A healthy diet will provide you with almost all you need – almost. Our food systems and
lifestyles have changed a lot so there are some critical nutrients that you may need to
supplement, regardless of your diet (and that includes meat-eaters, too).

Vitamin B12

You need vitamin B12 to make red blood cells, for a healthy heart and circulation, and it’s also essential for the nervous system. It takes years for B12 deficiency to develop but by the time symptoms develop, it’s usually serious so don’t underestimate it. You should take at least 50 micrograms daily or 2,000 micrograms once or twice a week.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is vital for healthy bones, teeth and muscles and many metabolic functions. It is produced in the skin when exposed to sunlight and this is the main source of vitamin D for most people. However, if you always use sun-cream, cover your skin, spend most of your time indoors or live in the Northern Hemisphere, where we don’t get sufficient sunlight over the winter, you need a supplement – at least from October to April. There’s a range of quality and affordable vitamin D supplements suitable for vegans (some vitamin D is animal-based so check the label). You need 10-25 micrograms daily – don’t take more than that.


Iodine is necessary for the thyroid gland and helps to regulate your metabolism. Its presence in plants varies widely but seaweed absorbs it from seawater and is always a good source in particular nori, laver and dulse. However, the kelp family (kombu, arame, wakame) is extremely iodine-rich and you can get too much. Your best bet is a kelp supplement manufactured to contain just enough. The recommended iodine intake is 140 micrograms daily.

Don’t forget to drink! Making sure you are well hydrated is as important as a healthy diet. We need to keep replenishing water to maintain blood volume, joint lubrication, help kidneys to flush out waste products, and to regulate body temperature and breathing. Water and tea are the best options so drink up!

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