but we should never underestimate the importance of the function of calcium in the body.

Should calcium be part of your vegan supplements routine? The overwhelming answer to that question is yes.

What Does Zinc Do for Me?

Are you losing your appetite? In that case, it may not be the result of your new plant based diet, it could be a direct cause of not having enough zinc in your diet. The micromineral zinc has the ability to stimulate our appetite and help us to taste our food.

All tissues in the body need zinc to stay healthy. The main sources of zinc are shellfish and in particular oysters. It is true zinc is found in grains, but it is much more easily absorbed from animal proteins such as eggs, poultry, and dairy produce.

Free radicals can cause havoc in the body, and while oxygen is the first line of the defense against free radicals, the second charge consists of zinc. Without enough zinc in our bodies, we would soon become ill from a range of both bacterial and viral infections.

Our genetic material, DNA and RNA, also depend on zinc to function well. If we did not have zinc in our diet, the body can’t interpret genetic information.

Zinc deficiency is uncommon when you eat meat a couple and add dairy to your diet, but when you remove both, you are likely to become deficient in zinc rapidly. Vegans, and those on a mainly plant based diet should add a supplement. Also, a plant based diet meal plan for athletes may need to contain extra zinc.

Plant Based Diet and Magnesium: What are The Best Vegan Supplements for Athletes?

Do you suffer from bad legs cramps during the night or when walking? If you do, there is a chance you are deficient in the micro mineral magnesium. The more we learn about magnesium, the more interesting this compound becomes. Muscle twitching and convulsions can both be the result of a low amount of magnesium in the body.

It is important to pay attention to your alcohol intake when you are on a plant based diet. Excess alcohol, or drinking alcohol during meals, increases the amount of magnesium the body uses. It may not be a serious problem, but even a small lack of magnesium can cause health problems for diabetes.

Also, if you are suffering from an irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia) you need to get your magnesium levels checked. This is particularly common in children on a plant based diet, and parents should make sure both them and their children, have access to magnesium.

Magnesium is sufficient quantities is even hard to come by if you are not on a vegan diet. Nuts, seeds and wholegrain products are the main sources of magnesium. It is a good idea to eat grains in the morning, and consider adding grains such as buckwheat to your diet.

Athletes on a plant based diet plan should pay particular attention to all microminerals.  Having the right minerals as part of their diet will ensure their bodies recover faster from a workout or training session.

The Confusion Surrounding Vitamin D

Can we get enough of vitamin D from the sun? Vitamin D has been called the “sunshine” vitamin as it produced by exposure of the skin to the sun. It is a fat-soluble vitamin and it is stored in fatty tissue in the body. The problem is that very low quantities of vitamin D are stored.

Storage of vitamin D is not the only problem. We are spending more time indoors, and this seriously affects the way our body absorbs vitamin D. Foods which are rich are include sardines and eggs.

In other words, the sun is not the only source of vitamin D, and to avoid health problems, it is important to eat the right diet, and if you are own a complete plant based diet, you do need to take a vitamin D supplement.

What About Vegan Multivitamins?

That is a good question. If you have any special needs, you should include that in your supplements routine.  The best vegan multivitamin for athletes may, for instance, include extra magnesium and calcium. A good vegan pre workout supplement should include vitamins B1, B6, and B12.  There are many specialist supplements available such as vegetarian creatine.  In general, vitamins recommended for vegetarians are all sustainably produced and do not contain harmful substances. However, it is still best to check, and if in doubt, do contact the manufacturer for a confirmation.

Why Go Vegan When You Have to Take Supplements?

It is not only vegans who need to take supplements. Even if you are on a meat based diet, you should be taking supplements to stay healthy. There are problems with all diets as our food has to travel so far to reach us. Yes, vegetarian nutritional deficiencies do exist, but they are not unique.

The benefits of being vegetarian far outweigh the downside. If you can, try to buy organic foods, but if you can’t, aim for freshness. Make up a 7-day vegan menu, make it as varied as possible, and shop for fresh foods every few days.

Vitamin B12 sources for vegetarians are important but don’t forget the rest of the vitamins in this essential group of vitamins.

A Plant Based Diet on a Budget

It is best not to start a plant based diet on a budget if you can’t afford to invest in some basic supplements. Introduce a simple plant based menu, but don’t exclude certain foods like cold water fish, and dairy products.

A Plant Based Diet for Weightloss

Also, be especially careful if you are on a  plant based diet weight loss regime. Vegan supplements become extra important if you are trying to lose weight.  A plant based diet meal plan for weight loss could for instance also include several other micro minerals while you are on the plan.  If you are on a plant based vegan weight loss regime, it may take your body some time to adjust to your new eating habits.  Starting to take probiotics before you start your plant based diet plan is a good idea.  Probiotics will help you to absorb more nutrition from your food.

You do need to add vegan supplements to your lifestyle if you would like to stay on a plant based diet only. Many vegans ignore the importance of supplements, and they may have gray skin. This is a sign they lack some of the vitamins, antioxidants, and micro-minerals which we all need. It does not cost a lot to invest in the right supplements for a vegan lifestyle, but it can cost you a lot if you don’t. Make sure you always invest in quality vegan supplements. It is better to pay a little bit for extra peace of mind.

Joshua Eldridge

Hey I'm Josh!

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