If you have walked down the vitamin article of your pharmacy, you have likely noticed that every bottle you look at is different. There are vitamins and minerals for children, men, women, 55+, and everyone in between.
The only thing they have in common? None of them are vegan. So, if you have been on the quest to find the perfect vegan multivitamin, look no further.
Keep reading to learn about what to look for in vegan multivitamins our recommendation.
Why Take a Multivitamin?
If you are considering whether you should take a daily vitamin supplement depends on if you have any gaps in your diet or deficiencies.
Whole food, plant-based vegan lifestyles can be very healthy. If you eat plenty of vegetables, fruit, grains, nuts/seeds, and beans, it is possible you already get most of your vitamins and minerals. However, no diet ensures you will get all of the nutrients you need to stay healthy.
Even if your diet is well-rounded, today’s methods of producing and packaging food make it difficult to get all of the necessary vitamins from just what you consume. Multivitamin supplements are a great way to support your vegan diet.
Differences Between Non-Vegan and Vegan Multivitamins
Non-vegan ingredients, like milk products, eggs, honey, and so on, are typically easy to spot in food products. Although, animal-based ingredients in other products like vitamins are trickier to spot.
When looking at vegan multivitamins, make sure these are included (and from plant-based sources):
Vitamin D is a necessary nutrient for bone, muscle, and immune. It is needed for calcium absorption and relies on sunlight for production. A deficiency can lead to issues such as pain, fatigue, fragile bones, and osteoporosis.
When looking to get more vitamin D in your diet as a vegan, you’ll have to rely mostly on fortified foods and beverages such as soymilk, almond milk, orange juice, cereal, and tofu. Certain types of mushrooms like oyster, morel, shiitake, and chanterelle contain certain levels of Vitamin D, but not much.
If you are vegan, you have probably been told over and over again by non-vegans how important it is to get vitamin B12. It is true that our bodies no longer produce it, and it is difficult to get on a plant-based diet.
It is essential for red blood cell production and nervous system function. The primary sources of vitamin B12 come almost exclusively from animal-based sources such as fish, red meat, chicken, organ meats, eggs, and dairy products.
Vegan sources of B12 come from fortified foods and drinks like almond milk, tofu, cereal, nutritional yeast, plant-based meats, nori, and tempeh. It is not always easy to meet your daily recommended intake from these foods alone.
The function of vitamin B6 is aiding the use and storage of energy, nervous and immune system health, circadian rhythm regulation, and hormonal balance. It is more easily incorporated into a vegan diet than vitamin B12, but is most prominent in salmon, tuna, organ meat (like beef liver), poultry, and cheese. Plant-based sources include nutritional yeast, fortified cereals, bananas, avocados, nuts, tahini, and quinoa.
Zinc is needed for immune health, DNA repair, metabolism, and wound healing. Zinc is found in the highest quantities in red meats, oysters, crab, lobster, salmon, red meat, chicken, and lean pork. You can get zinc in lentils, legumes, nuts, seeds, oats, and nutritional yeast, but considering how important it is, a vegan multivitamin will ensure you fill any gaps in your diet.
Ingredients to Watch Out for
There many sneaky animal-based ingredients in our food and supplements. The names are not always obvious. Here are some non-vegan ingredients to watch out for when looking for vegan women’s multivitamins and vegan multivitamin gummies.
There are two different types of vitamin D you will see on food and drug labels, D2 and D3. Vitamin D2 is derived from plant-based sources, like lichen, and found in fortified foods, mushrooms (grown under UV lights), and in dietary supplements.
Vitamin D3 comes from animal sources such as lanolin (sheep’s wool). So, when looking for a vegan-friendly multivitamin, make sure it uses vitamin D2, not D3.
Gelatin is a protein from animal-based collagen. Collagen naturally occurs in connective tissue, cartilage, bones, and teeth. Gelatin is derived by boiling the skin, connective tissue, and bones of cows and pigs.
It is a binding agent or coating for medications and supplements. They are effective, but not the only option. This gummy bear multivitamin is vegan, halal, kosher, and made specifically to target the nutrients women might miss in their diet.
Carmine is a type of red coloring used in food, cosmetics, and drugs made from crushed beetles. It also hides behind the names cochineal and carminic acid.
Casein is a protein found in milk. As it is only a protein, it may show up in products labeled “dairy-free,” giving the false impression the product is vegan-friendly.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids are proven to support mental health, eye health, lower your risk for heart attack and stroke, fight inflammation, and potentially support bone and joint health. Omega-3s often come in the form of fish oil, however, it can be sourced from chia seeds or plant oils soybean, flaxseed, and canola.
Finding the Best Vegan Multivitamin Made Simple
A multivitamin is a great way to supplement your diet and fill in the nutritional gaps you might be missing. You don’t need to spend an hour in the drug store reading every bottle to find the best vegan multivitamin for you. Make sure the one you chose covers essential nutrients like vitamins D2, B12, B6, and zinc, and don’t be fooled by animal-based ingredients like carmine and casein.
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