There is no denying that a plant-based lifestyle will leave you glowing. A balanced vegan diet can provide everything that the body needs to thrive, but unfortunately, with new agriculture methods and other manufacturing processes, plants aren't as nutrient-dense as they once were. That's where multivitamins come in.
Multivitaminsshould be supplementary to a well-balanced diet - and are a great way to assist nutrient deficiencies where diets can't be exclusively relied on. Good quality supplementsshould be seen as a means to boost your health and not as a replacement to a wholefoods diet, however.
Grazia spoke to nutritionist expert and founder of Eat Nourish and Glow, Jess Shand, who shared the benefits of taking supplements and why a vegan whole food diet isn't always enough to bridge the nutrient gaps.
'Taking supplements is not designed to replace real food and is not a magic solution to better health,' Jess tells us. 'However, the bottom line is that sadly our food is just not as nutrient-dense as we believe it to be and as it once was.'
'This is due to a number of factors, including intense farming techniques, nutrient-depleted soil making it less fertile and the over-use of pesticides and fertilisers. There are also hormone-disrupting pesticides in our fruit and vegetables. Even when it comes to organicversions (which are better in terms of toxin exposure), they're still not quite as nutrient-dense as we'd expect them to be.'
So despite our efforts to cook up a beautifully balanced wholefood meal due to modern agriculture techniques, we are still unable to get enough essential minerals and vitamins to allow our bodies and minds to thrive and reach their full potential.
Jess also says to keep in mind that when you are taking regular medication such as antibiotics or have consistently high-stress levels, this can also play a part in how effectively our bodies store, absorb, and retain nutrients from our food.
However, of course, it's not all doom and gloom. If you are exercising, taking time for yourself and eating a nutrient-dense diet and still feel low energy, multivitamins and supplements are an affordable and accessible way to give you that extra boost.
Some ingredients to look out for in supplements:
• Vitamin C boosts collagen production in the skin and is essential when it comes to supporting immunity.
• Vitamin B12 plays an important role in red blood cell formation, cell metabolism, nerve function and the production of DNA.
• Zinc is clinically proven to help maintain healthy and strong skin, hair and nails and due to its anti-inflammatory effects, zinc is especially beneficial for inflammatory skin conditions.
• Vitamin D is so essential that your body makes it by itself -- but only after skin exposure to sufficient sunlight. Your body also needs vitamin D to absorb calcium and promote bone growth.
• Astaxanthin which has been medically proven to help improve skin texture and elasticity.
• Selenium helps prevent damage to cells it stops free radical damage before premature wrinkles have a chance to form. It also helps to protect cell membranes against UV damage, inflammation and pigmentation.
• Vitamin A is scientifically proven to support healthy skin and hair as well as boosting your body’s natural immune defences.
• Vitamin E to protect cells from oxidative stress from blue light and pollution.
So are you keen to boost your energy? Shop our pick of the best vegan multivitamins made from quality ingredients that will help support a plant-based diet.
SHOP: The best vegan multivitamins
The best vegan multivitamins
Vegan Multivitamins & Minerals with High Strength
These multivitamin tablets contain vitamin B12, D3, K2, zinc, iron, and other vital minerals and are an effective and convenient way for women to top their nutrient levels. Even though it is developed for vegans in mind, these supplements will benefit anyone who takes them. Plus, each bottle has half a year supply, with 180 tablets.
Athletic Greens AG1 One Time Purchase
Loved by seven-time Formula 1 champion, Lewis Hamilton, and over 30,000 members, AG1 is renowned for it's high quality ingredients and comprehensive nutritional benefits. Through just one simple scoop daily combined with water, the supplement contains 75 vitamins, minerals and whole-food sourced nutrients. Not only does it boost energy levels, it also promotes gut health, supports immunity and helps in recovery.
Together Health Vegan Multivitamin
Together's B12 Complex is made with whole food and ocean-sourced ingredients to create nutrients that are easily absorbed and gentle on the digestive system. Made with iron, zinc, iodine, vitamin B12, vitamin D3, plant cellulose and vitamin K2 this supplement offers essential minerals and vitamins to a plant-based diet. Each packet comes with 60 capsules that are easy to swallow and can be mixed with water too.
8Greens Effervescent Super Greens
If you are constantly on the go and forget to take your supplements or find yourself moving your greens to one side, this is the one for you. Made from real dehydrated greens of the highest quality, these effervescent tablets dissolve into a class of water and contain eight super greens, including spinach, wheatgrass, kale, blue green algae, spirulina, aloe vera, chlorella and barley grass that will help you thrive. Whether you are travelling, need a quick fix at the office, or are simply looking to get more greens into your diet, this straightforward and effective vegan multi-vitamin contains Vitamin B5, Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, Vitamin B12, and Zinc for immune support so you can feel your best self for just over £1 a drink.
Holland & Barrett Vegan Multivitamin
This vegan multivitamin from Holland & Barett's own brand is excellent for immune system support. Containing calcium, iron, zinc, folic acid, vitamin D and vitamin B1, this supplement will contribute to the normal function of the immune system. If you tend to get colds easily, then this would be a great way to boost your immune system. Each bottle has 120 tablets.
