8 Supplements for Vegans and Vegetarians to Boost Nutrition and Cellular Health

Key Points:

  • There are many key benefits to choosing a plant-forward diet. However, it’s well known that vegans and vegetarians may struggle to get much-needed nutrients. That’s where supplementation comes into play — as part of a healthy plant-based eating strategy.
  • When supplementing your plant-based diet, think about the nutrients that are readily found in meat and fish but not in plants. B vitamins, fish oil, and iron are a few examples.
  • To eat a well-balanced plant-based diet, a few lifestyle changes are necessary. It’s important to check your ingredient labels, avoid highly processed foods, and make sure to eat a sustainable amount of calories.

Shouldn’t a healthy diet full of colorful fruits and vegetables be enough to meet our nutritional needs?

You’d think so.

Back before soil depletion and heavy food processing methods, healthy food was enough to meet our nutritional needs.

Now, times have changed. But our nutritional requirements haven’t.

Today, it’s up to us to read the science, take the supplements we need, and trust our intuition (and occasional lab testing) when it comes to adequate nutrient intake.

For those on a vegan and vegetarian diet, this is especially important — since select nutrient-dense food groups (meat and fish for vegetarians, and for vegans all animal foods) are eliminated from everyday life.

Omnivores often feel nourished as long as they are meeting their macronutrient needs, since nutrients in animal foods are more bioavailable.

It’s possible for plant-based eaters too — but you need a strategy.

To help you establish your nutritional strategy, let’s explore eight supplements for vegans and vegetarians.

Table of Contents:

  • Supplements for Vegans and Vegetarians
  • Recommendations for a Balanced Vegan or Vegetarian Diet
  • Trust BodyBio for Whole Food Supplements that Are Easy to Absorb
  • Supplements for Vegans and Vegetarians

    When strategizing for your plant-based diet, remember that many vitamins and minerals work together to achieve homeostasis. A vitamin B deficiency can eventually become an iron deficiency. While an imbalance of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids can promote inflammation.

    While these supplements for vegans and vegetarians can help you avoid deficiency, make sure you take action and look at the whole picture of your diet.

    Vitamin B Complex

    Beef and dairy products are high in B vitamins. Meaning, it’s important to get enough of these vitamins if you’re eating a plant-based diet. B vitamins are needed for energy, metabolic function, and nervous system wellness. It’s also shown to aid in gene expression and immune system function.

    One study showed that while calcium, iodine, vitamin D, and iron deficiencies are all common on the vegan diet, vitamin B12 was the most overlooked nutrient.

    Many plant-based diet influencers also promote vitamin B12 supplements — and while this vitamin is essential, it’s usually not enough long-term. The B vitamins all work closely together, so a vitamin B complex is a better option long-term to improve cellular health and energy levels. You’ll also want to check your nutrition label to ensure there’s no folic acid (the inactive form of vitamin B9, or folate) or synthetic choline (which can upset the stomach).


    This is a common deficiency in people eating plant-based diets since most of our typical iron intake comes from beef. But it’s also a tricky nutrient to balance — since many cereals and processed foods are fortified with added synthetic iron, making iron toxicity equally common.

    Iron is in charge of oxygen transport, DNA replication and repair, some metabolic processes, and growth and development. Common symptoms of iron deficiency include weakness, fatigue, dizziness, and an irregular heartbeat. If you suspect you may need more iron, it’s best to do your research and work with a functional medicine practitioner who can run labs.

    You’ll also want to check in on your copper levels since iron and copper work closely together. A lack of bioavailable copper in the body could look like an iron deficiency.


    Primarily found in eggs and organ meats, phospholipids are the building blocks of powerful cells, a healthy gut, and better cognitive function. They’re in charge of creating the cell membrane — which keeps toxins out of your cells and ushers nutrients in.

    A high-quality phospholipid supplement should be liposomal and shouldn’t contain sunflower lecithin or additives.

    Vitamin D

    According to one study, vitamin D deficiency is considered a “pandemic”for both meat and plant-based dieters. We get vitamin D primarily from sun exposure, yet most of us are extremely out of touch with nature, spending much of our time indoors. Plus, vitamin D is difficult to obtain through diet (it’s mainly found in seafood and egg yolk).

    As a fat-soluble nutrient, vitamin D interacts with phosphorus and calcium (aiding in the absorption of these nutrients). It’s an essential part of immune system function, and it’s a natural anti-inflammatory and antioxidant.

    High-quality vitamin D supplements may be combined with sunlight exposure for optimal health.

    High-Quality Fish Oil

    If you’re not opposed to taking fish oil, this supplement can help in cases of low omega-3 (DHA and EPA, which are difficult to get through plant-based foods). 

    The goal should always be to take a moderate amount of fish oil — since too many omega-3 fatty acids can offset the balance of omega-6 fatty acids. When taken in balance with omega-6, fish oil can help revive your cells, lower the inflammatory response, and support brain health.

