In this unprecedented climate, we are all looking to take better care of our health through a variety of means – for vegans, this often means taking a scrupulous look at their essential nutrients intake and seeking better supplementation.
You might already know that investing in a premium-quality vegan multivitamin is the easiest, most convenient way of getting your daily recommended dose of essential vitamins. But do you really know what to look for when shopping for your next medicine cabinet addition?
Choosing the right vegan multivitamin for you requires research and a good understanding of what your nutritional needs as a vegan are – that’s why we have summarized everything you need to know before you shop!
What kinds of vitamins are vegans often lacking?
Let’s be very clear: the majority of your daily vitamins and minerals should come from a balanced, health-promoting plant-based diet focused on whole foods. Many common deficiencies can be easily avoided by including plenty of green leafy vegetables, fresh fruits, nuts, and seeds in your daily diet. That is why planning out your meal plan is crucial, no matter how long you’ve been vegan.
While vegan junk food can be delicious as a weekend treat, basing your diet around highly processed foods can be detrimental for your health in the long run. Sure, the salad-eating vegan is a funny myth for many, but we should all make sure to eat our vegetables and pulses for an adequate intake of vitamin C, A, and E, iron, zinc, magnesium, potassium, and calcium (to name a few).
There are some essential nutrients, however, that vegans have to supplement without exception, as they are either not found or not sufficient enough in plant foods:
1. Vitamin B12
Vitamin B12 has almost become infamous in the vegan world, as it is perhaps the most common vitamin vegans are “accused of” lacking by non-vegans.
But why is B12 so important, and why exactly can’t it be found in any plant foods?
Vitamin B12 plays a crucial role in maintaining normal neurological function, aids in the formation of red blood cells, and helps to create and regulate DNA. Severe B12 deficiency carries a risk of irreversible damage to the brain and nervous system, as well as temporary symptoms like fatigue, memory problems, and depression.
Vitamin B12 can stay in our systems for up to four years, so it’s likely that the majority of people going vegan for the first time won’t experience any symptoms of deficiency for a long time after transitioning and not supplementing.
Processed plant-based foods like nut milks and nutritional yeast are fortified with vitamin B12, but you shouldn’t rely on fortified foods alone to get your recommended B12 intake. In fact, vegans and non-vegans alike are recommended to supplement this essential vitamin on top of their diet – yes, even a meat-heavy diet.
2. Vitamin D3
Vitamin D is an essential nutrient released by our bodies as we’re exposed to sunlight. The D cluster of vitamins promotes the absorption of calcium, regulating bone growth as well as playing an important role in stimulating immune function.
Rich natural sources are very rare, and although most meat-eaters aim to get their adequate vitamin D intake from fatty fish, egg yolks, and butter, vitamin D is one of the most common nutrients to be found in fortified foods like cereal and milk.
Note that vitamin D3 can only be found in animal products, while vitamin D2 is plant-based and found in some varieties of mushrooms and fortified plant foods like nut milks or vegan breakfast cereal.
Unless you are lucky enough to live in an extremely sunny part of the world, getting plenty of sunlight on the daily, you should supplement vitamin D, regardless of your diet (or mushroom consumption!).
Omega-3 fatty acids are a key component of your body’s cells, playing an important role in your endocrine system (regulating hormones), immune system, and respiratory function. These essential nutrients are most commonly found in fatty fish and fish oil, as well as in some plant-based foods like flaxseed and canola oil.
While it is possible to get enough omega-3 fatty acids from these plant foods alone, the reason why they might be so hard to get on a vegan diet is that the amount of omega-6 fatty acids found in most vegan diets greatly surpasses the one of omega-3s.
In order to get an adequate intake of omega-3s, the optimal ratio of omega-6 to omega-3s must be 4:1 or less. As most Western diets feature a much higher amount of omega-6s than recommended (around 16:1), this distorted ratio carries a risk of deficiency associated with fatigue, joint pain, cardiovascular issues, and menstrual problems.
Unless you are ready to give up health-promoting, omega-6 containing foods like avocados, sesame seeds and tahini, walnuts, and tofu, supplementation will be your best bet.
Our tips for choosing the best multivitamin for vegans
Not all multivitamins are created equal, and not all vegan-friendly multivitamins are created with vegans’ health in mind.
