Eating a plant-based diet, or at the very least a mostly vegetarian diet is one of the best things you can do for yourself and for the planet. Animal agriculture, cattle farming, in particular, is among the biggest contributors to climate change around the world. By building your diet around vegetables, fruits, legumes, and beans, humans can effectively reduce their carbon footprint. Maybe you’re just looking to be a reduce-a-tarian, someone who minimizes meat products for these reasons or otherwise.
Either way, one question commonly raised about vegan and vegetarian diets is, how are they getting the vitamins, proteins, and nutrients needed to be healthy? Don’t you have to eat meat to get enough protein? There are a number of ‘tricks of the trade,’ as they say, and one of the most effective can be to take one or more of the best supplements for a plant-based diet.
Supplements can help meet recommended requirements for those not getting the vitamins and nutrients typically consumed by eating meat. Some are better than others, and some will tout their effectiveness even though they may not be necessary.
Our Favorite Supplements for a Plant Based Diet
With that in mind, what are the best supplements for a plant-based diet to ensure you are getting the vitamins and nutrients needed for optimal health? Amino acids are the key to success here. Let’s take a look at the ones that matter most.
Vitamin B12 for Brain and Organ Functionality
One vitamin that you’ll often hear associated with plant-based diets is Vitamin B12. For optimum functioning of the brain and other key organs, proper levels of B12 are critical, and vegans often don’t receive enough in their diet alone. Vitamin B12 is produced in the gastrointestinal tract of some non-human animals, the biggest reason why vegans aren’t getting it. Additionally, Vitamin B12 is an amino acid that is thought to promote the strengthening of the arteries.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids for Joint Health
There are a number of vegetables and non-meat foods that provide Omega-3s, but these essential fats are so critical to the joint health and overall well-being for the entire body that many vegans and vegetarians elect to take a supplement such as GLX3.
This is where New Zealand Green Lipped Mussel Oil comes in. While not vegetarian, but potentially vegan (depending on who you ask), the supplement is harvested sustainable off the eastern coast of New Zealand. Additionally, the mussels used in GLX3 are raised in a way that leaves the surrounding ecosystem in-tact and does not contribute to over-fishing. All mussel oil used in the supplement is farmed by professionals on-site in New Zealand.
Contrary to myths, vegans can’t just sit out in the sun and soak up all the Vitamin D they need. While this can account for a good amount, not all of us are fortunate enough to live in near a beach, or even a place where it’s warm and sunny throughout the year to a point where sunbathing for health is even a possibility.
Vitamin D, among the most important supplements for a plant-based diet, is most effectively delivered in D3 form. Be careful not to take too much, however. Vitamin D is fat-soluble, which means that extra Vitamin D lingers in the fat cells of the body. This is opposed to water-soluble supplements, in which extra is drained out when you go to the bathroom. Therefore, if you plan to add a Vitamin D supplement to your routine, be sure you are taking the right amount.
Taurine for Natural Energy
If you’ve ever taken the time to read the text on the side of an energy drink can, you’ve probably seen Taurine touted as a huge benefit of drinking the beverage. But energy drinks are full of sugar, caffeine, and can be harmful to your heart health. They contain stimulants and vitamins in higher doses than what vegans typically get in their vegan diet.
An alternative is to take one of the Taurine supplements. If you can find a supplement for a plant-based diet that has about 1,000 mg of Taurine, that is an acceptable level for a day’s consumption.
L-carnitine for Heart Health
Vegans and vegetarians often have lower than the recommended levels of this important amino acid. L-carnitine helps the heart function optimally on healthy energy, and a typical recommended dose is 500 mg per day. Those who are extremely active in sports and exercise definitely want to make sure they are getting enough L-carnitine in their diet.
Supplements for a plant-based diet: The icing on the cake
Whether you’re striving for weight loss, are concerned about animal welfare, want to lower your carbon footprint, or all of the above, a diet built around meat-free meals may be a great option for you.
GLX3 uses New Zealand Green Lipped Mussel Oil as its main active ingredient. Balancing our supplement with a vegan, vegetarian, or reduce-a-tarian diet can provide the benefits of getting enough Omega-3 fatty acids are critical to whole body health.
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