As a vegetarian and occasional vegan, there are certain nutrients I have to work extra hard to ensure I get. While I try to get most of my nutrients from whole foods, I’m also a realist who knows that supplements can help you round things out to help get that extra boost of nutrition.
Fortunately, there are a tons of natural food supplements, particularly seeds, and quick solutions that can help you get an extra boost.
- Probably the most well known food supplement, protein powder is a great way to get an extra boost of protein, particularly post-workout. Add it to smoothies or make a protein fluff (courtesy of the Fitnessista). My favorites are Sun Warrior and Perfect Fit. Both are dairy free and are a great complement to your food without overpowering it. Plus, if you get vanilla protein powder and mix it with some chocolate soy or almond milk – you get a taste explosion!
- Since I don’t eat fish, I need to ensure I’m getting enough omega-3s. This was especially important during pregnancy and breastfeeding to help foster my little guy’s brain development. Chia seeds pack a powerful punch – a combo of those omega3s, protein, fiber and calcium. Sprinkle it on your cereal and call it a day.
- Flaxseeds are also a great option for omega-3s, as well as help aid in digestion and lower cholesterol. This is a particularly good option for baked goods, such as muffins or banana bread.
- While dairy is a good source of vitamin B12, it’s definitely lacking in non-dairy, non-meat foods. Nutritional yeast is one of the only vegan sources of B12, though various non-dairy milks are also fortified. Known for it’s cheesy flavor and texture, I’ve used it in tomato soup and pasta.
These add-ons not only provide me a needed boost to an overall well-rounded diet, they taste much better than a huge multivitamin. Plus, they are becoming much more mainstream, so you should have no problem finding them at most grocery stores!