I recently turned vegan and eat all natural, do I need any supplements?
Here are the three basic supplements every vegan needs. Please consult your doctor before starting, even though they are over-the-counter supplements. Vitamin B 12: If you are deficient, the risk of being anaemic is high and will feel tired most of the time.
B 12 is found naturally only in dirt and animal products.
Technically, Animals eat dirt and the soil bacteria in their gut produces B 12. So if you’re vegan and eat dirt, don’t supplement with B 12. But if you don’t, then please get your levels tested. If your level is below 500 consult your doctor. The levels need to be above 500 for better iron absorption which is also a concern in most vegans.
Omega 3: Plant sources like algae, chia, flaxseeds have omega 3, but in the form of ALA, which your body cannot absorb. It needs to be converted to other absorbable forms that are available only in fish. We need a whole lot of omega 3 to balance our moods, stabilise our blood sugar levels, reduce triglycerides and inflammation in the gut. Take 2000 mg a day, but if you are taking aspirin or Roacutane, you cannot have omega 3.
Vitamin D: While shiitake mushrooms is considered to be a good source of Vitamin D, you would still proper supplementation. Vit D deficiency is linked to weight gain and it has a negative effect on your calcium levels as well.
These supplements are key to a healthier vegan lifestyle.
Rashi Chowdhary is a nutritionist, diabetes educator and creator of The Protein Bake Shop