I often get asked what supplements we take since we live a vegan lifestyle. People are SURE that we are going to die simply because we’re vegan. Bring a vegan kid into the mix and (to many) I am depriving my child of the necessary nutrients provided by overly processed, hormone filled, fast food. While it is a good question (and I appreciate the concern), I’d like to first point out that we (as a family) do not take supplements BECAUSE we are vegan.
A healthy, whole food, vegan diet is loaded with much more nutrients than the typical American diet (as well as most of the fad diets we see) and my 1 year old eats a bigger variety of vegetables, spices and foods in general than most full fledged adults. That being said, I do believe that supplementation of certain things can improve any diet or lifestyle so I’ve put together a list of all of the supplements we take and where you can get them the cheapest.
This is a fairly long post, so I’ve broken everything up into him+her, Just him, just her, just kids and the whole family!
Why These Companies?
First off, this is NOT a sponsored post. This is literally just me sharing what supplements we have been using for some time and love.
When it comes to vitamins, all are definitely NOT created equally. Many companies over-process their vitamins and allow them to be heated to temperatures that kill the nutrients and enzymes that you’re trying to get in the first place. This is why one of my all time favorite companies is Garden of Life. Their supplements are derived from whole food sources and they take such good care through the process to keep their supplements as nutrient packed as possible. The majority of our vitamins and supplements come from this amazing company. DEVA is a also one of my top choices. They are high quality and vegan!
- Garden of Life Raw D3 | This stuff is VERY difficult to get through diet and even more difficult to attain through a vegan diet. We spend a decent amount of time outdoors in the sunshine, but this is something we supplement as well. I had someone tell me once that they don’t think any D3 is vegan. However, the box specifically states that they are, in fact, veg friendly. I have also spoken with a representative from the company that ensured me they were safe. (fun fact: mushrooms contain D2!)
- Udo’s Choice Omega 3 6 9 Oil Blend | Omega 3 6 9 are difficult to get in any diet, but are imperative to your body’s functioning- especially your heart!
- Garden of Life Raw Antioxidants | Antioxidants fight off cancer causing free-radicals, basically by giving them something (other than your cells) to leach onto. This is one of my top favorite preventative measures that can be taken.
- Barlean’s Organic Flax Oil | I love eating flaxseeds. However, it can be difficult for our bodies to extract the oil from whole seeds. I like to drizzle this stuff over smoothies, yogurts, salads, you name it. Be sure not to heat it though as that kills all the good stuff!
- Garden of Life Raw B Complex | Both John and I have a genetic pre-disposition to have low levels of Vitamin B12. I am a strong believer that a lack of B vitamins is directly related to Alzheimers and other brain disorders. That being said, this is one of our MUST take supplements. Take it in the day time though- it has a coffee like effect on those that need it!
- DEVA Vegan Chia Seed Oil | While we eat chia seeds, similar to the flax oil, I like to get as much of this goodness in us as possible. These little miracle seeds are one of the top vegan sources of omegas!
- Spectrum Vegetarian DHA | If I only took one supplement, this would be it. The majority of diets are extremely lacking in DHA and it’s crucial to brain development. (I up the dosage on this when pregnant and breastfeeding)
- Garden of Life Raw Prenatal | While I’m not pregnant, I am still nursing Judah and hope to have another child at some point. Taking prenatals BEFORE getting pregnant prepares your body for a baby and ensures that you have the nutrients you need in those first weeks of not knowing there is a tiny creature growing inside you. That being said, I will continue to take a prenatal each night until I am no longer in my “child bearing” years or breastfeeding. (Note: I only take 1 of these per day which is 1/3 of the serving. In the event that I became pregnant, I would take the full 3 pill serving).
- Garden of Life Raw Enzymes for Women | If your digestion isn’t right, nothing is. These enzymes help you breakdown food and absorb as many nutrients as possible.
