Video: My favorite vegan diet supplements

Vegan diet supplements are the subject of my video for this week. Every single one I discuss has worked really well for me, and I hope they give you some good ideas.

Vegan Diet Supplements

I’ve never been a big vitamin person. I’ve tried many things, but there aren’t many things I’ve taken long term. I eat a well-rounded diet, so I don’t take a multivitamin. Occasionally I’ll track my vitamin and mineral intake through using an app like fitday or my fitness pal, and the only real gaps in my diet are iron and B12. I live in a climate where vitamin D deficiency is rampant, so that’ something I’ve used for many years.

As a result, I take B12, vitamin D, Spatone iron supplements and biotin (I explain the biotin in the video and later on in this post).

B12

B12 is essential for all vegans. B12 supports the proper function of the brain and nervous system, and deficiency can cause all sorts of problems, including insanity. No joke. It is the only vitamin that isn’t provided for by a whole foods vegan diet, so it’s advisable to eat fortified foods, like nutritional yeast, and to take a supplement.

All animals obtain their B12 – directly or indirectly – from bacteria that lives in (unless you were to eat dirty vegetables, which I don’t recommend, it’s a good way to contract salmonella).

Interestingly, most factory farmed cows have to be supplemented with B12 because they don’t eat enough grass and dirt to supply their own requirements. Ultimately, whether you are vegan, vegetarian or an omnivore, B12 is important for good health, and it’s a must!

Biotin

I’ve been really impressed with the biotin. I have psoriasis, an immune condition that causes all sorts of issues with my skin and nails. The psoriasis makes my nails very thin, and they pit and peel constantly. Sometimes it gets so bad I can’t even wear nail polish!

Anyway, since I’ve been using biotin, my nails are so much stronger! One of my friends mentioned it a while back, and I was taking gelatin at the time (ugh!). The gelatin also worked, but it tasted absolutely disgusting and I hated it. Plus I no longer eat animal products, so the gelatin was out.  I am happy to report that the biotin is just as good, and its ‘s so much easier to take.

Spatone iron supplements

I also mention a particular brand of iron supplement in the video. Here in Canada it’s called Spatone, and you can easily find it for sale on Amazon. If you live in the US, it’s called pur-Absorb. I’ve taken iron supplements throughout my life, whether or not I was vegan. Spatone is hands down the best supplement out there! My friend Angela recommended it to me a while ago, and I’ve never turned back. It really is the best iron supplement I’ve ever tried (just as a reminder, this post is not sponsored! The views expressed in this video are mine alone).

Anyone who has ever had to take an iron supplement knows they can cause constipation, upset stomach and even nausea. During pregnancy, the iron in my prenatal vitamin bothered my stomach so much that I had to switch to a low-iron version. Both of my kids had to take iron supplements for a while, and the smell was so bad they refused to take it.

Spatone is actually just water from a spring in Wales that is naturally high in iron. It still has a bit of the characteristic iron smell and taste, but that disappears when you add it to juice (or my personal favourite,Emergen-C). My kids will actually take it, which is the best endorsement I can think of!

Do you take any vegan diet supplements? Or do you stick to whole foods and supplement in other ways?

4 Responses to “Video: My favorite vegan diet supplements

  • Great supplement advice! I don’t think enough people know that supplementing B12 is essential for vegans. I take B12,Vitamin D, and a multivitamin. I’m taking a vitamins and minerals class this summer so I’m excited to see what else I learn then.

    • The class sounds fantastic, Mary Ellen! B12 is so important for vegans. Unfortunately, I keep hearing that a lot of vegans think they can get B12 from seaweed, certain vegetables etc., so it seems like it’s still an issue that needs more attention.

  • I suffered a terrible B12 deficiency that was eventually diagnosed in Autumn of 2015, and the treatment finished only a few weeks ago (#BadVegan). It wiped out a good 6 months or more of productivity for me; I was exhausted, depressed, and had some terrible gastro symptoms. I had to take a break from my masters degree in the end. I went vegan in 2008 and always relied on fortified milks, yoghurts, nutritional yeast, etc. Some folks I know do fine relying on fortified foods, but my doctor thought a bad stomach infection I had around 3 years ago made it more difficult for me to absorb. Now my injection course is finished I take a methylcobalamin supplement which is considered to be more ‘biologically available’ than the standard cyanocobalamin. So anyway – I fully agree with taking supplements; a B12 deficiency is no fun at all!

    • Hi, Jenny!
      I’m really glad that your B12 treatment worked! I think it’s easy to feel like with all the fortified foods, B12 isn’t necessary. I often forget to take it, so thank you for reminding everyone how important it is! People often assume that going vegan makes you feel weak – when in reality they are suffering from a B12 deficiency.

      One of my friends (a long time vegetarian) needs to get regular B12 injections because she has difficulty absorbing B12, even when she eats animal products.

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