There is a lot of debate as to whether a vegan diet provides the body with enough of the right nutrients. However, though many people claim that a vegan diet meets the daily nutrient requirements, the truth is, it’s very improbable that’s the case with everyone. This is why everyone should consider taking supplements, especially athletes and people sticking to a plant-based diet.
Things have changed in the last decade and many companies have found different innovative ways to make vegan products. Furthermore, vegan products are nowadays labelled, so it isn’t hard to find healthy options, not only in the food industry but also in pharmacology, cosmetics, the clothing industry, etc.
Vitamins are vital for our bodies’ health, as they play crucial roles in most of the processes for the proper functioning of our bodies’ metabolism, as well as our immune system. Vitamin deficiencies can lead to various medical conditions. Fortunately, there are a lot of vegan vitamin supplements. Аpart from the usual ones, like a vitamin C vegan supplement, for vegans and vegetarians it’s important to take vitamins B12 and D as well since the best natural sources for them are exactly the things that are missing in plant-based diets.
According to studies, vegans and vegetarians are more prone to vitamin B12 deficiency than people on other diets and the only way for them to reach the daily nutrient requirement is by taking the proper vegan supplement. A more serious vitamin B12 deficiency can not only lead to anaemia, but can also eventually damage the nervous system, and it could cause bone and heart diseases, as well as infertility. Vitamin B12 plays part in different processes in our bodies, such as the metabolism of proteins, the formation of red blood cells, oxygen-transportation, and it’s also important for our nervous system health.
Vitamin D3 is another ingredient that is lacking in vegan diets. Our bodies need vitamin D to regulate the amount of calcium and phosphorus, keeping the bones and muscles healthy. Apart from exposure to sunlight, the best way to meet the daily requirements of vitamin D for vegans is to take vegan-friendly vitamin D3 supplements.
Other nutrients that most of us don’t have enough of, and should be taken as supplements are some minerals, such as zinc, calcium, magnesium, iron, etc. This is especially true for plant-based diets, though most of them can be found in vegan foods. Like vitamins, your body needs minerals to stay healthy, grow and develop. Our bodies use them to perform many different functions, such as regulating bone and muscle health, nerve transitions, hormones, fluid balance, stomach acid, taste perception, heartbeat, red blood cells, wound healing, foetal development, immune system, etc.
While it’s technically possible to get enough proteins from plant-based diets, vegans could especially benefit from protein supplements, shakes and powders made for vegans. Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins. Our bodies can produce some of them, but nine of them (referred to as essential amino acids) have to be obtained through food. While plant-based diets contain some proteins, many of these sources of proteins are missing some of the essential amino acids, or if they contain them, the levels are too low to satisfy the daily requirements of our bodies.
Proteins are very important for people who are physically active. They help repair and strengthen the muscles. This is why for athletes on plant-based diets protein supplements are crucial. Look for vegan bodybuilding supplements if you are an athlete to ensure proper nutrition, healthy fat burning, as well as enough energy for your workouts.
All good diet plans for athletes, apart from proteins and carbohydrates, include fats. They are essential for the body since they are what provides it with the fuel for exercising. Our body can make most of the types of fats it needs to function. However, when it comes to omega-3 fatty acids, – some of the most important fats – this is not the case.
So, since our bodies can’t make omega-3 acids, we need to obtain them through our diet. Vegan diets can technically meet the minimum intake of omega-3, however, to reach optimal intake of this nutrient, vegans should also take omega 3 supplements. There are some omega 3 fatty acids that come from plants and others that come from fish oil.
They help maintain our hearts healthy, protect us against heart diseases, and help the body to function optimally in many ways. The biggest argument about taking vegan fitness supplements for omega-3 fatty acids is that there is evidence suggesting that plant sources may not have the same benefits in reducing the risk of heart disease as the omega-3 provided by fish oil.