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Here's What to Look for in a Vegan Multivitamin

4 min read
Learn what you should look for in a vegan multivitamin.
Learn what you should look for in a vegan multivitamin.

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We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again—no matter how healthy you eat, or what kind of diet you follow, you may be lacking in certain key nutrients. We probably don’t need to remind you that food gives us a lot—nutrients-wise, and (of course) deliciousness-wise. But supplementing with a quality multivitamin is still a good idea. And that’s especially true for alternative diets like veganism, where there aren’t always a lot of plant-based sources for certain nutrients our bodies need.*

The good news? You’ve come to the right place. Our founder and CEO is vegan, so finding a plant-based solution for some of these dietary gaps was always a non-negotiable. But let’s back up a little bit: What should vegans look for in a multivitamin in the first place?

What nutrients should vegans look for in a multivitamin?

Vegans can get a lot of the nutrients they need from plant-based sources, but for some key nutrients, it can be tough. Let's take a closer look at three in particular…

Vitamin B12. B12 is kind of a big deal—it helps support brain health and energy-yielding metabolism. The thing is, vitamin B12 is naturally found in meat, fish, eggs and milk—obviously all no-no’s for vegans. There aren’t many plant-based sources rich in vitamin B12, but vegans can get some of what they need through fortified foods like nutritional yeast. That being said—you’re probably not going to pile on the nutritional yeast all day, every day, so supplementing with a vegan multivitamin is a good idea.*

In cases like B12, a high-quality vegan multivitamin can give you a bioidentical version of the nutrient. “Bioidentical” means that a version made in a lab is molecularly similar to the form found in nature. So, with something like vitamin B12, the bioidentical version used in a vegan multivitamin can help support nutrient needs—minus the animal source. That's what we use in Essential for Women, Essential for Men, Essential Prenatal, and the rest of our multivitamin lineup. Good news, right?*

Omega-3 DHA. Another super important nutrient that can be hard for vegans to get from food is Omega-3 DHA. Getting Omega-3 fatty acids helps support vision and heart health—but a primary source of Omega-3 DHA is fish. (“No, thanks,” said vegans everywhere.) For plant-based folks, even finding a vegan-friendly Omega-3 supplement can be hard, since many multivitamins use fish oil.*

But certain vegan-friendly multivitamins (like, ahem—Ritual) have found a way to get you Omega-3 DHA without harming any fish in the process. Here’s the science: Fish actually get their Omega-3 DHA from eating microalgae—so by using algae oil instead of fish oil in our multivitamins, we’re cutting out the middle man, and getting you a source of Omega-3 DHA that’s also friendly for vegans. Everyone wins—especially the anchovies that are saved per bottle of multivitamins.*

Another thing to note: Some supplement brands don't combine omega-3 and multivitamins within the same formula. At Ritual, we don't think our customers should have to cobble several pills together every day—which is why we opted for a 2-in-1 formula that includes our vegan omega-3 DHA and your stage-specific multi.*

Iron. This nutrient is essential for life itself, and helps support blood building and oxygen transport. Women who are pregnant, postpartum, or menstruating have higher iron needs. The caveat? While iron is found in some plant-based foods like spinach and legumes, some of the best sources come from animals. The gentle-chelated iron we include in Essential for Women, Essential Prenatal, Essential Postnatal, and Essential for Teen Girls is vegan-friendly and bioavailable.*

Ingredients to avoid when choosing a vegan multivitamin

If you’re in the market for a vegan multivitamin, label-reading is crucial. Some traditional multivitamins often use ingredients that aren’t vegan—and they may not always be transparent about it. Things like sheep’s wool, cow hooves and bones, and shellac (also known as beetle poop) are all common. Be sure to look for a multivitamin that clearly states that it’s vegan-friendly on the packaging.

We get it: finding a multivitamin that fits your unique nutritional needs and your values can be tough. But it’s worth mentioning again that Ritual was founded by a vegan, on the belief that everyone should know what’s going into their bodies and why. That’s why our multivitamins are vegan-friendly, non-GMO, gluten and major allergen-free—and formulated with nutrients in clean, traceable forms, with no shady extras or questionable additives. Because no matter what diet, everyone deserves a quality multivitamin.*

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