Many people often use reasons not to make a vegan diet . For the most part, these reasons are a sign of ignorance about the functioning of these diets.
The vegan diets are safe, and not only that, but often are healthier than the types of food we usually carry. The problem comes when we avoid looking for alternative ways to obtain basic nutrients.
Some vegans avoid using “extra aids”, such as vitamins or minerals in the form of drugs, for fear of feeling that they give the arm to twist in some way, as if taking them prove that their diet is not complete. However, nothing is further from reality, especially if we consider that, for various reasons, these supplements are recommended even for people with traditional omnivorous feeds.
Leaving these issues aside, the great truth is that the useful supplements for vegans available in the market are not only many, but also are essential for most people who want to enter these types of diets.
The 6 best supplements for vegans
There are many plant foods rich in B12, such as fungi grown on appropriate soils, nutritional yeast and spirulina. Therefore, many vegans think that a vitamin B12 supplement is unnecessary.
The truth is that we still do not know how well vitamin B12 acts on plants in humans; In fact, several studies have shown that vegans who do not consume vitamin B12 in supplements are at greater risk of becoming deficient in this vitamin. This, of course, may be accompanied by the following adverse effects:
- Damage to the nervous system.
- Bone diseases
- Heart diseases
A daily intake of 2.4 mcg of vitamin B12 is ideal for an average healthy adult.
The vitamin D is a type of fat – soluble vitamin which plays an important role in the absorption of calcium and phosphorus, as well as in other blood, and nervous system neuronal processes.
Due to its presence in so many physical processes, getting into vitamin D deficiency leads to serious consequences such as:
- Hair loss
- Respiratory problems.
- Problems in the bones.
- Slow healing
Unfortunately, there are very few foods rich in vitamin D, and the most efficient are usually of animal origin, so consuming vitamin D supplements is essential for vegans.
In this way, for a healthy adult, the recommended intake of vitamin D should be around 15 mcg per day. On the other hand, maintaining a dose of healthy sun exposure is also necessary to absorb it better
3.Omega 3 long chain
The long chain omega 3 fatty acids , such as eicosapentaenoic (EPA) or docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), are not considered essential in relation to the essential omega 3 fatty acid (ALA), but consuming them is useful to avoid adverse effects as the following:
- Cancer risk
- Ophthalmological diseases.
While there are plants with omega 3, there is no greater evidence that these have the long-chain fatty acids EPA and DHA, which are common in animal products, so vegans need to consume omega 3 supplements of this type to avoid conditions long-term.
Also, reducing the consumption of products with omega 6, such as vegetable oils of sunflower, corn, soy or sesame, is useful for the body to better absorb EPA and DHA acids.
Iron has different functions, from creating new DNA material to regulating muscle and respiratory functions. Avoiding its consumption has well-known effects such as anemia or suppression of the immune system, so an adequate intake of this mineral is essential. In this sense, the daily iron intake of an average healthy adult is 8 mg.
While it is true that there are plants with iron, the type most needed by humans is the so-called heme or heme iron, which is only available in animal products, which leaves vegans in a situation where iron supplements is not negotiable.
On the other hand, using iron pots and pans for cooking, avoiding tea or coffee with meals and combining meals with iron with doses of vitamin C, are good ideas for better absorption of iron in a vegan diet.
Calcium is one of the most necessary minerals for humans. Its recommended daily intake of calcium is 1,000 mg and its functions include:
- Regulate bone health
- Improve muscle functions.
- Ensure heart health.
While it is true that there are vegan foods with calcium in quantity (for example, tofu, peas or mustard greens), the studies seem to show that they are not enough for the human being to absorb the amount he requires daily.
Some may doubt that calcium supplements are as necessary for vegans as stated here, but since some studies even claim that the rate of bone fractures among vegans who do not consume them is high, it is best not to risk it. .
Consuming zinc is crucial to maintain proper metabolic and immune health, as well as for the repair of cells. Among the effects of not consuming enough of this mineral are capillary loss, diarrhea and slowing down in wound healing.
The bad news is that vegan zinc sources are too few. But this is not only there, but it has also been determined that the phytate contained in vegetables makes the body find it more difficult to absorb zinc and other minerals from these foods.
On average, humans need to consume about 8 mg or 9 mg of zinc daily , a relatively simple figure to obtain for someone with an omnivorous diet, but difficult for a vegan.
To maintain adequate zinc intake, vegans should consume supplements of zinc gluconate and zinc citrate daily, combined with any of these products:
- Full grains
- Wheat germ
- Various vegetables.