Finding the best immune supplement for vegans
In the winter months, looking after your immune system is more important than ever; this means getting the proper nutrients every day, getting adequate rest, managing stress and getting outdoors and active. For many on a plant based diet, getting complete nutrition from food can be more challenging than with an omnivorous diet.
This article explores why vegans need to consider their immune system health and how they can support healthy immune function with diet. Finally, we cover what they should look for when finding vegan supplements. What vitamins should vegans look for in an immune support supplement, and what other factors should they bear in mind?
Why is immune health important for vegans?
Vegans may want to pay particular attention to their immune system because certain essential nutrients are more difficult to obtain from a plant based diet. Immune cells rely on several vitamins and minerals. Vitamin B12 is almost exclusively obtained from animal products such as red meat, seafood, cheese and eggs. Red meat, organ meats and seafood are also rich in Zinc and vitamin B6. There are plant sources of vitamins B6, B12 and zinc; however, they may less rich in essential vitamins.
Vitamin D is an essential vitamin that we need for immune health. We can obtain it from UV light. However, in the northern hemisphere, where we have fewer hours of daylight, getting enough vitamin D can be challenging, especially in the winter. In fact, vitamin D deficiency is common in the UK. We can also obtain vitamin D from food such as fish, organ meats and egg yolk. The best dietary sources of vitamin D are animal-based, so vegans may particularly struggle to get enough vitamin D daily from food and may want to look for a vegan vitamin D3 supplement.
Furthermore, a vegan diet is not necessarily synonymous with a healthy one, contrary to the stereotype. A vegan diet can easily lack essential nutrients, especially if you eat a diet lacking fruits, vegetables and whole foods.
How can you boost your immune system as a vegan?
Vegans should prioritise a healthy, balanced diet with plenty of whole foods, fruits, vegetables and various protein sources. Here, we cover some plant based foods to include in your diet for a healthy immune system.
- Pumpkin seeds and almonds are good sources of zinc
- Chickpeas, dark, leafy greens, bananas, and papayas contain vitamin B6
- Fortified cereals and non-dairy milk alternatives can contain added nutrients such as vitamin D, B12, zinc and calcium.
- Citrus fruit or red peppers – these contain lots of antioxidants, specifically vitamin C.
Another way to support the normal functioning of the immune system is to use a supplement. Multivitamin supplements are a convenient way to get additional vitamins and minerals in the correct doses. As a vegan, you have to avoid animal-derived ingredients additionally, your supplements should contain specific nutrients that you may be more likely to lack.
Which vitamins to look for in a supplement for vegans
We have already mentioned which vitamins are essential to consider including in your plant based diet. Here, we explore why you must consume these vitamins for immune health.
- Vitamin D3 contributes to the normal function of the immune system and the normal maintenance of bones, teeth and normal muscle function. If you are an active vegan, you will want to consider a vitamin D supplement for immune support, muscle function,
- Vitamin B12 contributes to normal energy-yielding metabolism, nervous function, immune function and cell division. It is an essential vitamin for vegans to supplement since it is not commonly found in vegan foods.
- Vitamin B6 contributes to the maintenance of energy, psychological function, regulation of hormonal activity and the reduction of tiredness and fatigue. B vitamins, including B6, are essential for vegans.
- Zinc contributes to the functioning of the immune system, metabolism, fertility, cognitive function and healthy hair, skin, nails and bones.
- Vitamin C contributes to the protection of cells from oxidative stress. Vitamin C is involved in many processes in the body, including collagen formation and immune system function.
You may also want to consider folate, copper and selenium in addition to the above vitamins and minerals for optimum immune health.
What to look for in a vegan immunity supplement
Choosing a supplement can be especially challenging being vegan since you have to consider dietary requirements. Here, we cover what to look for and our supplement recommendations for vegans.
Check the ingredients before buying a supplement. With tablets, capsules or gummies, you will need to check for animal-based fillers, binders and casings – gelatine is commonly found in certain capsule or gummy supplements. Ensure that your supplement contains zinc, vitamin B12, vitamin B6 and vegan vitamin D (vegan D3). Check that the product is vegan-certified.
Supplement formula is essential for vegans looking to avoid certain ingredients. Powdered formulas are the best option because they are free from fillers, binders and casings. You will also want to look for an all-in-one combined daily supplement for a simple, convenient way to help meet your nutrient requirements daily for immune health.
Zest Active nutrition supplement
We have formulated an all-in-one powdered supplement which supports normal energy levels, brain function, muscle function and the immune system. Zest Active contains eight vitamins and minerals to support the immune system, including Vitamin C, Zinc, B12, B6, D, folate, copper and selenium. Our supplement also contains a blend of amino acids.
The powdered formula is free from fillers, binders, and stimulants and contains no added sugar. Zest Active is for adults with active, busy lifestyles. Zest Active could be the perfect supplement for you if you are a vegan looking for additional immune support for your busy lifestyle.