Should you take supplements when eating less meat?

Should you take supplements when eating less meat?

Plant-based diets can provide most nutrients that you need for your body to thrive, and are a healthy, planet-friendly way to live. However, as with any diet, whether it includes meat, fish or no animal foods, an ill-planned plant-based diet can leave you deficient in a few, or many key nutrients. No matter how you decide to eat, planning your diet and common sense are vital to your health. Debunked: the most common misconceptions about plant-based diets.

If you are looking for recipe inspiration then look no further than our delicious vegan recipes for all meals of the day.

Do vegans need supplements?

For a number of reasons, some vegans or those following a predominantly plant-based diet do need to take vitamin and mineral supplements. If you're not sure whether you need supplements, we recommend creating your free DR.VEGAN® Diet Profile which highlights the nutrients your diet provides, and any key nutrients missing from your diet.

Although a well-planned plant-based diet can provide nearly everything you need, there are some nutrients that may be required in higher amounts by some people.


What's your diet missing? Create your free Diet Profile and find out.


It's also important to remember that if you're ill, under the weather, or if you have a chronic disease, your body is likely to require more nutrients than normally available through your diet, and any deficiencies are exaggerated and therefore supplementation may be even more important. You may also enjoy 'Why is a varied diet so important' and 'Best protein sources on a plant-based diet'.

Best supplements to take on a vegan diet

Here are the six best supplements to take and support your optimal health if you're following a vegan or plant-based diet.

Vitamin B12

If it's well-planned, a plant-based diet can provide most of the nutrition you need. The exception is with Vitamin B12 which is only found in sufficient quantities in animal foods to support our health needs. Vitamin B12 can be found in small amounts in foods such as nutritional yeast flakes and foods fortified with B12, however, these are not reliable sources, so it is recommended to supplement daily with a vegan Vitamin B12.

The DR.VEGAN® Vitamin B12 is highly effective, kinder to you and our planet. Known as "The Energy Vitamin", Vitamin B12 is essential for the production of red blood cells and helps maintain a healthy brain and heart, and for your immunity. A deficiency in Vitamin B12 can cause you to feel tired and fatigued, affect your nervous system and cause anaemia.

Omega 3

Omega 3 fatty acids are needed for every cell in our body. Omega 3 is vital for our brain health, skin health, during menopause, pregnancy, our vision health, and much more! If you're deficient in Omega 3 it can show up in weak nails and hair, fatigue, insomnia, difficulty concentrating and joint aches. Learn more in 'What is Omega 3 good for'.

Oily fish including mackerel, salmon and trout are the best food sources of Omega 3, and while it can be found in a variety of plant food sources such as walnuts, chia and hemp seeds, and flax seeds, it is difficult to gain in sufficient sources if you're following a plant-based diet. 


Iron can be available in sufficient levels on a plant-based diet, however some people, especially women who have heavy menstrual cycles, may need to supplement with Iron to provide sufficient levels than through their diet alone. 

If you're supplementing with Iron, make sure you take an Iron and Vitamin C supplement - Vitamin C improves the absorption of Iron by 10x. Learn more about why Iron is so important, particularly for women.

Vitamin A

Although most people can make Vitamin A from beta-carotene through their diet when their body requires it, a small proportion of the population cannot make this conversion, or not effectively. To gain Vitamin A in your diet, try our recipe of Sweet Potato Fritters which is both delicious and excellent for vegan diets!

Active Vitamin A is not available as a vegan source in foods, however, it can be vegan in supplemental form, so if you are recovering from an illness, chronic health condition, or have skin or immune problems, it is recommended to take Vitamin A in a supplement. Discover our award-winning vegan Daily Multi-Vitamin which includes highly absorbable Vitamin A.

You may like to read our nutritionist article 'Should I take a Multi-Vitamin every day?'

Vegan Multi-vitamin formula

A high-quality multi-nutrient formula is always recommended to cover your bases through fluctuations in your daily and weekly dietary choices. Nutrients including zinc, iron and calcium, which are all available on a plant-based diet, may just need an extra boost depending on the foods you're reaching for, your health and other lifestyle factors. Discover how our award-winning Daily Multi-Vitamin works.

Vitamin D3

Vitamin D3 is a challenging vitamin to get enough of, whatever your diet. Although your body makes Vitamin D in response to sunlight, most people are not in the sun long enough to make enough. Discover how you know if you're deficient in Vitamin D, by expert nutritionists.

The darker winter months are particularly tricky to get enough sun exposure, when the sun is not very bright, high enough in the sky and is covered by clouds. And who wants to expose lots of their skin to the sun when it's 5 degrees outside?! Discover our vegan Vitamin D3.

Shop our range of award-winning vegan supplements and probiotics.

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