Taking the necessary supplements while on a vegan or plant based diet is important to ensure you are meeting all of your macro- and micro-nutrient requirements. Check this supplement guide out to help you satisfy all of your body’s nutritional needs.
1. Vitamin B12
A vitamin B12 supplement is the most essential supplement of all, if you are following a vegan or plant based diet. Vitamin B12 is only naturally found in animal products because it’s produced by the gut bacteria of animals and then absorbed into their bloodstream. This also means it’s absent from all plant origin foods. Early deficiency symptoms include loss of energy, tingling, numbness, blurred vision, sore tongue, poor memory and confusion. Clinical deficiency levels of vitamin B12 can cause anaemia and affect the functioning of your nervous system.
Recommendation: Take a daily B12 supplement containing at least 10 mcg.
2. Vitamin D
Sunlight is the main source of vitamin D for our bodies, but small amounts are also present in dairy products and meat products, such as liver. However, whether we are following a plant based diet or not, most of us are not exposed enough to the sun. Vitamin D deficiency is linked to weak bones, osteoporosis, obesity, and generally increased inflammation in the body.
Recommendation: Take a daily Vitamin D supplement of 600 IU or 15 mcg.
3. Protein Powder
It is entirely possible to get enough protein on a plant based diet (see excellent plant sources of protein here), but if you train heavily at the gym and want a readily available protein source to replenish your muscle stores as soon as you finish your workout, vegan protein powders can come very much in handy. Similarly, if you are unsure about what you’ll be eating throughout the day or what will be available to you, taking a protein powder can help keep you at ease that you are definitely meeting your protein requirements. Brown rice, pea protein, and hemp protein are some of the most common plant protein powders available.
Probiotics are key for optimal gut health. They’re good bacteria that thrive in our guts and help to reduce inflammation, improve immunity, and boost optimal digestion. Kombucha, kefir, and kimchi are all excellent plant based sources of probiotics, but unfortunately are not so readily available in Egypt just yet. Thus, taking a probiotic supplement can help you improve your microbiota balance.