It can be challenging to ensure you’re giving your body the proper nutrition on a vegan diet. And while supplementing can make up for the missing nutrients, it’s difficult to find supplements free from animal products.
Most vitamin and mineral supplements contain gelatin, caprylic acid (from milk), and carmine (from beetles).
In this article, we’ll look at the nutritional deficiencies of a vegan diet and list out the best plant-based multivitamins.
Why Do I Need to Supplement My Vegan Diet?
Many people think that supplementing is unnecessary or somewhat ‘unnatural’ and that vegan diets are inferior for having to do so. Some believe that since a vegan diet is considered healthy, there should be no need to take supplements.
In today’s world, we are hard-pressed to get the proper nutrition from the food we eat. The quality of our food has degraded over time, and most of us have strayed from eating natural foods that our bodies were meant to consume.
Whether you’re on a vegan or non-vegan diet, a deficiency of some vitamin or mineral is inevitable. So it’s best to supplement your diet with nutrients you may be missing out on.
Many consider that a vegan diet is healthy as it’s free from harmful saturated fats and cholesterol. However, the lack of toxins doesn’t make something healthy. You can eat a wide variety of plant-based foods and still miss out on essential nutrients required by the body.
The primary reason vegans should consider supplementing their diets is that most plant-based foods aren’t fortified with vitamins and minerals.
For example, B12 is a scarce vitamin in both vegan and non-vegan diets.
However, some dairy companies fortify their milk with B12, ensuring that non-vegans have access to a steady supply of this nutrient.
Ideally, it would help if you considered supplementing specific vitamins and minerals irrespective of your diet. But vegans must take special care to supplement their diets as many micronutrients tend to be missing.
Vitamins and Minerals Vegans You Are (Probably) Missing
A plant-based diet isn’t wholly deficient. In fact, as a vegan, you have access to various nutrients and micronutrients, like fiber, carbohydrates, vitamin A, and even protein.
However, certain essential micronutrients and vitamins may be missing from your diet. These include:
Vitamin B12 isn’t found in any plant food and needs to be supplemented no matter how healthy your diet is. Deficiencies in B12 can affect the nervous system, causing tingling, weakness, and fatigue.
And as mentioned, most non-vegans receive B12 in their meat or dairy as the animals are fed B12 supplements.
Iron is bioavailable in two forms: heme iron and non-heme iron. Heme iron is derived from hemoglobin and is found in animal sources, such as meat and fish.
Heme iron can be easily broken down and absorbed by the body, making it easier for non-vegans to keep their iron levels up.
Plant sources offer non-heme iron that isn’t readily absorbed by the human body as the absorption rate is much lower.
A lack of iron can lead to anemia and perpetual low energy levels. It’s best to consult your doctor to check if you have an iron deficiency. Too much iron is dangerous and causes it to accumulate in the body. You’ll notice many multivitamins do not contain iron.
Omega-3 is considered an essential fatty acid as the body is incapable of manufacturing this nutrient on its own. Omega-3 is primarily obtained from fish oil and is responsible for nerve health, mood regulation, and the inflammation response.
While omega-3 can be obtained from vegan sources, like flax seeds and walnuts, the bioavailability of this nutrient is low. The body undergoes a complex conversion process that is inefficient in omega-3 absorption.
This lack of readily-available omega-3 implies that taking an omega-3 supplement on a vegan diet is essential. Take a look at the 7 best vegan omega-3 supplements.
This nutrient is absent in vegan and non-vegan diets and is obtained when the body is repeatedly exposed to the sun.
As with B12, many non-vegan cereals and milk are fortified with vitamin D as well. And even if you’re consuming a product fortified with vitamin D, it’s best to take a supplement to ensure you’re receiving an adequate supply.
Zinc is abundant in plenty of meat, fish, and dairy products. However, if you do a thorough search, you’ll find that zinc is also readily available in plant sources like oats, leafy green vegetables, tofu, and lentils.
The only issue here is that some plant foods contain phytic acid, limiting zinc absorption. So instead of figuring out how to micromanage your meals to maximize zinc absorption, it’s best to take a supplement instead.
