How Do I get Enough Vitamins?

fresh fruits - source of vitaminsThe best way to make sure that you get enough vitamins is to regularly consume plenty of fresh, steamed, dark green leafy and yellow vegetables and to eat plenty of fresh fruit, as these foodstuffs will supply most of the vitamins which are necessary for vegan health.

However, the two vitamins, which may be in short supply in the vegan diet and could possibly lead to deficiency, are vitamin B12 and vitamin D, as these vitamins are largely obtained from animal food sources. The human body is, however, able to make its own vitamin D in the presence of sunlight and so vegans should make sure that they spend at least 15 minutes outside each day (longer in winter) with the sun or bright light falling onto their face and hands/arms. B12 deficiency is rare in vegans but it is important that all vegans should consume a small amount of this vital vitamin, at least several times a week, in order to avoid nerve damage and anaemia. B12 is added to many processed vegan foods and can be found in some soya milks, soya products such as TVP or soya chunks, some vegan margarines and in yeast extract. It also occurs, in smaller amounts, in many natural foods and less reliable sources of this vitamin include: fermented foods such as miso/soya sauce, nutritional yeast flakes and seaweed. However, if you are not able to obtain an adequate supply of B12 from your food, on a regular basis, then you should make sure that you take a B12 vitamin supplement.

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