Important Supplements for a Plant-Based Vegan Diet
A whole food, plant-based diet can provide an array of nutrients, vitamins and antioxidants. However, there are certain supplements that must be taken when following a plant-based or vegan diet. Especially now, during the pandemic that we are in the midst of, supplementation is even more critical for keeping our immune defenses supported. Here is what I'm currently using.
🌱VITAMIN B12: This nutrient actually comes from microbes in the soil of our earth. It does make it into our water supplies, but gets killed off since our water is so highly filtrated. It is not made by plants which is why we must supplement with B12, preferably in the form of cyanocobalamin. Leading medical experts recommend taking 250 mcg a day or just one 2500 mcg per week, which is what I do. If there’s one that I NEVER forget to take for the rest of my life, it’s gotta be B12, as a deficiency can lead to devastating, even fatal results.
🌱VITAMIN D3: Our bodies have the ability to make vitamin D from sun exposure. However, during the winter months when we are less likely to go outdoors, the recommended supplementation is 2,000 IU of D3 daily. I take a plant-based form of D3, derived from lichen, rather than from lanolin that is derived from sheep’s wool. Vitamin D is also an especially important supplement when it comes to immune health, so to ensure that I am not deficient, I am taking a supplement while also making it a point to go out into the sunlight once daily.
🌱OMEGA-3s: Critical to brain health and preservation, it is recommended that adults take in 250 mg of long-chain omega-3s (EPA and DHA) daily, from a contaminant-free source, such as an algae-based supplement.
🌱GUT HEALTH SUPPLEMENTS: Imbalances in gut microbiome may hinder our body's natural immune function. There are a few supplements I am currently taking to ensure that my gut health is in its best shape, to support my immune health:
That pretty double-chambered capsule with the green is the probiotic that I take on the daily. Probiotics are friendly bacteria that reside in your digestive tract. They are responsible for a number of health benefits including immune function and skin health. This particular one is 2 capsules in one for a uniquely comprehensive time-released delivery system. The outer layer contains pre-biotic fibers that help promote the growth of good bacteria. The inner chamber contains the active probiotic cultures, and are time-released to ensure that they bypass the stomach and instead released in the intestinal tract. How cool is that?
Digestive enzymes assist with the break-down of food consumed. It is especially useful for calming digestive discomforts, such as bloating. I take this daily and as needed with meals.
Detoxification blend, made with whole-food extracts with detoxification properties, helps to support the cleansing organs including liver, kidneys, colon and skin. I use this daily to aid in the removal of toxins from my body.
Shop for these digestive health supplements.
Personally, I look for supplements that only require me to take it once a day or less (as is the case of B12, which I take weekly). As a busy mama in the age of a pandemic, its hard enough to remember what day it is, much less to take my supplements!
Whether you are on a plant-based diet or not, always speak with your health provider to determine if there are additional supplements that you should be taking (or any you should be avoiding), particularly if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Are you on top of your supplementation? Share the supplements you take!