Research shows that most people have diets that fail to give them all that they require for great health. Too much fast food, not enough fruits, veggies and whole grains, and too much meat and dairy. The result is a need for what’s turned into a thriving vitamin industry. So these few recommended daily vitamin supplements, which we’ll cover here, are going to simply round out your daily requirements. Your healthy, plant based diet will take care of your needs otherwise.
Generally speaking, a multi vitamin per day is going to supply some of what you need if you make a habit of eating badly. The drawback to relying on that multi-vitamin entirely, is that there are no important interactions amongst all the other components of our food. So taking supplements shouldn’t take the place of eating a healthy diet.
RECOMMENDED DAILY SUPPLEMENTS OF IODINE
Iodine is one of those things that most don’t even give a thought to. I certainly didn’t until I started looking up information about what our thyroids do. The result was a post called ‘Iodine Deficiency, 12 Causes, 8 Symptoms. And because dairy farmers clean their equipment with it, most folks get what they need from using dairy products, and they’re not thinking about it either.
BENEFIT OF ADEQUATE IODINE
- Most importantly, it helps your thyroid function. I’ve read where the thyroid is considered like a central command for your body system. Which to me, seems like a good reason to give it what it needs.
- Healthy brain development and function.
- Maintenance of pregnancy.
- Skin health.
- Immune system support.
(PLANT) SOURCES OF IODINE
- Kelp tablets
- Iodized table salt
RECOMMENDED DAILY SUPPLEMENTS OF IODINE
- 90 mcg per day or about 1/2 tsp iodized table salt, or…….
- 75 to 150 mcg. Kelp tablet/caplet every 3 or four days (break caplet in half if necessary and again, excess iodine is flushed in your urine)
RECOMMENDED DAILY VITAMIN SUPPLEMENTS OF D
Vitamin D. Also known as the sunshine vitamin. With a ‘nick-name’ like that, it’s pretty easy to see where exactly we can get that one from. When our forefathers were herders and gatherers and farmers, we got enough. But as time has gone by, we’ve moved indoors in our home and work lives and figured out how to protect ourselves from getting skin cancer from sun exposure. Those very safety measures means we might not be getting enough Vitamin D. So it’s not just vegans who might have problems obtaining enough vitamin D.
Dr. Andrew Weil wrote a good post on Vitamin D and our needs. He referenced a study done by an associate, who recommended being outside, 20 to 30 minutes, mid day, 3x per week. That researcher felt that would be sufficient to combat deficiencies. Keep in mind too, that the darker your skin is the less sunlight it can absorb. So if you’re of African descent and living anywhere in the Northern Hemisphere, absorption becomes even more a problem for you.
BENEFITS OF VITAMIN D IN YOUR DIET
- Vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium resulting in stronger bones and teeth
- Seems to help prevent development of breast cancer, colon cancer, heart disease, links
- Also seems to have links to preventing depression, weight gain and other major life issues
- Helps regulate the immune system
SOURCES OF VITAMIN D
- Fortified foods: for example, one cup of almond milk will give you 45% of your day’s requirement.
- Vitamin tablets
RECOMMENDED DAILY VITAMIN SUPPLEMENTS OF D
- Vitamin D from sun exposure calls for 20-30 minutes outside, 2 or 3 times per week at midday with your skin bared to the sun. And if you’ve a darker complexion skin, then you’ll need more time outdoors.
- Vitamin D tablets – 800 – 1000 IU
RECOMMENDED DAILY SUPPLEMENTS OF CALCIUM
Calcium is an important mineral that’s easily attained from your plant based diet. Surprisingly though, it’s not just us plant eaters who may not get enough of which is why orange juice is generally fortified with it as are many other prepared foods like tomato sauce and cereals.
PLANT SOURCES OF CALCIUM:
- Plant sources of calcium include dark leafy greens like kale, lettuce, spinach, collard greens
- Seeds – sesame seeds, chia seeds, poppy seeds, etc.
- Beans and lentils (think tofu)
- Fortified milk alternatives (like soy, almond milk, cereals, tomato sauce, beans & tomato sauce, orange juice, etc.)
