I’m ve­gan, do I need to take sup­ple­ments?

Papakura Courier - - OUT & ABOUT -

Q: I turned ve­gan three months ago and I’m re­ally en­joy­ing it but should I be wor­ried about nu­tri­tional de­fi­cien­cies? Should I be tak­ing any sup­ple­ments? – Belinda A: If you eat a ve­gan diet, you need to en­sure you ob­tain op­ti­mal lev­els of spe­cific nu­tri­ents that can be too low when you eat this way. With any par­tic­u­lar diet or way of eat­ing, it is the food choices that are made within the context of that diet that will de­ter­mine whether it is nu­tri­tion­ally ad­e­quate, not the la­bel.

The nu­tri­ents that you need to be par­tic­u­larly mind­ful of as a ve­gan in­clude vi­ta­min B12, iron (par­tic­u­larly for men­stru­at­ing women), zinc, calcium and omega3 fatty acids.

Ask Dr Libby

Email your ques­tions for Dr Libby to ask.dr­libby@fair­fax­me­dia.co.nz. Please note, only a se­lec­tion of ques­tions can be an­swered. vi­ta­min B12 stores will gen­er­ally last a cou­ple of years, how­ever a de­fi­ciency can cause ir­re­versible dam­age so it’s vi­tal that you don’t let your­self get de­pleted. la­bel to see if it has calcium added.


There are calcium-for­ti­fied al­mond milk op­tions for those who go ve­gan.

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