by Dr. Aaron Zadek ND, CISSN Dietary fiber plays an important role in maintaining gut health and function. Fiber is useful in helping feel full after meals, ensuring our bowel movements are regular as well as stimulating the growth of healthy bacteria to allow the gut microbiome to thrive. It is important that fiber, both soluble and insoluble, is included in everyday consumption to ensure optimal gut health (1). These fibers are found in a variety of different foods as well as prebiotic and full fiber supplements that can be used in times of bowel irregularity or for general health
Have you decided to support your health with a plant-based diet? Plant-based diets have been linked to better overall health. They offer nutrient dense foods without the calories of a meat-based diet. In addition, plant-based diets provide vital phytonutrients that you can’t get anywhere else. The only thing that you need to be aware of if you do decide to go with a plant-based diet is that you may need to take certain supplements in order to ensure that your body is getting all the nutrients that it needs. Here are the recommended supplements if you’re on a plant-based diet.
1. Vitamin D
Vitamin D is a supplement that most people should take since there are very few foods that contain it. In fact, vitamin D deficiency is a global pandemic. For people who eat a plant-based diet, it’s even more essential. Vitamin D is found in foods that many plant-based diets don’t include, such as eggs and dairy products.
2. Long-Chain Omega-3
Omega-3s are fatty acids that your body needs to survive. Long-chain omega-3s are a particular kind of omega-3 that play a particular function in brain and eye health. Some supplements contain a combination of omega-3 and vitamin D3, since these two work together to support cognitive function, the immune system and cardiovascular health.
L-carnitine is found in abundance in red meat, fish, poultry and dairy. For anyone who eats a plant-based diet, getting sufficient L-carnitine can be challenging unless taken by supplement. L-carnitine helps the body create energy in the heart and other muscles. For anyone eating a plant-based diet suffering from low energy, L-carnitine supplements may help.
Taurine is an essential amino acid that is primarily found in meat and seafood. For plant-based dieters, supplementing with taurine daily is recommended. Taurine supports many bodily functions including, electrolyte balance, hearing, insulin management and cardiac immune systems.
5. Vitamin K2
This vitamin is partially responsible for keeping bones healthy and strong. While plant-based dieters may get vitamin K2 through eating fermented foods and dark leafy greens, supplementation can be a needed boost. This also helps to ensure that enough K2 is made available on a daily basis. As you age, less vitamin K2 is produced, so it’s especially important for older adults.
These are the five top supplements to consider if you’re on a plant-based diet. Eating this way is a huge benefit for your health, but supplementation is sometimes advised to ensure adequate nutrient intake. For more information about nutrients for plant-based diets, please contact us today.