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How Do I Choose the Best Vegan Supplements?

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  • Written By: A.E. Freeman
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 01 December 2016
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Vegan supplements can help you increase the amount of certain nutrients that can be difficult to get on a vegan diet, which is completely free of any animal products, including dairy, eggs, and honey. The best supplements will contain substantial amounts of the nutrients and minerals you need without containing dangerous levels or ingredients that you don't need. You should also choose supplements that supply vitamin B-12, omega-3 fatty acids, and iron. A multivitamin vegan supplement should also provide calcium, vitamin D,and vitamin C.

Vitamin B-12, which helps build red blood cells and reduces a person's risk for anemia, is found only in animal products. While vegetarians who eat cheese and eggs should get significant amounts of B-12, vegans will not unless they take a supplement. Some vegan foods, such as soy milk and nutritional yeast, are fortified with B-12, but it is advisable that a vegan take a supplement that also contains the vitamin to make sure that he or she is getting enough.

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Omega-3 fatty acids can also be difficult to ingest on a vegan diet without a supplement. While most omega-3s come from fish and fish oil, you can find omega-3 supplements derived from algae. Flax seed oil and flax seed oil gel caps can also provide omega-3s, but the algae tablets are more complete. Not all algae or flax seed tablets are vegan, though. Make sure the supplements are labeled vegan and do not contain gelatin, which comes from animals.

The best iron vegan supplements need to be taken with vitamin C to help your body absorb the iron. Although iron is found in non-animal foods, such as leafy green vegetables, it doesn't get absorbed by the body as well as iron from animal products, such as red meat, so you need to consume more of it to get the same benefits. Taking an iron supplement can help you fill in the gap.

Vitamin C aids in iron absorption, so your best option may be to take vegan supplements that contain both iron and vitamin C, such as a vegan multivitamin. If you want to avoid taking many pills a day, use the multivitamin vegan supplements to also make sure you get enough calcium and vitamin D, which can also be difficult to get on a vegan diet. Vitamin D helps your body absorb the calcium. The multivitamin should be labeled vegan. and the vitamin D should be labeled D-2, which means it comes from plant sources.

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