A Guide to Choosing the Best Vegan Multivitamin
Being a first time vegan can feel overwhelming at first. You're often bombarded with terms like "gluten-free", "organic whole foods", "sugar-free", "vegetable blend", and so many more -- majority of which you didn't have to think about before. Plus, there are a number of lifestyle changes you'll need to commit to.
One common concern about being on a vegan diet is whether it provides all the vitamins and minerals one needs to stay healthy. While a plant-based diet provides a plethora of benefits, there are still a few important things you need to keep in mind.
Enter vegan multivitamins. There are plenty out there that claim they are the best vegan multivitamin in the market. However, it's always important to do your due diligence in ensuring you are not only getting your money's worth. It's also crucial that your vegan multivitamin is packed with essential vitamins and minerals that will best supplement your vegan diet.
What are vegan multivitamins?
Multivitamins are the most popular form of food supplement around. However, some are made vegan while others, non-vegan.
In its simplest terms, vegan multivitamins are made with absolutely no animal products and other non-vegan ingredients. They are made with natural ingredients and are loaded with vitamins and minerals that can help bridge nutritional gaps.
It is, however, important to remember that not all vegan supplements are created equal. Some are made of better quality ingredients than others.
Quality vegan multivitamins DON’T:
- Contain fillers
- Have artificial flavors
- Exceed a person’s RDA
- Skip quality and safety testing
Do vegans need supplements?
While a well-planned, balanced vegan diet might keep you going steadily day to day, there's a massive difference between surviving and thriving. Numerous signs that you're not getting the most out of your vegan diet include:
- Lack of energy or focus
- Changes in bowel function
- Negative changes in mental and emotional health
- Hair loss or disruption to skin
- Impaired vision
- Weak immune system
Some essential vitamins and minerals can only be found in animal products. That being said, eating plant-based foods may not always mean your body is receiving sufficient nutrients for you to live your best life possible. Moreover, it's critical to keep your plant-based diets nutrient-varied. This means eating a wide variety of organic whole foods, organic fruits and vegetables, stacking up on fortified foods and including green or vegetable powders in your diet.
A meatless diet can be healthy. However, vegans need to make sure they're getting enough essential nutrients. In fact, it's more common among vegans to be deficient in certain vitamins and minerals like Vitamin B12, Calcium, Iron, and Zinc.
To counteract such deficiency, it's highly advisable for vegans to take supplements. These vegan multivitamins may help bridge nutritional gaps and ensure better health.
Here are some reasons why supplements are highly recommended for vegans:
You may not be getting enough nutrients in our diet
There are various reasons why we don't get enough vitamins and minerals from our diet. For example, For one, the world has also changed a lot since our forefathers. Plus, farming and animal-raising have changed tremendously. Food and supplement manufacturing are also a far cry from how it was before. This has resulted in current foods that are now less nutrient-dense. Even for vegans, some food choices may not always be the same because of how they were farmed, made or processed.
It's not just industrialization that has changed the way we eat. Some people may have certain conditions that impair them from readily absorbing nutrients in their bodies. Moreover, those who are on certain medications, particularly for acid reflux, can also prevent people from receiving enough vitamins and minerals.
Our dietary choices also affect how healthy we are. It’s just about how much we eat. It’s also about what we eat. Factor in other elements such as lack of sleep and living in a fast-paced environment, we may not always have the time to eat well and on time.
Multivitamins are both popular and helpful because they supplement what we lack in our diets. It helps us tick off the boxes on our journey to better health, and allows us not to miss out on nutrients vital to us.
You may be missing out on certain health benefits
When you bridge nutritional gaps with better nutrition, there are so many great benefits. Getting the proper dosage of critical vitamins every day supports your body in many ways.
Just like other credible multivitamins out there, certified vegan multivitamins come with tons of benefits. Since they are packed with essential nutrients, they can be considered your safety net in your fight for:
- Stronger immune system
- Healthier nervous system
- Better digestion
- Stronger bones, teeth and muscles
- Improved metabolism
- Better stress management
- Sounder mind and spirit
- Prevention of chronic diseases
- Bridging nutritional gaps
You must keep in mind the importance of eating well and supplementing right
It's always a matter of balance. Nutritional supplements exist to aid your diet, even if you're already consuming whole foods or sugar-free desserts and cooking with vegan-friendly ingredients. What you could be missing out on, vegan multivitamins can help make up for.
On the flip side, it's also important to remember that your vegan multivitamin is not the solution to nutritional deficiencies. A balanced diet is still key. At the end of the day, what you eat and take must go hand in hand to promote healthy metabolism, a strong immune system, a healthy nervous system, healthy digestion and a sound mind and spirit.
Overall, pairing your vegan diet with a healthy lifestyle empowers your health tremendously.
How do you choose the best vegan multivitamins?
A vegan multivitamin comes in different forms: capsules, pills, powder, gummies, and even sprays. Each is made and manufactured differently. At the same time, each of us live differently, practice varying lifestyles and may have specific dietary needs that others don't.
