Whether you’re vegan or not, you’ve likely heard of Veganuary – the non-profit organisation that has been working to encourage people worldwide to try following a vegan lifestyle for the month of January, and hopefully beyond, since 2014.
In 2022, over 629,000 people took the 31-day Veganuary pledge, with over 1,500 new vegan products and menu options launched during the campaign. It’s clear that a vegan diet is continuing to gain popularity, with ethical, environmental, and personal health reasons at the forefront of people’s decision making.
When following a plant-based diet, it can be more difficult to consume optimal levels of certain nutrients – which are typically found in animal products – through diet alone. Here, we take a look at which vegan-friendly vitamins and minerals can help you get some extra nutritional support.
Vitamin D is essential in helping your body to absorb calcium and phosphate from food, providing support for your bone, teeth, and muscle health. It also contributes to the normal function of your immune system, with research indicating that vitamin D deficiencies can result in a higher risk of developing infections, such as the flu.
Also known as the sunshine vitamin, your body can create its own vitamin D from direct sunlight on the skin when you are outdoors. It is also found in animal products such as red meat, oily fish and egg yolks – so can be a bit more difficult to get into your diet if you’re a vegan!
It’s recommended that everyone in the UK takes a daily vitamin D supplement, particularly in the autumn and winter months, due to reduced daylight hours and the lack of time spent in direct sunlight. But vegans can benefit from a supplement too!
Our Vegan Vitamin D3 contains 500% of your daily Reference Intake (RI) in every capsule, and is derived from a natural source of the nutrient – a small algae-like organism named lichen.
B12 is one of the eight essential B vitamins, and plays an important role in helping the body turn food into energy and fight feelings of tiredness and fatigue.
Like vitamin D, this nutrient is commonly found in animal products, plus some vegan-friendly fortified foods like breakfast cereals or nutritional yeast flakes. However, if you’re following a plant-based diet, it’s important to make sure you’re getting enough B12 in your daily diet.
Signs that you may not be getting enough vitamin B12 can include:
- Extreme tiredness/fatigue
- Lack of energy even after catching up on sleep/rest
- Mouth ulcers
- Muscle weakness
- Disturbed vision
- Psychological and memory problems
A daily high strength vitamin B12 tablet from Sealions contains 10 micrograms and provides support for your everyday energy levels and vitality, while safeguarding your plant-based diet and helping you get the nutrients you need.
You may be thinking, ‘but I eat plenty of iron-rich foods in my vegan diet’ – and you would be right! From leafy greens like spinach, to nuts, seeds and grains, many plant foods contain what is known as non-haem iron, as do many vegan-friendly foods which have been fortified with the nutrient.
Haem iron is the kind which is typically found in animal products, and is most easily absorbed by your body. Non-haem iron is harder for your body to absorb due to its molecular form, meaning that even if you are eating plenty of vegan-friendly iron sources in your diet, there is still a possibility that your body isn’t absorbing quite as much as you think.
Iron is an essential mineral with a daily recommended intake of 14mg. It’s vital in the normal formation of red blood cells and haemoglobin, supports the normal function of the immune system, and even helps to fight tiredness and fatigue.
Taking an iron supplement can help you maintain a healthy level of iron, with 100% of the RI in each Sealions iron tablet.
Protein is an essential macronutrient responsible for providing you with energy and helping your body to break down food, grow and recover. It helps your body to repair cells and even make new ones – so you can understand why it’s vital in your daily diet.
When it comes to eating protein, most people will think of eggs, meat and various other animal products. But there are so many great sources of protein which are also vegan! The daily RI for protein for adults in the UK is 0.75g per every kilogram of body weight, which on average is 45g per day for women, and 55g per day for men.
Adding foods like chickpeas, edamame and beans, or meat alternatives like tofu and seitan, to your diet is a great way to increase your protein intake. If you find that you are struggling to hit your protein goals, supplementing your intake with a plant-based protein powder can help!
Our Vegan Protein Powder is made using a mix of pea protein isolate and rice protein, providing 18g protein per serving.
Whether you’re trying Veganuary for the first time, or have been following a plant-based diet for a while, a helping hand from our range of vegan-friendly supplements can give your body the extra support it needs.