CBDfx Hemp Multi-Vitamins Her Gummies
Adult gummies are a great incentive to take your supplements. These multivitamins combine your daily vitamin and CBD intakes in one containing ingredients and vitamins such as CBD, calcium, phosphorus, vitamin A, B3, B6, B12, C, E, hemp extract, zinc, biotin, folic acid, and iodine. CBD helps provide relief from anxiety, depression and aids with sleep. These are the gummies for women, but there is a version for men here.
Manifesto Hair, Skin and Nail Vitamin Gummies, £39.90
These adult gummies will be easy to remember as you will look forward to the sweet but nutritious treat. They are free from additives, low in sugar, and come in a delicious cherry flavour. The Manifesto skin and hair gummies help with the normal collagen formation for radiant skin, strengthen your hair and nails and support hormone levels too. It is recommended that you take two a day, and each gummy is filled with vitamins A, B, C, and E. The container has 30 servings or 60 gummies.
Bioglan Vitagummies Women's Multivitamin,
Bioglan Women's Multivitamin is specifically formulated with essential vitamins and minerals to help support good daily health – including hormonal balance, energy metabolism and immune function. They are developed with essential nutrients such as vitamin B1 to reduce tiredness and fatigue, B12 for psychological function, vitamin D to help support healthy bones and vitamin C for a healthy immune system. It comes in three tasty flavours, including orange, blueberry and strawberry. The bottle comes with 60 soft gummies.
TERRANOVA Prenatal Multivitamin Complex,
If you are pregnant and looking for a suitable multivitamin, we recommend the Prenatal Multivitamin Complex from TERRANOVA. This formula is developed with calcium, magnesium, iron, zinc, vitamin C, B1, B2, B4, B12, and folate, plus frozen kale for more iron intake. This product is made with pregnant and lactating women in mind, so you can have a supplement that reaches its true potential. The bottle contains 100 capsules that include no additives - just superfoods to help your body needs whilst you're growing a new life. Always speak to a medical practitioner before taking any supplements while pregnant.
Phizz Apple & Blackcurrant Multivitamin & Hydration Effervescent Tablets
Scientifically formulated to be one of the most efficient two-in-one multivitamin and hydration-effervescent tablets on the market, these Phizz tablets dissolve in water and provide you with the fuel you need throughout the day. It has 19 essential vitamins and minerals: vitamins A, B, C, E, plus copper, zinc, biotin and folic acid for more natural energy. If you're someone whose energy dips often, then this will give you the boost you need. It is also suitable for post-workout or as a hangover cure. Each tube comes with 20 tablets.
How do I know what vitamins and minerals I am deficient in?
If you have no gauge of where your vitamin and mineral levels are, it is resourceful to get a test, so you are not taking a stab in the dark and taking supplements that may not be doing anything for you.
For anyone wishing to improve their health or are interested in knowing what's happening in their body. The Organic Pharmacy offers a health assessment using A BioEnergetic device and homoeopathic consultation to provide insight into any imbalances in the body, what to investigate further and homoeopathic remedies and supplements for your emotional and physical health.
The Health Assessment With Quantum/EIS (£160) is an effective way of monitoring health treatments and a tool for interpreting the results of various tests and health checks. This device scans the body in three minutes and offers profiles on vitamin and mineral deficiencies, organ function, hormone balance, viruses, bacteria, fungus, parasites, digestive disorders, stress and food intolerances.
All results are available immediately, and a personalised programme is recommended so you can target your health goals efficiently.
What vitamin is most essential for vegans to take?
Dr Miriam Adebibe a wellness doctor, a clinical fellow in bariatrics and the co-founder of skin clinic, Victor & Garth, explained to Grazia why it’s so important to make sure you’re getting the right vitamins if you’re vegan. Especially B12, which it’s thought that at least 40% of us are deficient in - especially if you are vegetarian or vegan as B12 is obtained by the body through animal protein.
'I think of Vitamin B as a youth vitamin’, Dr Mariam tells us. 'It’s required by every single cell in the body to divide and multiply, which means that if your cells are deficient in B12, every cell will multiply in a deficient state, and therefore produce further deficient cells.'
If you are lacking energy or feeling a little low these are common signs of a vitamin B12 deficiency that are easily be attributed to other factors. 'Vitamin B12, deficiency can wreak havoc with the body - if you’re deficient in B12, your cells will renew in a deficient state, resulting in new skin cells that are also deficient. Not only does vitamin B benefit the body and immune system, but it also increases mood, energy, metabolism and anxiety, plus it provides better focus and supports healthy hair skin and nails.'
B12 used to be present in high levels in the soil from which we would farm food; however, with modern-day intensive farming, the soil quality has declined – even animals are given supplements of the vitamin now. Dr Mariam suggests eating foods fortified with Vitamin B12, such as yeast extract, non-dairy milk and cereals.