- DEVA Vegan Cal-Mag Plus | I recently read an article on magnesium. It’s EXTREMELY difficult to absorb while pregnant, but research points to a lack of magnesium being the cause of morning sickness in pregnant women. While I didn’t test this when I was pregnant, I am taking it now. I had terrible morning sickness that lasted ALL DAY. If you are trying, could become, or want to be pregnant any time soon, you can start building up your magnesium stores now.
- Garden of Life Raw Probiotics for Women | Good bacteria is so crucial to your wellbeing and your gut! We triple up on these when we’re sick to help kick the bad bacteria’s ass. Also, if you take antibiotics, taking a high quality, raw probiotic in between doses (eg: if you take the antibiotics at 9 & 3, take probiotics at 12 & 6) can help prevent the medicine from wreaking havoc on your gut. And If you battle yeast infections, these little beauties will work wonders (take them both orally & insert them as far into the vaginal canal as possible…TMI?).
- Garden of Life Raw Enzymes for Men | I can’t say it enough: If your digestion isn’t right, nothing is.
- Garden of Life Raw One for Men | A multi before bed. Always.
- Garden of Life Raw Probiotics for Men | Gotta get that healthy bacteria!
- Nordic Naturals Vegetarian DHA | This is a crucial part of a child’s brain development and one of the most important supplements a little one can be given (in my opinion). Judah still gets DHA from my milk and from this Algae based supplement.
- Nordic Naturals Vegetarian Vitamin D3 | Babies and kids have an even harder time getting vitamin D than adults. In my opinion, this can be chalked up to not getting outside as much for fear of sun burn and having a limited diet. This stuff is liquid sunshine, but doesn’t replace our outdoor time!
- Garden of Life Raw Meal | This stuff is PACKED with nutrients- vitamins, greens, minerals, protein, fiber, it has it all. We only do 1 scoop per serving (as opposed to the serving size listed). I personally like the spiced chai or the original with Cacao (and Maca if Judah isn’t in on it- he doesn’t need any more energy) added, but my husband loves the vanilla. We haven’t tried the chocolate.
- Hemp Hearts | These bad boys are LOADED with protein and omegas! They are so easy to add to smoothies, salads, vegan yogurt, ice cream, etc. and taste great!
- Chia Seeds | Chia and hemp seeds go hand-in-hand in our house. If we’re eating one, we’re eating the other. This little miracle seed is loaded with healthy omegas as well!
- Coconut Oil | This stuff is a miracle. It has replaced neosporin, facewash, diaper cream, makeup remover and much more! We try to get at least 1T in (by mouth) each day.
When it comes to vitamins and supplements, your body can only absorb so much at once and overdoing is not good for you either- it can wreak havoc on your organs. In order to ensure we get maximum absorbency, we space everything out throughout the day. We also don’t take the “recommended” dosage of each supplement, which makes them last a lot longer as well!
Here’s Our Schedule (when we’re on track):
Note: We take only ONE of each item listed at a time.
- Morning | Cal-Mag (for her only), Smoothie with 1 scoop raw meal, 1T hemp hearts, 1T chia seeds, 1T coconut oil, 1T Flax Oil + spinach, fruit and water, juice or almond milk (we double this for 2 people & Judah has some of mine). If we don’t have the smoothie, we just start with the “lunch” schedule and add an extra multi.
- Lunch | B-complex, Omega 369, DHA, Chia Oil, Antioxidant, Enzymes
- Afternoon | D3, Probiotics
- Dinner | Cal-Mag (for her only), Antioxidant, Enzymes. This is when Judah gets DHA and vitamin D as well.
- Bedtime | Multi (Prenatal for her, 1 a day for him), Probiotics, Omega 369, DHA, Chia Oil, Probiotics
Do you have any vegan vitamins supplements that you love?
Please note: I am not a doctor or nutritionist. These are just the supplements that we take as a family and would continue to take even if we did not live a vegan lifestyle. With that in mind, vitamins and supplements do not replace a healthy, whole food diet and exercise. Please seek medical advice if you have health complications or are taking any medications that could be hindered by a lifestyle change.