Plant Based Support
Plant Based Support contains 8 vital nutrients missing from a typical vegan or vegetarian diet.
Did you know fish obtain their omega 3 from algae? So does Vitbox. Omega 3 exists in 3 forms, EPA, DHA and ALA. Only ALA can be obtained from a plant-based diet (through seeds), and although it can be converted into EPA/DHA for its main uses, a vegan diet would need to include a lot of seeds to get significant quantities of ALA. To read more, see our article on omegas.
Vitamin B12 is produced by microorganisms found in soil, which are eaten by animals when they graze on plants. The microorganisms colonise the gut of these animals and continue to produce B12 for the animal. So, we can get B12 from eating these animal products, which doesn't work for those following a plant-based diet. To read more, see our article on vitamin B12.
Vitamin A is found as 2 forms: retinoids and carotenoids. Retinoids are active, and carotenoids have to be converted into active vitamin A to be used by the body. Retinoids are only found in animal products and research has shown that plant based diets may not include enough vitamin A. To read more, see our article on vitamin A.
Vitamin D is hard to find in a vegan diet. Mushrooms grown under UV light are one of the only common natural vegan sources, otherwise, it's fortified foods. It is also suggested that all UK residents take a small vitamin D supplement, especially in autumn and winter months. To read more, see our article on vitamin D.
Iodine is mainly used to make the hormones secreted by the thyroid gland, which are needed by every cell in your body. Interestingly, farmers found that supplementing dairy cow diets with iodine increases their milk yield. This trend meant the general population had an increase in iodine in their diets, which largely reduced the number of thyroid related illnesses, showing the importance of iodine in the diet. Therefore, it is important to include iodine as a supplement to a vegan/dairy free diet.
Calcium can be difficult to obtain from a vegan diet without eating lots of fortified foods. Calcium is important for many functions in the body, from roles in the nervous system to keeping bones and teeth strong and healthy.
Zinc is another nutrient that is more rare in the plant-based world. Its main source is meat and seafood, but legumes, seeds, nuts and whole grains are a good vegan source. It is essential in the diet, helping with many functions in the body such as cell division, cell growth, wound healing and in the immune system.
Iron is vitally important in the diet, it allows for the transport of oxygen round the body. It is mainly sourced through animal products, however, so supplementation is often useful for people following a plant-based diet.