It will come as a surprise to no-one that since the pandemic began, sales of supplements have soared. There has never been more emphasis placed on supporting our bodies, boosting our immune system and with more time spent at home, self-care practices have transformed from an indulgence to an irrefutable essential.
In 2021, Brits spent over £500 million on vitamins and supplements and 71 per cent of adults now take at least one supplement daily in the UK, according to a report by Mintel - it’s big business to say the least. This becomes especially important for those following a plant-based diet, which may not offer enough iron, calcium or vitamin B12.
With the rise of veganism (a quarter of Brits have tried or plan to try Veganuary in 2022) comes a surge in vegan supplements. An overwhelming amount formulas are created from animal-derivatives (collagen, for example, is typically bovine or marine) so finding plant-based dietary supports is not always easy but are key to ensure you are getting the right nutrients and minerals.
These supplements should be taken alongside a healthy, balanced diet that is low in saturated fat and packed with fruit, vegetables and wholegrains. There are many protein-rich meat alternatives now available for vegans as well as nuts, beans, pulses and soya products that are great sources but if you are still finding you are lacking energy or want to give your immune system, skin or hair a boost, listen up.
In particular vegans could have a lack of omega-3 fats, vitamin B12, vitamin D, calcium, iron and zinc. According to the NHS: “Vitamin B12 is only found naturally in foods from animal sources, so sources for vegans are limited and a vitamin B12 supplement may be needed. Adults need about 1.5 micrograms of vitamin B12 a day”.
Furthermore, “Adults need about 700mg of calcium a day, so it’s important that vegans regularly include plenty of these foods in their diet.” While calcium traditionally comes from diary products and is vital for bone health, it is possible to get your recommended intake through milk-replacements like soy, oat, nut and rice as well as bread, dried fruits and of course, supplements.
Omega-3 fatty acids, which are known for their inflammation-fighting benefits and are essential in the healthy functioning heart, brain, gut, joints and eyes, is commonly sourced from fish oil but there are vegan supplement alternatives for that too.
Following a fully-fledged plant-based lifestyle will result in a switch up in the beauty arena too, from hair to skincare. The same is true for your supplements and luckily there are a plethora of editor-approved alternatives that will give your hair, skin and nails a boost from the inside out. Even collagen has been treated to a vegan twist using genetically modified yeast and bacteria.
Find out more about the vegan supplements below.
Omega 3 Vegan Supplement
As explained, Omega-3 plays a major role in the health of many cellular and bodily functions, particularly when it comes to inflammation. There aren’t a whole host of vegan-friendly (i.e. non-fish) sources so a supplement is key to ensure you are getting your fix of the polyunsaturated fats.
Vegan supplement specialists MyVegan offer this supplement containing EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) derived from algae. These acids get to work in supporting brain function, heart health and vision as well as general wellbeing. There’s no fishy taste and all you need to do is take one of the gel tablets a day with food. Easy. They are kind on the bank balance too and come as in a pack of 90 or 180.
The Myvegan range extends to Vegan Vitamin D3, Vegan Vitamin B12 Supplement, Vegan Calcium and Magnesium, and Vegan Iron & Folic Acid Supplement. There’s also a helpful Vegan Multivitamin if you’re looking for a simplified all-rounder.
Buy now £16.03, Myvegan
JSHealth Hair + Energy Formula - 60 capsules
If the impressive before and after photos weren’t enough to win you over, JSHealth’s Hair + Energy supplement also have seemingly endless five-star customer reviews who all boast about the vitamins almost miraculous ability to make hair grow longer, stronger and fortify nails. They are made up of a combination of zinc and kelp - and best of all, are vegan. The capsules do have a strangely fishy taste but it’s a small price to pay for the extensive benefits.
Buy now £29.99, JSHealth
Aurelia London Beauty & Immunity Support
Probiotic skincare label Aurelia has channelled its expertise into a supplement that uses advanced probiotic supplement technology to tackle beauty, health and wellbeing from the inside out. The product uses live cultures that are designed to improve skin’s firmness and elasticity, while zinc gives an antioxidant boost.
When it comes to immunity, this supplement supports the balance of bacteria in the gut (autoimmune-related diseases can be caused by an imbalance), while also maximising hydration, radiance and counteracting damage from external aggressors on the skin.
Take two capsules daily with food and water. We noticed a lovely glow, a calming of redness and the appearance of hyper-pigmentation reduced. Our skin also looked clearer.
Buy now £45.00, Cult Beauty
Vitabiotics Wellwoman Vegan 60 tablets
Vitabiotics has long been a go-to label for those looking to get their fix of helpful vitamins and minerals that may be missing from their diet. These tablets have been created especially for vegans and vegetarians to be rich in iron, vitamin B12 and vitamin D. The product has been created with a mix of 23 nutrients that include pantothenic acid, folate and iron to counteract fatigue, boost energy levels and help the natural formation of red blood cells, Evening Primrose Oil & Starflower Oil, Vitamin B6 to regulate hormone activity and vitamin C, selenium and zinc to encourage collagen production for healthy hair, skin and nails. Take two capsules per day with your main meal.
Buy now £8.80, Boots
Nourished is personalising the supplement game. Take the quiz and choose the benefits that you’re looking for in your dietary add-on and it will use a proprietary algorithm to create a customised formula packed with seven science-backed nutrients. In gummy form, they are then 3D printed and sent directly to your home. All the vitamins are vegan, free from any nasties and the packaging is all plastic-free and compostable.
