10 Misconceptions in Vegan Vitamins and Minerals

vegan vitamins- 10 Misconceptions in Vegan Vitamins and Minerals
Photo by Magda Ehlers from Pexels

Have you made the decision to live a vegan lifestyle? Or are you simply aiming to add more plant-based foods and supplements to your diet?

Either way, you deserve clarity and peace of mind. The vegan community often talks about vitamins and minerals. But myths can confuse us, making it hard to know what our bodies really need.

In this guide, we're tackling ten big myths about vegan vitamins and minerals. We'll cover everything from B12 must-knows to the Omega-3 discussions. Our goal? To clear up confusion and help you make smart choices for your vegan health journey.

Whether you're a seasoned vegan or just starting your plant-based journey, here’s what you need to know!

1. Vegans Get All The Vitamins They Need From Food

Nope, not exactly. A well-planned vegan diet covers most nutrients, but you might need extra B12, vitamin D, and Omega-3. Plant sources don't always give your body what it can easily use, unlike animal sources. Just pay attention to what your body tells you and chat with a doctor if you're missing something.

Vitamin Considerations for Vegans

When you switch to a plant-based diet, make sure you get enough of these important nutrients.

  • Vitamin B12: It's essential for nerve function and helping our bodies produce energy. You can find it in fortified foods or take it as a supplement.
  • Protein: Although not a vitamin, protein is a crucial macronutrient. Look for a variety of plant-based sources to ensure you're getting the essential amino acids.
  • Vitamin D: Necessary for calcium absorption—and often lacking in sunlight-deficient vegans. A supplement may be necessary, especially in darker months.
  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Essential for brain and overall health. Algal oil serves as a vegan alternative to fish oil.

2. All Vegan Vitamins Have Equal Content

Sorry, but not all supplements are created equal. The supplement world is huge and mixed, offering everything from the best to the worst. Trusted brands like Grüns supply the top vegan vitamins, backed by scientific support. They use high-quality, easily-absorbed nutrients.

A Quality Standard

When shopping for vegan vitamins, look for products that:

3. Vegans Don't Need B12 Supplements

False, and this is a big one! Animal products, fortified foods, and supplements provide vitamin B12. Because of this, many vegans might not get enough, putting them at risk of a deficiency. It’s vital for brain health and the formation of red blood cells.

B12 and Your Body

Here’s why B12 is non-negotiable for vegans:

  • Brain Health: A lack of B12 can affect your mood and brain function.
  • Energy Levels: B12 helps your body turn food into energy.
  • Cell Creation and Healing: It's vital. It helps form and regenerate red blood cells.
  • Heart Health: Vitamin B12 plays a key role in breaking down fatty acids. This process is crucial for keeping your heart healthy.

4. Vegans Get Enough Vitamin D from Sunlight

Not quite. Sunlight gives us vitamin D, but how much we get depends on where we live and our skin color. Curiously, not just vegans, but everyone might need more vitamin D.

Sunlight and Supplements

Just getting sunlight isn't enough. That's why taking vitamin D supplements is crucial for vegans.

  • Sunlight Variables: Time of day, season, and location affect your body's vitamin D production from sunlight.
  • Location Concerns: Those at higher latitudes can struggle to get adequate vitamin D from the sun.
  • Impact of Veganism: Few natural vegan sources of vitamin D make taking extra vitamins or minerals crucial for many.

5. Vegans Can Easily Get Enough Omega-3 from Plant Sources

It might sound simple, but the reality isn’t quite as straightforward. There are plant sources of Omega-3, such as flaxseeds, chia seeds, and hemp. These sources offer a type of omega-3 known as ALA. The body must convert ALA into more usable forms, EPA and DHA, which isn’t always efficient.

The Omega-3 Conversion Conundrum

Understanding the ALA/EPA/DHA relationship matters:

  • The Conversion Process: Our bodies are inefficient at converting ALA to EPA and DHA.
  • Direct Sources: Algal oil is a terrific direct source of EPA and DHA for vegans.

6. All Vegan Vitamins are Synthetic

This is a common misconception; not all vegan vitamins are synthetic. Plant sources can provide many vitamins and minerals, making them vegan. Choosing natural supplements often leads to better digestion. Your body can easily recognize and use them.

Choosing Natural Over Synthetic

When given the choice, consider:

  • Absorption Rate: How easily can your body absorb and use the nutrient?
  • Ethical Considerations: Some people might look for vitamins that better match a vegan lifestyle.

7. Vegans Don't Need Calcium and Iron Supplements

It's true that you can find calcium and iron in vegan foods like leafy greens and legumes. However, oxalates in spinach can block calcium absorption. Similarly, phytates can prevent the proper absorption of iron. Many people, regardless of their diet, could benefit from taking vegan vitamins with these essential minerals.

The Absorption Equation

What tips the scales for adding extra nutrients?

  • Digestion of Nutrients: Sometimes it’s not about what you eat, but what your body can absorb.
  • Individual Needs: Your body may have increased needs due to age, pregnancy, or other factors.

8. All Vitamins Are Vegan

Unfortunately, this isn’t the case. Manufacturers often source vitamin D3 from lanolin, a waxy substance from sheep's wool. Animal-based products can chelate iron. It’s essential to check labels and look for vitamins specifically labeled as vegan.

