I have been getting a few emails asking me if I take any supplements or vitamins. And now that I am sticking to vegan diet on most days I have had even more questions, as well as some concerns of my own. After a bit if research I came up with a daily dose of essential vitamins to take.
But before I continue, I am NOT an expert in vitamins and supplements. There is an overwhelming amount of vitamins and supplements that I really know nothing about. This vitamin regime works for my body and I recommend that you do your own research or seek professional help.
On a daily basis I take Vitamin B12, calcium, flax and multi vitamin. I am finishing up a huge bottle of pre-natal’s from when I was pregnant and I am planning on buying a better, all natural multi-vitamin once these run out. A lot of people are unsure if you can take pre-natal’s while not pregnant or lactating. YES – and it’s recommended women take them even before they are pregnant as they help your body gain the vitamins and minerals you will need when you conceive. Folate is especially important when a woman is pregnant!
By eating a vegan diet, I am losing a few essential vitamins from my diet: Vitamin B12, Iron and Calcium.
Vitamin B12 is found in animal products and is essential to a healthy nervous system, brain and red blood cells. While vegetarians usually obtain the desired amount through dairy product, vegans are missing out on this dose. You can find it in fortified breakfast cereals, fortified soy products and fortified energy bars, as well as supplements.
My pre-natal contains a good dose of iron but this is also a nutrient that lacks in vegetarian and vegan diets. Iron is responsible for carrying oxygen through your blood stream and throughout your body. Without enough iron, the body is unable to produce enough hemoglobin and as a result of this muscles get less oxygen which reduces the body energy. You can take iron supplements or eat iron rich foods such as beans and legumes, greens and tofu.
But be warned: you can take in too much iron. It accumulates and stays in the body and is excreted through hair, nails and skin cells. Too much iron is just as bad as if takes a toll on your liver and heart. I DO NOT take a separate iron supplement as I mentioned above. If you think you have an iron deficiently I would contact your doctor.
Women also need to consume at least 1000 mg of calcium per day and men only need 500 mg. There is no need to go into detail as to why women need calcium but there are several ways to get your calcium dose from nature. Spinach, broccoli, kale, calcium fortified soy milk and orange juice.
But I am just like the rest of you – lost in the dark when it comes to supplements and vitamins! Take this, don’t take that; so many people saying different and contradicting statements. My advice: do your homework and trust your instinct! What works for some does not mean that it will work for you. And please, if you have medical questions, ASK YOUR DOCTOR.
Like I mentioned, I am NO expert. Please share what you take or what you know! I love learning about these kind of healthy alternatives!