Choosing the best vegan multivitamins differs from one person to the next. Although it is helpful to be guided by a few factors before purchasing your own.
Here are simple steps to take:
Look for essential nutrients
First and foremost, your vegan multivitamin should contain the optimum amount of multiple vitamins and minerals critical to your optimum health. Since vegans miss out on certain nutrients like protein that are present in animal products, supplementing can play a key role in filling in the gaps.
There are specific nutrients vegans need to boost their overall health, which we will discuss further as you read along. The great thing is there are tons of vegan supplements made responsibly that are rich in these nutrients. It's just a matter of pairing it with a well balanced plant based diet.
Learn how they’re made, and what’s in them
High quality vegan multivitamins come with bioactive and bioavailable ingredients. This means they are formulated to be better absorbed in your body and not cause harm, unlike synthetic nutrients. You need to look for an essential vegan multivitamin that only comes with the most natural and organic ingredients. Fillers and artificial flavors aren't exactly going to help you on your road to better health.
When it comes to dose, not exceeding your RDA on vitamins and minerals are crucial. A trusted vegan multivitamin is one that provides an optimum level of nutrients, not the minimum. Moreover, part of keeping your dosage to the right amount is being conscious of what you eat.
Avoid certain ingredients
When choosing the best vegan multivitamins, it's imperative to know which ingredients you should avoid. These extra ingredients are often called "excipients", which are non-ingredients that become part of manufacturing. Knowing what to look for also prevents you from digesting unnecessary compounds in your body.
Below are two ingredients you need to watch out for:
- Flavorings and preservatives
Support ethical and sustainable packaging
Part of selecting a vegan multivitamin is considering packaging. A big part of leading a vegan lifestyle is staying true to lessening our impact on the environment. Luckily, there are plenty of ethical and sustainable packaging solutions that are earth-friendly.
Here are some examples:
- Certified biodegradable plastic pouches
- Glass jars
- Paper pouches
- Reusable packaging
Look up the credibility and trustworthiness of makers
Last but not the least, you want to look out how credible the vegan multivitamin brand you're looking at. Take the time to do your research, read trustworthy reviews and study which ones you resonate with the most.
What are essential vitamins and minerals vegans need?
A healthy diet and the best vegan multivitamins must contain essential nutrients vegans need to thrive. This way, your body is able to keep up with daily tasks as well as improve your immune system.
In your quest to find the best vegan multivitamins, you must be aware of the essential vitamins and minerals vegans need. Here's a rundown of key nutrients to look for.
B vitamins are crucial for normal brain function and a sound nervous system. Furthermore, B vitamins are essential in keeping our moods at bay and help us alleviate stress.
Vitamin B12 is one form of Vitamin B that helps reduce fatigue and keep us energized from one task to the next. It's also responsible for building healthy red blood cells.
One thing to remember is that our bodies need B vitamins so much that it can store a supply of it for up to six months. That's why it's helpful to have enough of it but never have too much of it.
It's common among vegans to have deficiency in Vitamin B because there's no naturally-occurring plant based source of it. You also can't absorb a sufficient amount of it at once so having a good array of foods rich in it helps. Moreover, supplementing with vegan multivitamins rich in Vitamin B12 can also make all the difference.
Symptoms from a lack of Vitamin B12 won't readily show right away. It can range anywhere between fatigue and brain fog or paranoia and tingling sensations. On the other hand, an excess of it is rare but possible. It's usually excreted by our bodies through urination.
Our bodies need Vitamin D for healthy skin, hair, bones, teeth, muscles as well as our bodily functions. We mostly get it when we are exposed to the sun. However, there are times when our busy schedules hinder us from finding time under the sun. Moreover, some places don't always have the sunniest of days. This is why it's crucial to supplement, even for vegans.
Aside from the sun, fortified foods or mushrooms,there are not many naturally occurring vegan sources of Vitamin D. Most vegans benefit from a dietary supplement, particularly in winter months and if your schedule doesn't permit you from being exposed enough to the sun.
When it comes to vegan food, you may want to watch out for food labeling on certain items you're buying off the store. If they are fortified foods labeled with "D2", that's vegan. However, if these foods are labeled only with "Vitamin D", particularly cereals, it's most likely they contain D3, which is usually extracted from animals.
In your quest for the best vegan multivitamin, it's best to learn that there are two types of Vitamin D supplements: D2 and D3. Vitamin D2 is always vegan friendly. D3 is often extracted from animal products. However, there are some that are obtained from fungi or algae. Experts recommend D3 more often. So you may want to keep that in mind when buying your vegan vitamin.
Similar to other vegan vitamins, taking too much can be perilous. Excess in Vitamin D can do more harm than good, so it's always best to be within your limits when it comes to vitamin intake.
Among the most important vitamins for vegans or non-vegans is Vitamin C. It supports growth and repair of tissues and it's responsible for producing collagen: an important protein for skin, cartilage, tendons, ligaments and blood vessels. Moreover, Vitamin C is an antioxidant, which helps prevent DNA damage.
Signs of Vitamin C deficiency include but are all not limited to bleeding gums, dry and splitting hair, scaly skin and easy bruising.