- Rhubarb & figs
BENEFITS OF CALCIUM
Mostly strengthens our bones and forms teeth, although many body functions also require calcium. May help prevent cancer, heart disease and diabetes and high blood pressure and helps our blood to clot.
RECOMMENDED DAILY VITAMIN SUPPLEMENTS OF CALCIUM
- 500 to 700 mg per day of calcium, according to the World Health Organization
RECOMMENDED DAILY VITAMIN SUPPLEMENT OF B12
B12 – Vitamin B12 is a water soluble vitamin that is typically gotten by people, from eating animals. Obviously, as plant eaters, we’ve got to supplement this one. No if’s, and’s or buts. This vitamin is so critical to our health, that deficiency can result in some pretty serious health issues. Alzheimers, mental disorders, weak bones, swollen tendons, inflammatory bowel disease……are only a few the potential problems that you could face.
BENEFITS OF B12
- B12 supplementation is essential in red blood cell formation, cell metabolism, nerve function and the production of DNA.
- Helps prevent Alzheimers and other mental disorders.
- Helps prevent a number of physical disease processes including weak bones and bodily inflammation.
REASONS YOU MIGHT BECOME DEFICIENT IN B12
- Not eating enough greens which provide the folate that B12 works with.
- A rather wide variety of medications can interfere with B12 absorption. Zantac, Tagamet, Maalox, Tums, Omeprazole, Cholestyramine, Metformin, Neomycin…..just to name a few. Check with your doctor if you’re taking any kinds of medications or antacids specifically.
- If you’re suffering from some disease or issue of the digestive system. Things like Crohn’s, pancreatic cancer, weight loss surgery or ulcers. These are disease’s and a process that can create inflammation in your stomach and intestine which impairs the digestive processes. And on the off chance that someone who’s suffering from a hereditary eye disease called Leber’s disease, you should NOT supplement with B12. Again, talk to your doctors.
- Aging (reduced stomach acid production impairs your ability to digest your food)
To wind this all up, the point I’m making is that you should make sure you supplement this one. You can go for 6 years without symptoms starting to show up. Your body does store it in your liver. But there comes a point, where there just ain’t no more! And you do not want to get to that point. So, next item on your grocery list, B12.
RECOMMENDED DAILY VITAMIN SUPPLEMENTS OF B12
- 1000 mcg tablet, three times per week
According to Jack Norris, who is a registered dietician and vegan, you should get 25 – 100 mcg per day of B12. That requirement is easily met by taking one, 1000 mcg B12 vitamin tablet, three times per week. You don’t actually use all of that tablet, but that’s just the way they come apparently. Because it’s water soluble and your body can only absorb as much as it needs, you don’t have to worry about getting too much. You’ll just pee out any excess.
I hope this has clarified which supplements you need to start taking. I think when humans lived closer to the earth, healthy eating was a lot easier. Fewer bad options available and the ground was bursting with nutrients to pass on to us. But the changes in our lifestyles and in the environment have called for adjustments. So now we need a few recommended vitamin supplements. Add those to our healthy way of eating and you and I are giving our bodies the best chance possible.
So if you have any thoughts on any of this, do share. I’d love to hear what you think and maybe you can teach me something that I hadn’t thought of. In the meantime, be safe, be kind and enjoy your day wherever you are!
As always, I will remind you that I’m not a medical doctor. However I’ve spent the last 20 years focusing on and learning to ‘grow’ my own health. And that’s what I’m sharing here. All of it based on my own experiences and also the things that I’ve learned from the real experts! Those are the researchers and doctors who’ve seen the actual patients, worked in the labs and write the medical reports and articles that are sprinkled throughout these posts.
I’ll mostly be chatting about food and nutrition and things like that I think. Although I might even share a thought or two on the random things of life that drive us all nuts. Or maybe I’ll offer up something to lighten the load that just living, can lay across our shoulders.
But always, always, always with a very important goal to motivate and help you find your best way to live a healthier and more peaceful life. Having said that, I also suggest strongly that you talk over any changes in your health routines, with your doctor. This would include changes to your exercise program or plans and any medications or supplements you’re taking. My intention is not to replace your doctor or other health care providers of course. More of a cheerleader and fellow traveller just sharing what I’ve learned