Not all vegan weight loss supplements are created equal!
As a vegan, you’re unique. Not because you’ve decided to be informed, become more disciplined, or vowed to change your diet for the good of your waistline or for the good of others – you’re unique because you have special dietary needs non-vegans don’t normally have to deal with.
The good news most of these needs can be met with a dietary supplement, and since you’re already going to be taking something… Why not kill two birds with one stone (poor analogy for an article on veganism) and pick up a do-it-all supplement that meets all of your unique health needs and boosts weight loss?
But what are the actual holes in the vegan diet that need to be filled?
What to Look for in Vegan Weight Loss Supplements
Unless you want to own one of those daily pill boxes loaded with a ton of individual supplements needed to sustain a long-term vegan existence, you’re going to need to find a supplement that includes most (if not all) of the essential vitamins and minerals listed below.
That means any supplement you are considering taking should list all of these on their label. If your supplement, or the one you're considering buying, doesn’t contain B12 or a little iron, then you should pass.
This rule still applies to vegan weight loss supplements. Your supplement can have more than these active ingredients, but it should certainly not have less.
5 Vitamins and Minerals Vegans Need
1. Vitamin B12
Vitamin B12 is strongly needed for many of the body’s processes, the big two being metabolizing protein and building the red blood cells needed to transport oxygen around the body. It also helps regulate the functions of the central nervous system.
Not getting enough vitamin B12 can end in anemia and damage to the nervous system and could eventually lead to fertility issues or, in the worst case, bone or heart disease.
Sources of naturally occurring B12 are fish, eggs, chicken, beef, cheese, yogurt, and several other animal-sourced foods. This, obviously, isn’t great for vegans.
The only surefire way to get enough vitamin B12 is by eating fortified foods, like fortified breakfast cereals or fortified soy milk, or by taking a vitamin B12 supplement.
2. Vitamin D
Vitamin D isn’t as easy to get as stepping outside and getting a tan. Sure, if you live in the tropics, where it’s sunny and warm all year, your body may be able to make enough. If you don’t, you need to find some more.
Vitamin D helps your gut thrive by aiding the absorption of calcium and phosphorus. It also boosts bone health, immune function, good brain health (improved mood and memory), and muscle recovery.
As a vegan, you may find some vitamin D in fortified foods like soy or rice milk, and of course, in some fortified cereals.
Be aware, there are more than one vitamin Ds out there. Vitamin D2 is probably adequate for most people, but for some, vitamin D3 may be more effective at getting your blood to optimal levels.
Cast iron cookware is cool, but getting enough iron is way cooler!
Iron is an all-star that enables the production of your very own DNA and red blood cells. Iron also helps keep your metabolism running. Too little iron can lead to anemia, starting with fatigue and ending with seriously decreased immune function.
Good pro-vegan sources of iron include kidney beans, dried fruit, peas, nuts and seeds, wheat, tofu, and cruciferous vegetables. Iron-fortified cereals are also a good source of the mineral.
This is another mineral that you can get from some vegan foods but not in as high of quantity as is ideal. Since red meat is off the table, put an iron-rich supplement on the table instead.
Goiter is a thing, and it used to be a real problem. Goiter is an enlarged thyroid, and it can mess you up.
Getting enough iodine is crucial for healthy thyroid function and avoiding goiters. Insufficient iodine intake can lead to hypothyroidism, causing low energy, dry skin, tingling in hands and feet, forgetfulness, depression, and weight gain.
Omnivores get most of their iodine from dairy products, thanks to chemicals used in cleaning the equipment. Other than that, you can get iodine by using iodized table salt. Though these days, very few people are cooking with old-fashioned table salt, choosing kosher or sea salt instead.
Vegans can get some iodine from food grown close to the ocean, but that can be extremely difficult to figure out from a food package.
Either switch to using exclusively iodized salt (even though it's very fine and can have an off flavor) or just grab a supplement that covers you.
Got milk? No, you don’t. Vegans, like everyone else, need calcium to build strong bones and prevent osteoporosis, aka brittle bones prone to breaking. Calcium also plays a role in muscle function, nerve firing, and overall good heart health.
Calcium can be found in some vegan-friendly foods like soybeans, kale, figs, mustard greens, almonds, and most dark leafy greens, like turnip greens, collard greens, and watercress. That said, you are not going to come anywhere near as close to as much as you'd get with dairy.
While this one can be accounted for in a very careful diet, a weight loss supplement can eliminate any worry or obsessing over your weekly grocery list.
Check the Label: The Difference Between Vegan and Gluten-Free Weight Loss Supplements
Knowing what supplement you're using, what’s in it, and who it’s specifically for is key to eliminating any nasty gaps in your world-friendly diet. Check the label and keep an eye out for vegan certifications or marking.
That said, just because something is vegan doesn’t mean it was made specifically for vegans. Many gluten-free supplements are technically vegan as well, but few go out of their way to add in everything a vegan may need. Someone on a gluten-free diet has many more foods available to them and won’t lack as many vitamins as someone on a vegan diet.
Keep an eye out for the listed vitamins and minerals, and don’t be afraid of additional active ingredients as well. The five essentials listed above are the most common sources of trouble for vegans, but you may run into other deficiencies, depending on your diet and your body make-up.
Zinc, omega-3s, vitamin K2, choline, and even protein can also be hard to come by while practicing veganism. Make sure to eat as varied a diet as you can and check with your doctor on occasion to make sure everything is running how it should be.
Perfectly-Balanced Vegan Weight Loss Supplements
Still looking for a vegan weight loss supplement that checks all the boxes and gives you the weight loss results you’ve been craving?
DoFasting Box is a well-rounded, metabolism-boosting, all-in-one supplement that is, of course, vegan-friendly. It was made with vegans in mind and comes packed with plenty of the essential vitamins and minerals you need to run at peak vegan efficiency.
Or maybe you already have the perfect vegan multivitamin in your cupboard or medicine cabinet?
Then let’s boost that general pill and fill in any missing gaps with the holistic magic of DF’s Apple Cider Vinegar Gummies. Experience weight loss gains without sacrificing your food-centric morals and clean vegan lifestyle.
In the end, it all comes down to being smart, knowing your body, and knowing why you chose the vegan path in the first place.
And remember, by taking good care of yourself with the right supplement, you’ll easily be able to keep on taking good care of the things that matter most to you.