I’m vegan, do I need to take supplements?
important to avoid drinking tea, coffee and wine with meals, as tannins in these can bind the iron, which inhibits absorption.
It’s important to have your iron levels checked before supplementing, as an excess of iron in the body is also problematic, and some of the symptoms of iron overload are actually similar to those of deficiency.
Food sources of zinc for you include sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds. These contain around 2mg of zinc per 30g serve. Nuts and legumes also contain small amounts of zinc. Women require 8mg of zinc per day and men require 14mg per day to prevent deficiency.
Plant-based sources of calcium include green leafy vegetables (such as broccoli and kale), figs, sesame seeds, tahini and almonds. If you are choosing to consume a non-dairy milk (such as almond or rice milk), there are calciumfortified options available which can help to ensure you are meeting your calcium requirements. You can check the label to see if it has calcium added.
OMEGA-3 FATTY ACIDS
The omega-3 fatty acid that is found in plants is called alphalinolenic acid (ALA) and it is an essential fatty acid, meaning the body cannot synthesise it so we must obtain it from our food. ALA is found in chia seeds, flaxseeds and walnuts. The body can convert ALA into EPA and DHA, the omega-3 fatty acids that are present in oily fish, however this conversion can be inefficient. DHA is also found in algae, so there are some plant-based DHA supplements available if needed.
There are calcium-fortified almond milk options for those who go vegan.