What supplements do we really need? Why are health shops full of plastic bottles, with gelatine supplements? Know what to eat and that empowers you to know what to say no to. If you do need supplements after that, here are some better brands. Just like medicines, recycle unwanted supplements at the pharmacy, don’t flush them down the loo.
NHS recommends folic acid, for women up to 12 weeks after conception (and when trying to conceive) to help prevent spina bifida in babies. They also say for pregnant women to avoid cod liver oil and vitamin-A high foods (liver sausage or pate). There are many foods to avoid in pregnancy which include some fish.
If you are vegan and eat well (with a few fortified foods), you should be fine. But most likely prefer to take a multi-supplement, just to be safe. Those awful stories of parents whose vegan babies died, usually are due to feeding homemade nut milks, instead of proper formula.
Better Brands of Supplements
- Feel makes therapeutic-dose supplements in wood capsules. VeganCard members get a discount off the first box.
- Together Health sells supplements for joints, immunity.
- Dr Vegan creates custom biodegradable capsules, sold in a metal tin.
- Ethical Nutrition offers zero waste supplements for sensitive digestion.
- Get Nourished offers biodegradable boxes of 28 nutrition stacks with high absorption. Their D3 is from algae (not lambswool). Also makes Inner Beauty Nutrients and Pre-Natal (tastes of mixed fruits).
- VitBox sells plastic-free supplements, created by a biochemist.
- Futurekind (US) is shipped worldwide in sustainable packaging. Profits help animal sanctuaries across the world.
Omega 3 Fatty Acids
If you eat a few nuts, seeds or hemp, you are fine for DHA (for skin and nails). If you need EHA (for eyes, heart, brain etc), avoid fish oil as it may have mercury and causes by-catch (other creatures caught in fishing nets). Each year, this kills 300,000 whales and dolphins, and 250,000 turtles.
- Bloom makes omega 3 supplements from the same place that fish get them (algae). Sold in a zero waste jar with metal lid. Their site has full information on administering for pregnancy and/or children. For older children, they recommend splitting the capsule and pouring oil into food or drink. Talk to your doctor if pregnant or on medication.
- Vegums also makes omega 3 supplements as fruity sweets (keep away from pets and children). Vegums vitamins were developed by pharmacists (2 a day for adults, 1 a day for children age 3 to 12).