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Vitamin D3

For a whole plant food lifestyle, Vitamin B12 supplements are recommended since it's lacking in plant-based foods except nutritional yeast, nori (seaweed), and mushrooms. Vitamin B12 helps keep the body’s nerve and blood cells healthy and helps make DNA. It can also prevent megaloblastic anemia which makes people feel weak.

 

Traditionally, vitamin B12 came from the soil, but because our soil has been so depleted by some unwise farming practices and chemicals, animals no longer provide much Vitamin B12. Turns out, they're given supplements, too! The weekly dose of vitamin B12 is 2500-3000mg (cyanocobalamin).

Vitamin D3 helps regulate the absorption of calcium and phosphorous, and facilitates normal immune system functions. It also promotes normal growth and development of bones and teeth. Vitamin D3 deficiency gets a lot of attention because this can create frequent infections and diseases, bone and joint pain, fatigue and muscle weakness, fractures, and slower wound healing. 

 

Plant-based foods for vitamin D3 are pretty much limited to a few foods which only have traces of vitamin D3. Spend time in the sunshine and you’ll get enough. If that’s not possible, then the general guideline for supplements is 2000 iu daily.

Vitamin B12

Calcium maintains strong bones among other benefits. Calcium supplements produce a hypercoagulable state when blood clots more easily, which could increase risk of clots in the heart or brain. Clinical trials have shown that too much calcium in the blood, taken in the form of supplements, is tied to higher rates of heart attacks.

Daily recommendations are 1000mg to 1200mg, depending on your age, weight, and gender. Plant-based foods with higher levels of calcium include green leafy vegetables, broccoli, tofu, edamame, tahini, almonds, seeds, black beans, amaranth, teff, oranges, wakame, blackberries, and raspberries.   

Calcium

Note from Cookhouse Hero: I am keenly aware that there are vast amounts of information, misinformation, and disinformation on supplements. Please keep in mind that some of the recommendations on types and dosages of supplements will vary depending on several factors: gender, age, fitness level, weight, geographical location (vitamin D3), how your body digests supplements (probably best to take them with food as Dr Klaper suggests), and what kinds of interactions improve absorption (like powdered mustard seed to help absorb sulphoraphane found in cruciferous veggies like broccoli and bok choy OR vitamin C to support the absorption of zinc). Also, it seems that supplementation is perhaps the most fiercely debated topic in the plant-based community, so stay tuned for ongoing developments!

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