Supplements on a vegan diet?

So in the vegan section of a shop I was last week

(ok, just to the side of the vegan section, but basically in it it)

Were crickets…

Edible bugs.

And – wow – when you look at how much water and energy it takes to produce 1kg of protein from them

Compared to meat, soy, veggie meat etc.

Maybe that really is the future..

Anyway, I bought some

And -errmmmm- they were OK..

I must admit, when I followed the actual recipe (roast with salt, pepper ..and I added soy sauce..they were actually quite nice..)

And you know the most interesting part? 

I gave my kids some

And they loved them..

My 3 year old asked for more..

Until she realised they were bugs…

Funny how our thought processes can influence what we think of a food, right?

I mean, she eats mackerel, sardines, meat etc. and knows they are animals and fish..

But crickets?

A step too far…

Maybe she won’t be saying that in 20 years when it becomes the most sustainable protein source

And the norm (as it actually is in MANY countries around the world)

Anyhoo…

Then came the discussion of whether mussels were vegan (kids love them, too)

(They’re not btw…and do not Google that unless you want to read some in-depth debates

But anyway..enough of my ramblings..

I had a question the other week 

About whether you need to supplement on a vegan diet.

They had just gone vegan for health reasons and were told they can get everything from the diet.

They don’t want to eat ‘processed food’ or ‘fake processed meat’…

Which – I’ll be honest – will make it more difficult to cover your nutrients in order to be OPTIMAL..

(notice, I didn’t say survive…)

Now, this is not my opinion

This is just what the Science says..

And I want to say first and foremost

That I will always put science over my own beliefs

Because – well – our beliefs can make us pretty biased..

So…

Put simply,

Vitamin B12 is one that you will have to either get from:

  1. A supplement / pill / injection

Or

  1. Fortified foods (some cereals, nut milks, nutritional yeast will have it)

Without Vitamin B12?

Red blood cells may not function properly 

And you may experience tiredness, lack of energy, mouth ulcers, psychological issues / depression, and even pins and needles. 

You might have heard that you can get:

Iron, calcium, zinc, choline, and omega 3 from a vegan diet..

Now, you can get them from plant-based foods. 

But when you look at studies looking at large populations?

It seems people following a vegan diet tends to lead to higher deficiencies..

Thought to be because your body doesn’t absorb as much nutrition from these plant based sources and / or you have to eat so much of them to get enough…

Example being that the type of iron found in beans and spinach is not so easily absorbed by the human body compared to the iron found in red meat.

Now, this is not to say you can’t do a plant based / vegan diet and be healthy..

Far from.

Many people do fine.. providing they do pay more attention to these minerals and vitamins. 

And after all, cutting out food groups gives you a reason to say to no to most cakes, biscuits, and limits your food choices

Which can make it easier to eat less (although that is changing with all the vegan cakes, pastries, burger and chips etc)

But if it were me going vegan?

Based on what the science says, I’d probably supplement with:

-Iron

-Vitamin B12

-Omega 3 (look at algae supplements for alternative to fish)

-Calcium 

-Zinc

-Choline

-Vitamin D3 (even if you eat fish, eggs, meat and dairy, I’d still recommend this one)

To decrease my risk of anaemia, bone fractures, and even depression…over TIME…

I hope this helps…

Because – ultimately – your reason for eating ANY way or doing ANY type of diet… 

Has to be the right one for you and your lifestyle. 

I mean, one of the ladies did it purely for ‘health reasons’ 

but didn’t get on with it and felt so much better eating some fish, eggs and some meat eat again. 

Interesting part 

Is that she said 

‘I feel bad about it as I was committed to being veggie and still eat mostly veggie stuff. Just can’t believe it took me so long to work it out. 

I am most pleased about getting up so early for the exercise and I seem to manage to pack in loads now 

and have more energy that makes me feel in control and able to control other habits”

Like I side, the most important part 

Is that you do what makes you happy…

Aligns with your values..

And gives you

energy, mood, body, and – dare I say it again – happiness

Matt ‘supplements’ Fruci

Scroll to Top