Eight of the key nutrients that vegans can miss out on from not eating meat or fish are:
- Vitamin B12 – essential for a normal nervous system and blood cell formation
- Protein – needed to grow and repair our muscles
- Iron – which helps our red blood cells carry oxygen
- Calcium – required for normal teeth and bones
- Vitamin D – we need this in order to absorb calcium, which helps our bodies do many things, from looking after your immune system to maintaining normal teeth
- Omega-3 fatty acids – important to support normal brain and heart function
- Zinc – required for normal vision and protein synthesis
- Selenium – contributes to normal thyroid function, male fertility, as well as contributing to normal hair and nails
If you would like to read more about this, check out article, ‘8 essential nutrients for Vegans’, on the Health Hub, as it goes into more detail about each of these key nutrients.
Unfortunately, many tablets and capsules are not 100% vegan.
This is because common ingredients used to produce the tablets themselves include animal products such as lactose, fish, gelatine, glycocholic acid, or lanolin.
Additionally, many medications are tested on non-human animals, which goes against a key tenet of veganism.
Watch out especially for multi vitamins available as gummy tablets. These often use gelatine, an animal product, to provide the chewy texture.
If in doubt, check the labels, which will indicate their suitability for vegans and vegetarians alike.
If you eat a plant-based diet, your doctor may have recommended you take vitamin supplements.
Perhaps they suggested a vitamin B complex or a calcium or iron tablet.