Munich, November 13, 2024
Vegan and vegetarian diets are gaining popularity worldwide, driven by
health, ethical and environmental considerations. While a well-planned
plant-based diet can provide many health benefits, there are certain
nutrients that are less abundant or harder to absorb in plant-based foods.
This is where the role of supplements comes into play to ensure a balanced
One of the main nutrients that requires special attention in a vegan diet is vitamin B12. This vitamin is crucial for nerve function and the formation of red blood cells and is naturally found mainly in animal products. Vegans and many vegetarians should therefore rely on fortified foods or B12 supplements to cover their requirements.
Another important nutrient is iron. Although iron is present in plant sources such as lentils, beans and dark green leafy vegetables, the so-called nonheme iron is less efficiently absorbed by our body than the heme iron from animal products.
Vitamin C can improve the absorption of non-heme iron, so it is advisable to combine iron-rich meals with vitamin C-rich foods or use appropriate supplements.
Omega-3 fatty acids, especially EPA and DHA, are important for heart health and brain function and are mainly consumed from fish. Vegans can use algae oil supplements to obtain these important fatty acids.
Calcium and vitamin D are essential for strong bones and teeth. While calcium is present in some plant foods such as broccoli, kale and calciumfortified plant drinks, absorption can be inhibited by certain plant compounds. Vitamin D, which is absorbed through sunlight synthesis or through food, is rare in plant-based form. Vegan vitamin D supplements, especially in the low-light winter months, can help here.
Zinc is another mineral that should be included in a vegan diet. It plays a role in immune function and wound healing. Zinc is found in wholegrain products, pulses and nuts, but here too the bioavailability can be reduced by phytates in these foods. Supplementation may be necessary to prevent a deficiency.
It is important to emphasize that dietary supplements should not be seen as a substitute for a varied and balanced diet. They are intended to fill specific nutritional gaps that may arise as a result of dietary changes.
However, professional nutritional advice should be sought before taking supplements in order to avoid overdoses and interactions with other medications.
In conclusion, it can be said that conscious planning of a vegan and vegetarian diet is essential in order to obtain all the necessary nutrients. Food supplements can be a useful addition to ensure an optimal supply and to take full advantage of the benefits of a plant-based lifestyle. You can also find more on this topic at https://www.handelsblatt.com/adv/firmen/veganenahrungsergaenzung.html. (click below "To press release")