Shopping for vitamins as a vegan can often be a frustrating ordeal. Like many other types of medication, most multivitamins available on the market today contain non-vegan ingredients in both their formulation and capsule films. These include lactose coating, lanolin, fish oil-based DHA and EPA omega-3s, carmine, gelatin, and animal glycerin. So first of all, vegans should be aware that not all vitamin companies are vegan-friendly!
But avoiding animal products in your vitamins is only the first part of the problem.
While you may think that all certified vegan-friendly multivitamins will give you the same results, the truth is that vegans require specific formulations and dosages to meet their needs – needs that are quite different from those of meat-eaters.
Some of the leading brands in the supplement industry (like DEVA Vegan) use inadequate dosages of nutrients in their products, containing generous amounts of vitamin C, A, E, potassium, and magnesium (already abundant in vegan diets) without including correct dosages of omega-3s, vitamin D3, and B12 – which are the essential vitamins vegans need.
There is simply no point in loading a product with high amounts of unnecessary nutrients while skimping on the ones that matter, so when you’re choosing your next multivitamin, make sure the ingredients contain what you are actually lacking!
When it comes to most essential vitamins and minerals, a balanced whole food plant-based diet is the best way to get everything you need. As long as you are making sure to follow the appropriate guidelines for a balanced vegan plate, loading up on vegetables and fresh fruits on the daily, along with heart-healthy seeds and nuts, you will be meeting all your dietary requirements in the most natural way. And for the case of vitamin B12, D3, and omega-3s, you’ll want to be looking for a supplement that is as close to natural as possible.
The introduction of dangerous additives is an unfortunately rampant problem in this health-promoting industry. Stearic acid can be found in 90% of leading vitamin brands; it is used to speed up the production process, while other harmful additives like dicalcium phosphate and sodium selenite are used to bulk up the content of various supplements to save on costs.
These additives are not only unnecessary and void of any nutritional benefit, but their function and impact on the human body have not been researched enough to rule out their potential danger!
If you are looking to stay clear of all risks and only rely on a clean, vegan-certified multivitamin that is specifically formulated for vegans and their nutritional needs, there is really only one brand you should be considering.
And the best vegan multivitamin for a plant-based diet is…
Future Kind’s Essential Multivitamin!
Now, before you go on and accuse us of being biased, here are some unshakable facts proving that this multivitamin is the best choice for health-conscious vegans.
Future Kind’s multivitamin for vegan diets is free from any unnecessary and harmful additives, containing only 100% natural ingredients designed to tackle your nutrient needs directly. On that note, you can be sure you’ll be getting the exact dosage of B12, omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamin D3 that you need as a vegan, plus some valuable benefits you won’t find in competitor brands.
Future Kind Essential Multivitamin is the only vegan multivitamin that contains two different forms of vitamin B12, methylcobalamin and adenosylcobalamin, for optimal absorption. In addition to that, this is one of the few vegan multivitamins containing lichen-derived vitamin D3, the only Vegan Society registered D3 source, more crucial for optimal calcium absorption and bone growth compared to the more common plant-derived vitamin D2.
Our algal oil-based omega 3s promote the conversion of DHA and EPA omega-3s rather than ALA fatty acids, as DHA and EPA fatty acids are exactly the kind of nutrients that vegans tend to lack. Don’t worry, you can say goodbye to unwanted, gut-churning fishy smells too: this vegan multivitamin is scented with a natural citrus fusion scent that will improve our vitamins’ taste as well as smell! As an added bonus, they come in easy to swallow pills for an easier, more pleasant consumption.
Our vegan vitamins are a kinder choice for the planet as well. Our bottles and packaging are 100% recyclable and completely made from recycled materials… and we are proudly carbon-neutral too. As a vegan multivitamin made by vegans and for vegans, we strive to do our best to help the animals as well, donating a portion of our profits to animal sanctuaries in need.
Proper nutrition and supplementation is no joke for vegans, and that's why we take it so seriously. If you've been putting off replacing your ineffective multivitamin and you're overwhelmed with the number of options now available on the web , we can only hope this guide has helped to shed some light on this complex industry. If you're looking for additional information, you can visit our FAQ page here.