Buy now £39.99, Nourished
You may be familiar with ESPA for its luxury range of pampering, spa-like skin and body products. The brand has now expanded its range into supplements with vegan-certified products crafted from natural ingredients. The collection consists of four ‘Elixirs’ that are packed with flavour and can be combined easily into your breakfast bowls, smoothies or simply with water.
The Active Nutrients Pro-Glow Beauty & Wellbeing Powder (£45) has a delicious cranberry and lime natural taste and is loaded up with minerals and antioxidants including Vitamin E to shield against oxidative stress and leave you with a glowing complexion.
The Active Nutrients Hydration Shot Beauty & Wellbeing Elixir (£50) is a grapefruit and ginger flavoured cocktail that combines aloe vera, grapeseed extract, hyaluronic acid and coconut water for added skin radiance.
There is also the Age-Defying Resilience Skinâ¯Defenceâ¯Beauty & Wellbeing Elixir (£62) and Regenerating Skin Renewal Beauty & Wellbeing Elixir (£62).
Buy now £45.00, ESPA
YourZooki Vitamin C 30x15ml sachets
The importance of vitamin C has been stressed since our childhood but it has only recently become an staple skincare ingredient for its glow-giving results. On top of your topical application, take one sachet daily of this supplement to give your complexion radiance from the outside in, while also adding more antioxidants to your diet that will protect against the effects of free radicals. It plays a vital role in the growth, development and repair of body tissues and encourages the proper functioning of your immune system.
Buy now £39.99, Planet Organic
Together Health Vegan Vitamin D3 food supplement 30 caps
In the UK, especially over the light-deprived winter months, we don’t get nearly enough vitamin D. The sunshine vitamin is important for bone and muscle strength as well as immune function. Alternative ways of adding to your diet is through fish like salmon, tuna and cod liver and thus, can be difficult for vegans to incorporate.
Enter this supplement from Together Health that offers an active form of the vitamin for better absorption. The key ingredient - wild lichen - is harvested in remote, clean mountain regions using sustainable practices and is free from chemicals.
Buy now £5.62, Planet Organic
Wild Nutrition Vitamin C & Bioflavonoids 60 caps
Wild Nutrition is another of our favourite supplement brands who offer an extensive range of vegan vitamin sources created using food ingredients and developed with medicinal nutrition experts.
The range includes Iron, Selenium, Folic Acid, Vitamin D, and this specialised Vitamin C & Bioflavonoids option. The latter is derived from a citrus pulp that is effectively absorbed and retained in the body.
Buy now £21.00, Planet Organic
Holland & Barrett Complete B Vitamin B Complex 250 Caplets
This Holland & Barrett own-brand supplement is designed for those times when you’re not feeling like yourself. If you’re feeling tired, stressed and run down, this could be due to a lack of the energy-boosting vitamin B.
It is offered in an array of different forms including folic acid that is important for pregnant women, vitamin B12 to reduce tiredness and fatigue, vitamin B6 for the immune system, niacin for healthy skin and many more.
Buy now £15.99, Holland & Barrett
DR.VEGAN Daily Multivitamin 60 Capsules
There is no second guessing here whether this brand is vegan, it spells it out from the very beginning. The UK-born label specialises in plant-based, naturally sourced supplements that are entirely free from any animal derivatives as well as no added sugar and gluten-free. There’s an eco-conscious twist too: all the packaging is biodegradable.
This Daily Multivitamin is a great all-rounder that offers 24 essential nutrients in one handy daily dose and for all-things energy, beauty and brain related. Some highlights are iron for energy and the healthy functioning of the immune system and cognitive abilities as well as zinc for skin and hair.
Buy now £12.99, Holland & Barrett
G Herbal is borne out of Bali and uses only natural ingredients grown on the brand’s farms in Indonesia. Inspired by traditional herbal medicines, there are five supplements in the range that can be sampled alone or mix and matched as needed.
SKIN, as you may guess, is designed to give you a clearer complexion and revive and rejuvenate dull skin. It contains a combination of active ingredients including the blemish-busting antioxidant Garcinia mangostana (Mangosteen) pericarp extract that is also an anti-inflammatory, Centella asiatica (Gotu Kola) herba extract to encourage healing and cell growth, and the anti-bacterial Curcuma xanthorrhiza (Temulawak) rhizoma extract. The formula works to stimulate skin turnover, repair scarring and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. The dose is two capsules in the evening after dinner.
The collection also includes BLISS for a mood enhancer and sleep aid, BODY for immunity and energy, WOMAN that is designed for when Aunt Flo visits and WEIGHT to encourage better digestion and reduce bloating.
All the products are vegan, gluten-free and do not contain any GMOs. The packaging is also all recyclable.
Buy now £36.00, G Herbal
This newly launched label specialises in supplements for hair loss and healthy skin. The range is all natural, sustainable and zero waste, and the packaging is entirely plastic-free. Suitable for those following a plant-based diet, they have been created using scientifically-proven ingredients that are free from any animal by-products.
TrichoSMART® has been created to breathe new life into your locks. The trademarked formula is designed to minimise hair loss and strengthen fine and thinning tresses by encouraging growth.
DermaSMART® is rich in essential nutrients like zinc, copper, selenium and vitamins A, B2, B3 and E and is all about improving the condition of your skin. It works to encourage the production of collagen and supports its overall health.
Buy now £26.59, RE-NU-ME