Deciphering Labels

To ensure a vitamin is vegan-friendly, look for:

  • Specific Vegan Claims on Packaging: Brands striving to serve the vegan community will make it clear.
  • Transparent Ingredient Lists: Be wary of vague statements or the catch-all “mixed sources.”

9. Vegan Vitamins Are Always More Expensive

This is a toss-up. It's true that some vegan vitamins can be expensive. However, there are also many high-quality options that are affordable. It’s all about doing your research and finding the middle ground between price and quality.

The Cost-Quality Balance

Don’t break the bank on vitamins. Here's how to find value:

  • Buy in Bulk: Often, the price per unit is lower when you buy a larger quantity.
  • Online Savings: Retailers often offer deals and discounts not found in-store. Great news! Grüns offers various subscriptions with exciting discounts, including the option to buy in bulk and save even more.
  • Compare Products: Don’t just go for the cheapest option. Compare ingredients and quality to find the best value for your money.

10. Vegans Don't Need to Worry About Vitamin A

Many people think vegans don't have to worry about vitamin A because plants have beta-carotene. Our bodies change beta-carotene into Vitamin A. However, not everyone can convert it easily.

Vitamin A Conversion Considerations

A word on vitamin A for the whole:

Choosing Vegan Vitamins Wisely

vegan vitamins- Choosing Vegan Vitamins Wisely

Veganism is more than just a diet—it’s a lifestyle. Staying informed and mindful about your health is crucial for any lifestyle change. When it comes to choosing the best vegan vitamins, knowledge is power.

To maintain a balanced diet and wellness routine, you must first understand what you need. Then, find out where to get it. Lastly, know that high-quality supplements are important.

Grüns: Your Journey to the Best Vegan Vitamins

Here at Grüns, we believe in the power of high-quality, plant-based nutrition. We've created vegan vitamins in gummy bear form just for you. They give you the support you need to thrive.

We’re committed to transparency, quality, and your health. It's not about having a perfect diet. It's about adding the best vegan supplements. These supplements match your values and boost your health.

The Take-Home Vitamin

Vegan or not, understanding the role of vitamins in your diet is critical. We've uncovered the truth about vegan vitamins and minerals. With our guide, you can make smart choices about adding the right nutrients to your diet.

Remember, a knowledgeable consumer is a healthy consumer. Make the right choice for your body, your beliefs, and your best life with the right vegan vitamins.

Check out Grüns daily gummies now!

 

 

  • References:

Office of Dietary Supplements - Vitamin B12. (2023). Nih.gov. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminB12-Consumer/#:~:text=Plant%20foods%20have%20no%20vitamin,best%20sources%20of%20vitamin%20B12.

Protein. (2012, September 18). The Nutrition Source. https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/what-should-you-eat/protein/

Vitamin D and Calcium. (2024). Hopkinsmedicine.org. https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/wellness-and-prevention/vitamin-d-and-calcium

Danahy, A. (2020, January 8). What Is Algae Oil, and Why Do People Take It? Healthline; Healthline Media. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/algae-oil

Ajmera, R. (2020, May 12). Methylcobalamin vs. Cyanocobalamin: What’s the Difference? Healthline; Healthline Media. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/methylcobalamin-vs-cyanocobalamin#:~:text=Research%20shows%20that%20cyanocobalamin%20may,absorption%20and%20retention%20are%20minimal.

Niklewicz, A., A David Smith, Smith, A., Holzer, A., Klein, A., McCaddon, A., Molloy, A. M., Wolffenbuttel, B. H. R., Ebba Nexo, McNulty, H., Refsum, H., Jean-Louis Gueant, Dib, M.-J., Ward, M., Murphy, M., Green, R., Ahmadi, K. R., Hannibal, L., Warren, M. J., & P Julian Owen. (2022). The importance of vitamin B12 for individuals choosing plant-based diets. European Journal of Nutrition, 62(3), 1551–1559. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00394-022-03025-4

Omega-3 Fatty Acids: An Essential Contribution. (2012, September 18). The Nutrition Source. https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/what-should-you-eat/fats-and-cholesterol/types-of-fat/omega-3-fats/

Franziska Spritzler. (2017, June 3). Oxalate (Oxalic Acid): Good or Bad? Healthline; Healthline Media. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/oxalate-good-or-bad#:~:text=Oxalate%20can%20reduce%20mineral%20absorption,into%20the%20body%20(%204%20).

Are Anti-Nutrients Harmful? (2019, January 24). The Nutrition Source. https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/anti-nutrients/#:~:text=Phytates%20(phytic%20acid)%20in%20whole,legumes%E2%80%94can%20decrease%20iron%20absorption.

https://www.facebook.com/verywell. (2019). The Health Benefits of Chelated Iron. Verywell Health. https://www.verywellhealth.com/chelated-iron-benefits-4684057

Suzuki, M., & Tomita, M. (2022). Genetic Variations of Vitamin A-Absorption and Storage-Related Genes, and Their Potential Contribution to Vitamin A Deficiency Risks Among Different Ethnic Groups. Frontiers in Nutrition, 9. https://doi.org/10.3389/fnut.2022.861619

 

Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.