Let’s take a look at some of the best multivitamins to supplement a vegan diet. The list has been divided into supplements for adults, kids, and pregnant women.
Note: All the multivitamins on this list are cruelty-free and gluten-free, making them safe for most vegans out there.
Best Vegan Multivitamins for Men and Women
1. Future Kind Complete Vegan Multivitamin
Are you looking for a one-punch knockout in the multivitamin department? The Future Kind Complete Vegan Multivitamin is a blend of 42 fruits and vegetables.
The gluten-free multivitamin has no GMOs and helps support gut health, energy levels, immunity, sleep, maintain skin health and mood.
Future Kind backs its product with a 60-day money-back guarantee.
2. Garden of Life Multivitamin
Each jar contains sixty tablets packed with over 15 essential multivitamins required by vegan men. You’ll have a steady supply of B vitamins and D3 to supplement your diet and keep you in a state of optimum health.
Most older men are prone to prostate issues, and this multivitamin contains selenium to regulate prostate function and keep the gland in good shape.
Like the men’s variety, this supplement is made from whole organic foods and contains the necessary nutrients required by women of all ages.
These capsules contain an additional supply of iron as women tend to experience iron deficiency more quickly than men as they age.
Both supplements have capsules that are readily absorbable and free from synthetic binders or fillers.
3. MaryRuth’s Liquid Morning Multivitamin
This sweet raspberry-flavored liquid multivitamin will give you a range of B vitamins to support all your metabolic processes. MaryRuth’s also offers an adequate supply of zinc to help boost cell growth, healing, and regeneration.
This supplement also offers people a readily-absorbable form of vitamin C and vitamin E. The presence of these essential micronutrients ensures that your immune system functions optimally, keeping you in a state of good health.
4. Deva Vegan Multivitamin and Mineral Supplement
This multivitamin and multi-mineral supplement is geared towards boosting your overall energy levels. A dose of Deva’s in the morning, and you can tackle the day with a steady supply of clean green energy.
This unique mix uses whole foods and vegetable powders, and special herbs geared towards enhancing your state of being. It also comes with 90 capsules in a single pack.
5. Nutramin Vegan Multivitamin Gummies
The naturally-sourced nutrients in these gummies are obtained from fruits and vegetables, ensuring you receive the kind of nutrition your body can easily recognize.
The gummies are a rich source of biotin, vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin E, and zinc, giving you an ample supply of nutrition the body needs.
The best part? These supplements come in a tasty gummy form, both delicious and fun to consume.
6. Naturelo Daily Multivitamin
Packed with over 20 essential vitamins and minerals, this supplement from Naturelo is sure to make up for any nutritional deficiencies you may have.
Aside from vitamin D, B12, calcium, and magnesium, this supplement even contains iodine to aid in optimal thyroid function. The capsules are also designed so the body can readily absorb the vitamins and minerals.
Similar to the multivitamin supplement designed for men, these capsules are sure to give you a boost of energy at the start of your day and to keep you going throughout.
Each capsule also includes the goodness of organic fruits and veggies to give you a dose of powerful antioxidants.
7. Vedge Essential Multivitamin
The Vedge Essential Multivitamin contains nutrients like B12 and omega-3, which are missing from a vegan diet. A regular dose can help significantly improve heart, brain, and eye health.
These liquid capsules are also packed with vitashine, the most effective vitamin D supplement easily absorbed by the body.
8. NOW Foods EcoGreen Multivitamin
This multivitamin from NOW Foods contains the necessary micronutrients that the body can easily absorb. Each jar offers up to 180 capsules, of which two must be consumed each day.
The only drawback with this multivitamin is that it doesn’t offer a readily available source of iron, which means you’ll have to supplement this nutrient elsewhere.
9. Doctor’s Best Multivitamin
Doctor’s Best contains the necessary B vitamins required for optimal functioning. And unlike most vegan supplements, this one offers the RDA of vitamin B12 and its other nutrients.
Along with B vitamins, this multivitamin provides a range of nutrients, including calcium, magnesium, vitamin A, C, and E.
