Most Important Vitamins for Vegans

A vegan diet certainly has health advantages. Compared to a meat-based diet, it’s been tied to lower blood levels of cholesterol and triglycerides, lower blood pressure and protection from heart disease and Type 2 diabetes. Meeting daily nutrient needs on a vegan diet requires much needed attention through diet or supplementation. While some can meet the minimum intakes through oral vitamins and minerals, other require a much more robust administration, such as those found in an intravenous (IV) dose.

Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 is a water soluble vitamin playing an important role in cell metabolism. B12 consists of a small group of compounds called the cobalamins and is important for healthy blood and growth, child development, and also helps to keep the eyes, brain and nervous system functioning normally.This nutrient is of concern because it’s not naturally present in plants; natural vitamin B12 is found only in animal foods – meat, poultry, fish, eggs and dairy. Vitamin B12 is added to plant beverages as well as ready-to-eat breakfast cereals and some soy products such as veggie burgers and veggie dogs. Check the nutrition label to see if B12 is added to these foods. Nutritional yeast, sold in natural food stores, is also high in vitamin B12 which is a tasty alternative often used in place of natural “cheesy” flavors.

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Vitamin D

You can’t rely on diet – vegan or otherwise – to provide the daily 1,000 international units (IU) of vitamin D typically recommended.Sunshine, not food, is where most of your vitamin D comes from. So even a healthy, well balanced diet, that provides all the other vitamins and goodness you need, is unlikely to provide enough vitamin D.

What is vitamin D?

You make vitamin D under your skin when you are outside in daylight, which is the reason vitamin D is sometimes called the ‘sunshine vitamin’. A vitamin is something that helps our body function ~ a ‘nutrient’ – that we cannot make in our body. Vitamin D is different because even though we call it a vitamin, it is actually a hormone and we can make it in our body.

What does vitamin D do in my body?

Vitamin D works with calcium and phosphorus for healthy bones, muscles and teeth. Even if you have a calcium-rich diet (for example from eating plenty of low-fat dairy foods and green leafy vegetables), without enough vitamin D you cannot absorb the calcium into your bones and cells where it is needed.

When is vitamin D made in skin?

The amount of vitamin D you make depends on how strong the sunlight is. You will make more in the middle of the day, when the sun is strongest. You will also make more when you are in direct sunlight than in the shade or on a cloudy day.

Which foods contain vitamin D?

Help your body get more vitamin D by eating plenty of vitamin D rich foods, including:oily fish such as salmon, sardines, pilchards, trout, herring, kippers and eel contain reasonable amounts of vitamin D

  • cod liver oil contains a lot of vitamin D (don’t take this if you are pregnant)
  • egg yolk, meat, offal and milk contain small amounts but this varies during the seasons
  • margarine, some breakfast cereals, infant formula milk and some yogurts have added or are ‘fortified’ with vitamin D

What’s the Best Way to Supplement with Vitamin D?

Because oral supplementation only allows for about 60-70% absorption of anything we take into our body, the most effective method used for Vitamin D supplementation would be through an intramuscular injection of Vitamin D, where 100% of the vitamin is absorbed immediately.

To find out where you can receive your Vitamin B12 or Vitamin D Shot, please visit us here.