    Foundational Omega-3s and Omega-6s

    While plant sources of linoleic acid and alpha-linolenic acid are derived from vegan sources, high-quality sources of these plant essential oils are becoming increasingly difficult to find. That said, they’re essential for proper cell function — boosting brain health, improving cell structure, and promoting overall mitochondrial wellness.

    Omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids compete for certain enzymes needed during the metabolic process — meaning a careful ratio of 4:1 is ideal for balance. We created BodyBio Balance Oil to deliver more essential fatty acids to your cells while encouraging this careful balance.


    Since magnesium is found in many plant foods, it’s less of a concern for people eating plant-based — but a deficiency may still be common. It’s estimated that between 20 and 75 percent of people aren’t getting enough magnesium (regardless of diet) — and this can interfere significantly with mental health and quality sleep.

    Luckily, magnesium is easy to supplement. You can use liquid mineral drops or several forms of magnesium supplements, depending on your needs.

    Trace Minerals

    In one study, plant-based dieters had low levels of zinc, iron, calcium, and iodine when tested. While these nutrients can come from food sources, it’s easy to supplement using liquid minerals, adrenal cocktails, or simply by adding unrefined salt to your water. Healthy mineral levels typically increase energy levels, cellular function, and overall wellness.

    Recommendations for a Balanced Vegan or Vegetarian Diet

    These additional lifestyle and dietary recommendations can help enhance your nutrient intake while eating plant-based foods.

    Avoid Processed Foods

    Vegan and vegetarian diets can be tricky — because they seem instantly healthy at first glance. But if you’re not carefully checking ingredient labels, you can easily fall into the habit of eating a lot of highly processed foods. Hydrogenated oils, emulsifiers, food dyes, and natural flavors are all common ingredients in popular vegan and vegetarian brands.

    It’s best to stick to vegan and vegetarian diets as they were meant to be — with whole foods like veggies, fruits, legumes, and grains that aren’t highly processed or manufactured to taste like a burger.

    Increase Your Calorie Intake

    It’s easy to undereat when you’re first starting out as a vegan or vegetarian. This can be extremely harmful since you already have to work harder to consume adequate amounts of protein, fats, and nutrients. We recommend tracking your calorie intake and potentially eating a little more than you normally would, especially during the first stages of your diet. This can act as a safeguard against deficiency, undereating, and hormone imbalance.

    Regularly Test Hormone and Nutrient Levels

    Especially for women of reproductive age, a vegan or vegetarian diet (that’s not thoughtfully supplemented) may impact hormone levels and nutrient stores. To stay ahead of these problems, it’s helpful to undergo regular lab testing — especially if you’re first starting out on a vegan or vegetarian diet. 

    You can work with a holistic nutritionist or functional medicine practitioner to order blood tests and optimize your food and supplement resources to adequately meet nutritional needs as they arise.

    Understand Supplement Quality

    Remember those gummy multivitamins you took as a child? Those aren’t enough to properly support your daily nutritional needs (in fact, they’re probably full of sugar, food dyes, and toxic oils).

    Proper and supportive supplementation requires intentionality and research. Most of the grocery store supplements you may be used to buying are highly processed, offer too low doses of critical nutrients, and have low absorption rates. This means they’re not actually doing you any good.

    Especially when exploring supplements for vegans and vegetarians, it’s essential to know where your supplements come from, how they’re produced, and how likely they are to reach your cells, where they can do the most good.

    Trust BodyBio for Supplements that Are Easy to Absorb

    When eating a plant-based diet, you need a high-quality supplement brand to support you.

    As we mentioned earlier, eating a vegan or vegetarian diet requires strategy.

    And a low-quality grocery store supplement that is hardly absorbed won’t help you reach your goals.

    Opt for something better. At BodyBio, we combine science and whole foods to create pure, nutrient-dense supplements that support your cells on any diet.

    Properly Nourish Yourself on a Plant-Based Diet
    BodyBio Balance Oil — Essential Fatty Acids
    BodyBio Fish Oil+ — Whole Food SPMs
    BodyBio Vitamin B Complex — High Potency Energy


    Burns-Whitmore B, Froyen E, Heskey C, Parker T, San Pablo G. (2019). Alpha-linolenic and linoleic fatty acids in the vegan diet: do they require dietary reference intake/adequate intake special consideration? Nutrients, 11(10), 2365. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11102365

    Kennedy D. O. (2016). B Vitamins and the Brain: Mechanisms, Dose and Efficacy--A Review. Nutrients, 8(2), 68. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu8020068

    Neufingerl, N., & Eilander, A. (2021). Nutrient Intake and Status in Adults Consuming Plant-Based Diets Compared to Meat-Eaters: A Systematic Review. Nutrients, 14(1), 29. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu14010029

    Slywitch E, Savalli C, Duarte ACG, Escrivão MAMS. (2021). Iron deficiency in vegetarian and omnivorous individuals: analysis of 1340 individuals. Nutrients, 13(9), 2964. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13092964