What supplements do we really need? Why are health shops full of plastic bottles, with gelatine supplements? Know what to eat and that empowers you to know what to say no to. If you do need supplements after that, here are some better brands. Recycle unwanted supplements at the pharmacy, don’t flush them down the loo. Also see the post on plant-based omega 3 supplements and zero waste beauty supplements.
VEG1 is a collection of chewy one-a-day multivitamins made specifically for vegans, in zero plastic packaging that is easy-to-recyccle. Containing all 7 essential nutrients, choose from orange or blackcurrant flavour.
NHS recommends folic acid, for women up to 12 weeks after conception (and when trying to conceive) to help prevent spina bifida in babies. There are many foods to avoid in pregnancy which include some fish.
They also say for pregnant women to avoid cod liver oil and vitamin-A high foods (liver sausage or pate).
If you are vegan and eat well (with a few fortified foods), you should be fine. But most likely prefer to take a multi-supplement, just to be safe. Those awful stories of parents whose vegan babies died, usually are due to feeding homemade nut milks, instead of proper formula.
Vegan Supplements in Ethical Packaging
Ethical Nutrition Co produces a range of eco vegan supplements, all sold in environmentally-conscious packaging. A good all-round diet is best, but sometimes it’s good to cover your bases with a good supplement. Always tell your doctor first, if you are pregnant, nursing or on any medication.
This range was developed by a woman who suffered cancer at the age of 15. As she became aware of the vast difference in quality of food supplements, she decided to develop her own affordable range:
The Ethical Multivitamin is a blend of vitamins, minerals and organic turmeric to help energy, immunity, skin and hair. Stored in plastic-free packaging, ingredients include vitamin C (from acerola cherry), natural methylfolate, organic broccoli and turmeric and vitamin K (from natto). 60 capsules (2 capsules a day).
Magnesium Taurate has been developed by nutritionists, to support energy and muscle function and to reduce tiredness and fatigue.
Vegan Vitamin D (most other brands use lanolin from sheep) has been carefully sourced from lichen, to help protect your immune system and bones. It contains optimum dose vitamin D3 that is highly absorbed and gentle on the digestive system.
Turmeric & Curcumin provides the same amount of curcumin in one capsule as in six whole roots. With ginger for health and black pepper to boost absorption, this supplement is gentle on the digestive system. Turmeric is a good anti-inflammatory.
Other Good Vegan Supplements
Vegums makes vegan fruity gummy vitamins, sold in cardboard boxes or metal tins. This brand was created by two plant-based working pharmacists, who know their vitamins and minerals, and wanted to do something to help people, animals and the planet. You can buy one-off packs or subscribe for savings, and the company also offers discounts for students.
Talk to your doctor if pregnant or breastfeeding or if on medication, before use. Vegums do not recommend the Multivitamin for pregnant or nursing women. These gums are made from sweetened fruit, so keep them safely away from pets and children.
Your first order arrives in a cardboard tube, with a month’s supply of Vegums in a click-clack metal tin, that you can keep topped up for travel. The wrappers are made from biodegradable cornstarch and can go straight in the compost bin, with your potato peelings.
You can reuse the cardboard containers as pen holders, coffee pots or piggy banks. You can also reuse them as plant pots. If so, see pet-toxic houseplants to avoid (also avoid cocoa, pine or recycled rubber mulch near pets). And don’t place foliage near windows (see how to stop birds flying into windows).
The range includes:
The Multivitamin includes a wide range of everyday nutrients. Simply take 2 a day for anyone over 12 and one a day for 3 to 12-year olds. The water-soluble vitamins are flavoured with strawberries and a little cane sugar, and coloured with black carrot extract for a juicy red colour.
Iron Gummies are good for people who need extra iron, like those with anaemia. These blackberry-flavoured gummy bears give 14mg of iron, enough for a female adult’s recommendation, and again are sweetened with beet sugar and coloured with black carrot extract.
Feel makes therapeutic-dose supplements in wood capsules.
Terraseed Vegan Vitamin is a complete multivitamin featuring 9 ethically sourced ingredients, in a biodegradable bottle. With an enteric coating to make swallowing and digesting easier, you get nutrition without burps, hiccups or aftertastes. Subscribe for regular delivery, and cancel anytime. The two founders between them have run up mountains and lived in the Amazon jungle, learning from animals. As a vegan, you save 30 animals per month, 33,000 gallons of water and 900 sq. feet of forest, so why not translate that to supplements too?
There’s a lovely note on their site too. If you need them for medical reasons and are having a hard time affording them they say to email them as ‘we’ll make it work’. What a refreshing way to do business.
Futurekind make plant-based vitamins. From vitamin B12 sprays to vegan gummies for kids, this is a very popular and reputable company, with super reviews. Founded by two Aussie brothers and nutritionists, everything is sent carbon neutral in easy-to-recycle packaging and so far they have raised over $15,000 for animal sanctuaries and other causes around the world.
Ecoliving Vegan Multivitamins are sold in a pack of 60 tablets to last 2 months, in a plastic-free packaging that is home compostable, and resealable to keep them fresh. The pack includes:
- Vitamins A & C (for a healthy immune system)
- Biotin (for healthy hair and skin)
- Vitamin B12 (to help reduce tiredness and fatigue)
- Calcium (for strong bones and teeth)
- Iron (for forming red blood cells)
- Panthothenic acid (for good mental health)