The great thing about this vitamin is it's readily available in plant foods. You can load up on it through eating blackcurrants, oranges, red and green pepper, kale, papaya, and strawberries, and other organic fruits. Vitamin C is also largely present in hardy greens like Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cabbage, watercress, and spinach.
Choosing a dietary supplement rich in it is also a good option to balance with your diet. Most vegan multivitamins available on the market include Vitamin C.
Vitamin E helps prevent coronary heart disease, boosts the immune system, promotes better eye health and lowers your risk of cancer. It's also responsible for improving the health of your skin, which is why a lot of cosmetic products contain it.
There are tons of vegan-friendly food sources rich in Vitamin E including but not limited to different nuts and seeds, avocado, butternut squash, canned tomatoes, wheat germ, mango, broccoli, spinach, kale, and chickpeas.
Iron is another one of the necessary vitamins and minerals vegans need to thrive. It helps transport oxygen to red blood cells. There are plant foods rich in it but we are less able to absorb them readily in our body.
Vegans and vegetarians often have a lower iron store since iron rich foods are found in animals. However, you don't have to fret since a low iron store doesn't necessarily mean you are anemic.
When it comes to your diet, some of the best vegan friendly foods rich in it are legumes, organic vegetables, grains, nuts and seeds. The key is not how much iron-rich foods you consume. It's about how much of it you can absorb. This is where drinking a vegan multivitamin rich in it can help. They're often labeled with folic acid, which is vital to keeping your blood healthy.
Same as other vitamins and minerals, consuming too much iron can also be poisonous. So watch out and be mindful of how much you're putting into your body.
Calcium supports strong bones and teeth. It's also instrumental with muscle and heart function.
Calcium is available in non-vegan food like most dairy and eggs. it is available in plant foods like some grains, certain nuts and seeds, some organic fruit, seaweed and green leafy vegetables. However, it's usually bound to another compound, which makes it more difficult to absorb in the body.
Those who are on vegan diets usually have a lower bone density than meat eaters, which put them at a greater risk for fractures. That's why taking a vegan multivitamin rich in Calcium is another way to ensure your body is absorbing sufficient amounts of it.
Another nutrient to consider when finding the best vegan multivitamins is Cinc. It helps in almost all vital functions of your body. It's necessary for protein formation, which protects you from DNA damage, promotes collagen formation as well as boosts your immune system.
Similar to other minerals and vitamins, Zinc can be found in vegan sources like fermented soya, nuts, some grains and other organic whole foods. However, it could be difficult to absorb in your body. Consider taking vegan multivitamins rich in it so you're getting enough.
We need Iodine to help normalize our thyroid function and to help regulate the energy we use for our daily tasks. A healthy varied vegan diet that includes seaweed and/or iodized salt used sparingly, will fulfill your nutritional requirements. Arame, wakame, and nori are all excellent sources of it too, whereas kelp is high in Iodine and should be used cautiously.
Keep in mind that the amount of Iodine in plants is dependent on the quantity present in the soil where they are grown. Other plant-based sources for it are whole foods like whole grains, green beans, courgettes, kale, spring greens, watercress, strawberries and organic potatoes with skin on.
Omega 3 fatty acids
Omega 3 fatty acids are nutrients that help build and maintain a healthy body. They're important to the structural integrity of every cell wall. They're also an energy source and assist in maintaining appropriate functioning of your heart, lungs, blood vessels, and immune system.
Two important ones -- EPA and DHA -- are largely found in fish while ALA is found in plant sources like seeds and nuts. If you don't consume enough Omega 3s, signs of deficiency won't show until after a year or two.
Finding the best vegan multivitamin: the bottom line
A holistic vegan diet is made up of nutrient-varied daily food choices that ensure you're getting the most of what your body needs. Keep in mind that the majority of plant-based sources may make it harder for vegans to absorb nutrients properly. This is where supplementing can play a vital role. It's also wise to be properly guided by a health practitioner in your journey to becoming the healthiest version of yourself.
There are countless options for vegan friendly multivitamins out there. It's a matter of knowing what to look for, where to look and what you need.
The importance of talking to your doctor before supplementing
Health needs and goals as well as a healthy lifestyle vary from one person to the next. Before you start taking vegan multivitamin supplements, it's crucial to speak with your doctor first.
The most common practice is to get a blood test for you to have a better of your current overall health. It could tell you if you have any vitamin deficiency and also gives you a better idea on how to protect yourself from rare but possible vitamin toxicity. Furthermore, a visit to your doctor will also give you a clearer picture on how to best apply and supplement your vegan diet.
First Day Vegan Multivitamins
First Day supplements are some of the best vegan multivitamins out in the market. Our gummies are packed with essential nutrients made from organic vegetables and fruits, critical for your overall health. Furthermore, our gummies are made from vegan-friendly ingredients as well as packed ethically and sustainably. They're also made and manufactured with the guidance of research and industry experts.
Get a head start in caring for your health and boost your vegan lifestyle today. If you are new to the world of multivitamins for vegans, discover our First Day vitamins here.