We live in a time where Vegan supplement options seem to almost be as plentiful as mouthwatering vegan meal options. There’s now a growing variety of vegan supplements complementing our healthy vegan diets, which are also competing for the hard-earned cash in our wallet.
This list provides a summary of the 4 best vegan supplements that are worth your time and money. A well balanced plant based diet is a wonderful thing for our bodies and has been shown to lower risk of cardiovascular issues, diabetes, and colorectal cancer. Unfortunately with how busy we all are, it is sometimes difficult to ensure that in any given week we are getting all the balanced plant based nutrition that our bodies require. This is where the safety net of vegan supplements can be very helpful.
1) Vegan Multivitamin Supplements
Multivitamins tend to have a standard formulation on what is considered by a vegan nutritionist as a multivitamin. That is why when you compare any two given brands that they tend to have the same ingredients at nearly the same levels. The key ingredients anyone eliminating meat from their diets should look for are Vitamin B12, Zinc, and Selenium. If you are a menstruating woman between 18 – 50 years old you can also add a supplement with small amounts of Iron.
Another factor that is important with vegan supplement multivitamins is to use one that sources quality ingredients. Mostly all U.S. supplement manufactures do have heavy metal and microbial quality controls however that is usually it. So starting with quality sourced ingredients is key to limit the amount of unknown compounds in your multivitamin. Usually price is a strong indicator of the quality, i.e. if you are paying $5 for 120 tablets versus $30 for 120 tablets you should begin to question what you are putting in your body. An excellent company that truly cares about who they source from is New Chapter.
2) Vegan Muscle Supplements
Simply put, plants have NO muscles. So when meat is eliminated from our diets, many of the nutrients needed by our muscles start to decrease. Carnitine & Creatine where shown 24% and 39% lower in people eating a plant-based diet (Delanghe J, et. al.), while Taurine was shown 14% lower (Rana S.K. et.al.). Due to how critical many of the nutrients found in red meat are for muscle energy and metabolism, many vegan bodybuilders and athletes supplement with these nutrients due to the energy demands placed on their muscles during training and competition. However for the casual person who wants to maintain muscle tone for their 3-day-a-week workouts and everyday activities, ensuring their body has adequate levels of these muscle nutrients can be done with a new Vegan Muscle supplement from VerJus Essentials LLC called RareMyo. Similar to New Chapter, Verjus Essentials is focused on quality sourcing as demonstrated in their corporate mission statement.
Similar to the reason many people use a multivitamin for fear they are deficient in a critical nutrient, RareMyo provides a low-dose everyday vegan muscle supplement with 6 key muscle nutrients found in red meat which will squash the fears of vegans and vegetarians that they're "missing" something for their muscle strength and health by not eating meat. RareMyo was designed by a skeletal muscle researcher with 6 of the beneficial nutrients found in red meat with levels in each capsule formulated to approximate levels found in a single serving of red meat. Again this is not a high dose bodybuilder supplement and contains no Mega doses or protein. As an example, typically Acetyl-L-Carnitine supplements have 500mg or more per capsule while RareMyo is designed with only 50mg per tablet to more closely match the 100mg levels found in a serving of red meat. Another example of their sensible formulation is that each capsule of RareMyo contains 100mg of Taurine, again matching what is found in a typical serving of red meat. Taurine supplements are considered safe up to 3000mg per day. In addition to Creatine, Carnitine, and Taurine, RareMyo also contains B-12, CoQ10, and CarnoSyn® Beta-Alanine which are all supplements critical for muscle energy, muscle metabolism, and that are at beneficial levels unlike most muscle bulking supplements on the market.
For a vegan muscle supplement check out Verjus’ RareMyo Muscle Nutrients for your everyday muscle health at www.RareMyo.com
3) Vegan DHA Supplements
DHA is a critical 22 carbon chain Omega 3 fatty acid that our bodies require to function and found mostly from marine sources. Luckily our bodies can make DHA from the shorter 18 carbon chain Omega 3 fatty acid called ALA found in nearly all foods. Due to the critical function of DHA mostly all baby formulas are now supplemented with DHA since very young baby’s ability to convert ALA to DHA is not fully functional. Also many health professionals are now suggesting Omega 3 DHA supplementation due to possible reduced ability to convert ALA to DHA as we age. The possible benefits of an Omega 3 DHA supplement are as an anti-inflammatory to improve neuronal brain health along with decreasing risk of heart attack or stroke.
One really important thing to remember is that DHA s a fatty acid which oxidizes when exposed to oxygen, moisture, or light. For this fact definitely store your DHA in a dark cold place (i.e. refrigerator). Also I recommend not using or purchasing any tablet that is within a year of expiring since you want it to be as fresh as possible.
For vegan DHA supplement check out Hain Celestial Group’s Spectrum Vegetarian DHA which contains 120mg of DHA per a vegan capsule. A few benefits to their product are Hain Celestial group’s focus on many healthy vegetarian/vegan that we are all familiar with such as Earth’s Best organics. Also Hain Celestial group uses Life’s DHA which is made from algae (not fish) and packaged in vegan gel capsules.
4) Vegan B12 Supplements
Everybody who is vegetarian or vegan knows to supplement with a vegan B12 supplement. The best way to supplement is multiple smaller doses throughout the day. Luckily B12 is added to a lot of foods/milks along with all multivitamins so we are following that advice. Absorption of B12 is limited by the capacity of a compound in your GI system called Intrinsic factor. What this means is that taking any more then 10mcg at any given time is just going right through your system and into the toilet (10mcg equals about 170% DV on the label). So all those 500mcg tablets you see being sold on the shelf you are only really absorbing about 10mcg of the tablet.
For the reasons explained above, a good multivitamin with 10 to 40 mcg of daily B12 split into 2 or 3 tablets a day will break the B12 up into smaller doses so more is absorbed. This is much better then 1 mega tablet each day. See my multivitamin recommendation section above.
5&6) Vegan Calcium Supplements & Vegan Vitamin D Supplements
These two vegan supplements are grouped together since they complement one another and are often recommended by health professionals for adults. Vitamin D is responsible for calcium absorption by our bodies along with other important metabolic and cell life cycle roles. Yes, activated vitamin D is produced by outdoor sun exposure (inside the house/office/car doesn’t count since the UVB rays are blocked by glass) so more often than not people do not get enough outdoor sun exposure through the week to maintain their Vitamin D levels. Calcium of course is critical for our bones. Just as important, Calcium is critical for our skeletal muscles. Allowing us to move, propel the tiny muscles of our vascular system, and for the transmission of signals along our nervous system. All very important functions, so supplementing Calcium and Vitamin D is equally important.
Check out New Chapter’s Bone Strength slim tabs since they include Vitamin D3 (333 IU per tablet) along with Calcium (257mg per tablet). It is also nice since they have the daily recommended dose split into 3 tablets which means you can take the tablet with meals that you are not consuming calcium or vitamin D fortified food (i.e. a lot of orange juices and milk products are fortified)
This article was written by Dr. Robert Wimmer, co-founder of VerJus Essentials LLC manufacture and distributor of a dietary supplement product called RareMyo. Statements in the article have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. RareMyo is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Consult a professional medical care provider before starting any new dietary supplement to make sure you have no drug interactions or health condition that prevent use of a particular supplement.