10. Future Kind Essentials Multivitamin
If you’re looking for a supplement that offers what vegans need most, Future kind is the solution. Unlike the other supplements that provide a range of different minerals and vitamins, Future Kind Essentials focuses solely on B12, Omega-3, and D3.
Their omega-3 offers both EPA and DHA, making it a complete source of essential fatty acids.
Best Vegan Multivitamins for Children
1. Mary Ruth’s Kids Vitamins
This kids vegan multivitamin from Mary Ruth’s rich source of vitamins D3, A, and C will give your child the necessary fuel to develop and support a quickly-growing body.
Aside from these essential nutrients, this supplement also offers ample zinc, calcium, iodine, and all the b vitamins. And it comes in a delicious gummy flavor making it easy for your little one to enjoy.
2. Garden of Life Kids Gummies
These delicious gummies contain the necessary micronutrients to support the growth of your vegan child. Every jar contains up to 9 organic whole fruits, free from artificial colors and flavoring.
So aside from clean, green nutrition, your child can benefit from the antioxidants available in each gummy.
Additionally, the gummies are made with pectin, so they’re healthy for you aside from tasting good.
3. SmartyPants Kids Vegan Multivitamin
A multivitamin designed for immune support, each gummy in a jar of Smarty Pants combines probiotics and prebiotics to improve digestion and absorption of nutrients.
Each gummy offers healthy bacteria that promote digestive health and clear up harmful gut bacteria.
Additionally, this supplement helps encourage the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut, improving immune health.
4. Llama Naturals Kids Multivitamins
The gummy multivitamins from Llama Naturals are made entirely from whole foods, slow-cooked to retain the goodness of the fruit. Each gummy offers over 13 vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients derived entirely from a whole-food source.
Each jar contains roughly 9lbs worth of fruit, with the nutrients from the fruit distilled into these tasty gummies.
Best Prenatal Vegan Multivitamins
Here is a list of prenatal vegan multivitamins. Please consult with a healthcare practitioner prior to taking these supplements.
1. Garden of Life Prenatal Multivitamins
This specially formulated supplement was designed for pregnancy and to support new mothers during the lactation phase.
This multivitamin offers readily-available iron in each capsule, as prenatal mothers tend to be low on iron. This steady supply aids in healthy neural tube development in the fetus.
Aside from being a rich source of iron, each capsule packs over 21 essential vitamins and minerals.
2. Deva Vegan Prenatal Multivitamin
As with the regular Deva multivitamin capsules, this vegan prenatal multivitamin is designed to give expecting mothers that much-needed energy boost throughout the day.
The tablet is made from all-natural ingredients, like whole veggies, powders, and crushed herbs, ensuring maximum absorption.
3. Natural Factors Whole Earth and Sea
This comprehensive multivitamin is designed to support new mothers through conception, birth, and into the breastfeeding phase. It’s packed with the necessary B vitamins, including B12, to support healthy nerve development.
Additionally, it’s also rich in folate, ensuring healthy neural tube development in the fetus. The supplement is derived from raw plant foods, ensuring you receive the cleanest nutrition available.
4. Mary Ruth’s Prenatal and Postnatal Multivitamin
Offering an adequate supply of vitamin D3, this multivitamin aids in calcium absorption to develop healthy bones.
Aside from the other essential nutrients offered by vegan multivitamins, this liquid supplement gives you an adequate supply of Vitamin A for the healthy development of your baby. And the best part is it comes in liquid form, so you can even add it to your smoothies. Check out our list of the best blenders for vegans to help prepare those smoothies.
5. Solgar Prenatal Nutrients
This formula combines essential prenatal nutrients, like iron and calcium, with vitamins and minerals like vitamin A, C, and E. So aside from supplementing your diet, this formula helps the body fight free radicals that damage cells in the body.
Each capsule offers adequate folate to ensure the healthy development of the baby’s neural system.
These are some of the best multivitamins on the market readily available to vegans. While supplementing your diet may seem like extra work, it’s worth the investment in both time and money to ensure you’re in an optimal state of health.