One of the main concerns about transitioning to a plant-focused lifestyle, aside from getting enough protein, is getting enough vitamins and minerals. Though vegan and vegetarians may be, overall, more healthy than meat-eaters, it is possible not to consume all the vitamins and minerals that are needed daily.
Missing Vitamins and Minerals
There are 6 vitamins and minerals that are commonly missing from from the plant-focused lifestyle: vitamin B12, calcium, iron, zinc, vitamin D, and omega-3 fatty acids. The most interesting thing is that these are the same vitamins and minerals that are commonly missing from the meat-eater’s diet as well.
Hmmm, well how ‘bout that!
The FDA lists what we need in terms of “daily value.” Daily value tells us a suggested amount that we need to consume to be healthy. Let’s talk about what vitamins and minerals are lacking the most, how much we need in terms of grams, where to get them from, and how much those foods offer in terms of daily value.
Below is a downloadable list of those vitamins and minerals, what they are good for, and what foods contain them…
31 Eden Vitamin and Mineral Chart (1)
If you aren’t already, start taking a multivitamin. This is a good idea for meat and non-meat eaters. But as you transition and are figuring everything out, take a multivitamin to fill in any holes you may miss in your diet.
The multivitamin I choose to take is Ritual. I chose them for several reasons:
1. The first reason is stated on their “Who We Are” page, “We believe in simplicity, traceability, and ingredients that work best in the body.” Simplicity is me…if it is not simple, I really don’t want to deal with it. And I’m an advocate for finding what works best for MY body, and YOUR body. We are not the same, so there is no One Size Fits All when it comes to health.
2. They list all the ingredients. Ritual takes the time to explain what each vitamin/mineral is for, how it works with other vitamins, and why they do not include all the other stuff that is in other vitamins. Each ingredient’s source is provided, along with what the dosage is for that particular ingredient, and who manufactures it. They are so thorough, yet it’s so simple to follow.
3. They provide the results of their research. It’s nice to read what the conclusion was to the research, rather than being referred to a scientific journal where the findings sound like a foreign language. Simplicity is throughout their website, and I so appreciate that.
4. Lastly, it’s pretty!! LOL!
Now, you may be wondering if I am an affiliate partner with this company…No, I am not. I just love what they stand for, what they provide, and the simplicity of it all (I know, I’m beating the dead simplicity horse).
Ritual only has 9 vitamins and minerals in them; vitamin K2, vitamin D3, vitamin B12, boron, iron, vitamin E, magnesium, folate, and omega-3. Their research shows that these are the vitamins most needed for women (I’ll address the men in a minute). This list looks a lot like the one I was talking about above, and yes, they do not have a couple of the vitamins that I stated.
But it is with good reason.
Zinc is not included in this multivitamin because the average meat-eater gets enough. This company is vegan-friendly, but not vegan-focused. So the solution is either to consume more foods with zinc in them (i.e. beans, nuts, whole grains), or supplement.
Calcium is not provided in the vitamin because we generally get all the calcium we need.
Yes. Many researchers, including those at Ritual, show that when calcium is consumed, it is not absorbed the way it should. That’s where vitamin D comes in to save the day! We need vitamin D to help our bodies absorb the calcium.
Now, for the men…
I have yet to find a company out there that provides what Ritual does for the women. According to the Ritual website, it is fine if men want to take this vitamin, but it does not contain what a man needs or it has too much of what is not needed. But it is a personal decision.
But, I actually am going to write a post all about men, their health, and the nutrients required for them. So, keep a lookout for that.
To sum it up…
There are few vitamins and minerals that some vegans/vegetarians are missing from their diet. But, most of them are the same ones missing from the meat-eaters diet as well. The answer is to supplement with multivitamins until you figure out what foods to consume to balance your nutrient intake. Even then, I still suggest taking a multivitamin every day. It doesn’t have to be the one I suggested, but one that you think will work for your body. A little research goes a long way! 😉