Registered Dietician Ilyse Schapiro Recommends Taking A Multivitamin To Ensure That You Are Getting All The Vitamins And Minerals Your Body Needs. The Nutrition Expert Shares Six Vegan-Friendly Tips For Choosing The Best Multivitamin For You And Your Fami

You've heard it from your non-vegan friends and even nutritional experts that because your vegan diet lacks animal-based foods, you could be at risk for a nutrient deficiency. The truth is nearly every single person may be at risk for deficiencies because a balanced diet of nutrient-dense foods isn't easy. Registered dietician Ilyse Schapiro recommends taking a multivitamin to ensure that you are getting all the vitamins and minerals your body needs. The nutrition expert shares six tips for choosing the best multivitamin for you and your family.
You've heard it from your non-vegan friends and even nutritional experts that because your vegan diet lacks animal-based foods, you could be at risk for a nutrient deficiency. The truth is nearly every single person may be at risk for deficiencies because a balanced diet of nutrient-dense foods isn't easy. Registered dietician Ilyse Schapiro recommends taking a multivitamin to ensure that you are getting all the vitamins and minerals your body needs. The nutrition expert shares six tips for choosing the best multivitamin for you and your family.

Meet Ilyse Schapiro, RD

Ilyse Schapiro, MS, RD, CDN is a registered dietitian and certified dietitian/nutritionist who holds a Master's of Science in clinical nutrition and dietetics from New York University. Her professional experience includes clinical and private settings, counseling clients for a host of nutrition-related issues. Most recently, she was a dietitian at Joy Bauer Nutrition, and previously served as a clinical dietitian at the Hospital for Special Surgery. Visit IlyseSchapiroNutrition.com for more information.

6 Vegan-friendly tips for choosing a multivitamin

Beware of popular gummy vitamins

According to Schapiro, most gummy vitamins are made from gelatin (as well as many hard and soft gel vitamin and OTC products), which is usually derived from animal’s skin and bones.

Look for a formula that has vitamin D2 and not D3

"Most products on  the market use vitamin D3 as a form of vitamin D and that often comes from lanolin (wool grease) which is not vegetarian or vegan," says the dietician, recommending vitamin D2. "Also, look for a formula that has at least 400 IU of vitamin D."

Seek a multivitamin with calcium

Calcium is extremely important for children, especially those  who follow a restricted diet, says Schapiro.  "Without dairy products, this nutrient may be lacking, which is not good since it is necessary for the formation of healthy bones and teeth.  Make sure to look for a multi that has this nutrient but make sure to read the label – many multis on the market only contain vitamins – it is important to make sure that the multi you choose has both vitamins and minerals in it."

Get your zinc

Schapiro stresses the importance of vegans making sure they get enough zinc. "Make sure your multivitamin has 100% of the daily value (DV) of zinc because plant based zinc is harder for the body to absorb and the body needs zinc to aid in digestion and metabolism," she explains.

Check the label for vitamin B-12

"Since this nutrient is found in animal products, those following vegetarian and vegan diets often don’t  get enough of vitamin B-12," Schapiro warns. "Vitamin B-12 can be helpful for energy, and low levels can lead to fatigue,  loss of appetite and growth failure in children."

Read labels to make sure a multivitamin is vegan-friendly

Schapiro strongly recommends reading labels on multivitamins to make sure they don't contain animal products or by-products. "If a product does not say this somewhere on their label, bottle, or box, more investigation is needed to confirm that they are not in fact hidden in some of their additional ingredients," adds the nutrition expert.

Schapiro's pick for a vegan multivitamin

Schapiro suggests alternaVites, a quick-to-dissolve multivitamin that contains no animal products or by-products, and delivers high levels of calcium, vtiamin D2, zinc, vitamin B-12 and many other nutrients important for vegans and vegetarians. And because alternaVites tastes great, you and your kids will enjoy getting your daily dose of vitamins and minerals.

More vegan lifestyle tips!

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