Veganism has grown in popularity exponentially over the last decade, in part because of the number of health benefits it provides (heart health and longevity, to name a couple). If you clicked on this article, you're probably interested in eating more plants in the new year. Or maybe you've already taken the leap to some form of vegetarianism or full-on veganism and want to learn more about optimizing your plant-based diet to ensure you're getting the nutrients you need. Either way, we've got you covered.
Plant-based and vegan: similar but not the same.
Veganism is a form of activism. Adopting a vegan diet and lifestyle means eliminating animal-based products from all aspects of your life for ethical reasons—not just your meals. Vegans are concerned about animal welfare, but many also choose the lifestyle due to their concerns about the environmental impact of factory farming and, yes, the long-term individual health effects of eating animal-based foods in lieu of plants.
Plant-based eating simply means mostly eating, well, plants. However, plant-based diets don't necessarily eliminate animal products. Instead, plant-based living is health-focused, while vegans are primarily in it for the animals' well-being. While there's certainly crossover, the two are not exactly the same. Vegan diets are plant-based, but plant-based diets aren't always vegan (confusing, we know—more on these terms here).
Nutrient gaps—and how to close them.
Listen, the reality is this: If you're eliminating animal products from your diet—partially or entirely—you may be short on a few (or several) micronutrients. There's no reason you can't meet your nutritional needs with intentional planning, though.
Certain micronutrients, such as essential vitamin B12 and essential mineral iodine, are found almost exclusively in animal products. While water-soluble vitamin B12 does show up in trace amounts of certain plant foods (e.g., nori seaweed, tempeh, nutritional yeast, and shiitake mushrooms), and sea vegetables (i.e., kelp, dulse, nori, etc.) are potent sources of iodine, people following a vegan diet likely need high-quality supplementation to meet their essential nutrient needs entirely and on the daily.
You could swap Brazil nuts for meat to meet your selenium needs, choose tofu over dairy products to get enough calcium, eat nuts, seeds, and legumes instead of meat and seafood to reach adequate zinc intake—the list goes on! Even cereals, legumes, and spinach can rack up some iron "points" (although getting adequate and bioavailable heme iron is a challenge from plant sources). Because when it comes to nutrition, of course "food first" is always the mentality (why "food first" breaks down for vitamin D, though), no matter what diet you follow. However, there's no doubt vegan and plant-based diets come with particular nutrition challenges. Indeed, the country as a whole (including carnivores) has major nutrient gaps, too.
The simplest, easiest way to ensure you're closing the nutritional gap? A high-potency, vegan multivitamin.
Comprehensive multivitamin, to the rescue!
Adding a (truly) complete vegan multi to your daily supplement routine is one way to help guarantee you'll get the micronutrients you're missing from your plant-based diet. At mbg, we created our ultimate multivitamin+ with vegans top of mind.
Our most exciting vegan feature has to be our high-quality vitamin D3 sourced from organic, sustainable algae. Our D3 is the purest form of plant-derived cholecalciferol in the world today. Considering most vitamin D supplements on the market are sourced from lanolin (sheep's wool), this is a big deal! (Nothing against lanolin; it's just not vegan).
As mbg's director of scientific affairs, Ashley Jordan Ferira, Ph.D., RDN, divulges: "mindbodygreen's ultimate multivitamin+ not only addresses major issues with multis on the market today, but this comprehensive supplement is a vegan's go-to strategy for promoting daily and lifelong nutritional sufficiency. This plant-forward, 33-ingredient, high-potency multi with a built-in B complex with B's in their bioactive forms, six longevity botanicals, and a full array of essential vitamins and minerals is the new school of vitamins."*
Remember all the essential nutrients we mentioned above—the ones vegans struggle to get in their diet alone? ultimate multivitamin+ features every single one of them (and then some!)—B12, iodine, selenium, calcium, and zinc. If you want a daily insurance policy to make sure your nutritional bases are covered, look no further.
These two daily capsules pack a potent punch—and we mean it. With 14 vitamins, 13 minerals, and six botanical bioactives designed with women and men in mind (hello, gender-neutral multi formula), this dynamic lineup supports whole-body health in a groundbreaking way.* Our carefully curated, premium formula optimizes dose, gentleness, bioavailability, and bioactivity so you can sleep at night knowing you did everything to help your body utilize the daily essential micronutrients it needs.*
There's no doubt that adding more plant-based foods to your diet is a wise choice for long-term health and well-being, but you want to make sure you're meeting your nutritional needs as well. mindbodygreen's ultimate multivitamin+ can help close those nutritional gaps and ensure you're optimizing your health every day.*