A Nutritionist On 4 Things To Consider When It Comes To Vegan Supplements

Because not all are created equal.

Photo by Ella Olsson on Unsplash

Steph Geddes is a Nutritionist and holistic foodie whose recipes are a revelation for anyone wanting to fuel their body with good food that is balanced, easy and seriously delicious! A qualified Nutritionist, Steph intertwines her knowledge of the science of food with realistic lifestyle habits to craft tactical plans that deliver sustainable results. Her business, Body Good Food encompasses her belief that nothing should be ‘off-limits’ when it comes to nutrition—because life’s too short to not eat chocolate.

For those who may not be aware, vegans do not consume any animal products so essentially remove meat, poultry, eggs, seafood or dairy from their diet. They also don’t consume products made from animal sources such as broths, gelatine and honey. Therefore their diet consists solely of plant foods such as fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes, nuts and seeds. 
Whilst this can be considered a very healthy way of eating if the focus is on getting a very well balanced variety of wholefoods foods in one’s diet, it can also mean that vegans may rely on processed foods, refined carbohydrates, added sugars and products full of additives and preservatives as their base diet. If you’re vegan and struggle to get a minimum of 5-7 serves of vegetables, 2-3 serves of fruit as well as plenty of varied grains, legumes, nuts and seeds per day then you should definitely consider a supplement. Even on a non-vegan very healthy, wholefood based diet, it can be a difficult task reaching your nutritional requirements, so without some of the major food groups, a boost of vitamins and minerals is definitely something that could be of benefit.
When it comes to selecting supplements it’s important to consider the quality of the supplements just like most vegans hopefully would with their food choices. Supplements can be like insurance to make sure your body is getting the nutrients it needs whilst allowing you the flexibility to follow a vegan approach with your food, however not all supplements are created equal. 

Photo by Maddi Bazzocco on Unsplash

Here are 4 things to consider for vegan supplements: 

1. Make sure you are picking a supplement that is truly 100% vegan-friendly. Many brands use gelatine in their casing or other animal-sourced ingredients in the manufacturing process which might not be obvious on the label. Check the ingredients to make sure they are 100% plant-based. 
2. Look out for synthetic ingredients. It might surprise you to know that majority of the supplements on the market today are actually produced synthetically in a lab rather than using wholefood ingredients. Using wholefood ingredients like organic fruits and vegetables and their extracts ensures no synthetic ingredients are being used.
3. Look for organic ingredients. If all of the ingredients on the ingredients list are 100% organic it means you are avoiding the nasty pesticides and herbicides that can be used on fruits and vegetables. 
4. Look for products that provide a therapeutic dose. Many vegans may require supplementation in therapeutic doses of Vitamin D, Vitamin B12, iron, zinc and omega-3. Always speak to a practitioner to get individual advice and brand recommendations as some on the market might be all-natural and vegan-friendly but don’t contain therapeutic doses for optimal effects.   
For more from Steph, visit www.bodygoodfood.com.au and follow @nutritionist_stephgeddes.
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