It’s National Vitamin Day! Being a vegetarian or a vegan is great for your health, and for the planet. But sometimes it’s a little tougher for us to get our daily allowance of certain vitamins. Iron, B12 and Vitamin D are all in shorter supply or harder to absorb from vegetable-based diets.
Eating a balanced diet with an array of colorful fruits and vegetables is a great step. But, especially if you don’t eat animal byproducts like cheese and milk, you may still be lacking some of these nutrients. And, if you’re made a resolution to eat healthier in 2013, don’t forget about key nutrients. While making healthier choices in what you eat is important, whenever you change your diet you may be inadvertently losing out on important nutrients.
This is especially true if you’re a new or recent convert to a vegetarian or vegan diet. You’ll want to consult your doctor or a nutritionist about staying healthy with your new lifestyle. Taking a daily multivitamin or daily supplements of iron, B12 and D vitamins could be part of that transition.
- Iron: Especially in vegans, iron can be lacking due to the lack of animal proteins. Replace it with iron-rich veggies like kale and spinach and consider an iron supplement. Vegetable-based iron is harder to absorb that iron from animal sources.
- B12: While you may be getting B12 from fortified bread or cereal, it isn’t naturally occurring in anything but animal products. Taking a B12 supplement will become even more important if you’ve stopped eating store-bought bread or cereals due to a whole food diet.
- Vitamin D: D vitamins are found primarily in fish, milk and fortified cereals. It’s also found in tofu and some fortified soy milk. Check with your doctor to see if you need to supplement.
In 2013, I’m continuing my pledge to eat more whole and homemade foods. Our blended-eater family (vegetarians and meat-eaters) is always in transition with our diet. Our kids are undecided, so they eat a bit of both. They take a daily multivitamin, while I take iron, B12 and D vitamin supplements to make sure I get all the nutrients I need.
To help make your healthy New Year’s pledge more palatable, Nature Made recently developed VitaMelts, dissolving vitamin tablets that come in a variety of tasty flavors. And all of the colors and flavors come from natural sources. And, they already have a VitaMelts Vitamin D (creamy vanilla flavor and vegetarian, but not yet in vegan form) and VitaMelts Energy, vitamin B12 (it comes in mixed berry flavor, and it’s vegan!). Two out of three vitamin supplements in tasty tablets instead of pills? Yes, please! Now I’ll cross my fingers that they develop an VitaMelts iron supplement next.
Nature Made® VitaMelts™ are a new “one of a kind”, enjoyable way to take your vitamins because they melt in your mouth and taste great. Discover how new Nature Made® VitaMelts™ can transform your vitamin taking experience by making it enjoyable. Visit us on NatureMade.com/VitaMelts to get a coupon.
Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Nature Made via Glam Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Nature Made.