Which vegan prenatal vitamins are best?
If you are pregnant or want to become pregnant, taking a prenatal vitamin is a great way to get all of your essential nutrients in the recommended dosage. These supplements are particularly important if you are vegan or vegetarian, as a plant-based diet does not always provide enough vitamins and minerals to support a healthy pregnancy.
Naturelo Prenatal Multivitamins are the top pick because they include generous amounts of iron and DHA, two nutrients often lacking in vegan and vegetarian diets.
What to know before you buy vegan prenatal vitamins
Important nutrients for vegans
All prenatal supplements contain vitamins and minerals essential for healthy fetal development, but some nutrients are particularly important for vegans and vegetarians, even if they already work hard to maintain a balanced diet. When selecting a vegan prenatal multivitamin, look closely to make sure it contains high amounts of these nutrients:
- Iron: This mineral is essential for healthy blood production and immune-system support. People who eat animal-derived foods usually get iron from sources such as eggs and seafood, while vegans have to rely on leafy greens like spinach and certain types of beans to receive this crucial nutrient.
- Docosahexaenoic acid: Also known as DHA, this omega-3 fatty acid supports brain health and development. Because fish is its primary source in nature, most vegans don’t get enough DHA in their diet. Vegan prenatal vitamins usually derive DHA from natural sources like algae.
- Vitamin B12: Crucial for red-blood-cell formation and nerve function, B12 is mostly found in animal products, which means vegans can only get the vitamin through supplements. Vegan prenatal vitamins usually have to derive vitamin B12 through sources like spirulina and fortified yeast.
- Other important nutrients: Choline, calcium and folic acid are just a few more of the key nutrients to look for when choosing a vegan prenatal vitamin.
Even if a prenatal vitamin isn’t advertised as vegan or vegetarian, you can tell if it contains animal byproducts by checking its list of ingredients. Gelatin is the most common animal product found in supplements. This gel-like substance is often used as a coating or filler in vitamin capsules. Lanolin and magnesium stearate are also common ingredients and are usually derived from lamb’s wool and dairy products, respectively. Other animal-derived ingredients to watch out for include carmine and bee pollen.
What to look for in quality vegan prenatal vitamins
Like other multivitamins, vegan prenatal vitamins can appear in a variety of forms, including powders, capsules and gummies. Vegan gummy prenatal vitamins are a great choice if you have a sensitive stomach or don’t like taking pills.
Unless a supplement is explicitly certified by a third-party organization, it can be impossible to know if its maker truly uses vegan ingredients or if the label is just a marketing ploy. Look for a company that shares its certifications on its packaging or product page. Common certifications found on vegan products include Vegan Action, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and the Vegan Society. Keep in mind that “cruelty-free” just means that the product wasn’t tested on animals and is not the same as vegan.
Morning sickness and nausea caused by pregnancy can make taking prenatal vitamins uncomfortable. Look for a supplement advertised as gentle on the stomach. These vitamins typically contain a formula with natural ingredients such as ginger and peppermint that can soothe a sensitive tummy.
How much you can expect to spend on vegan prenatal vitamins
Vegan prenatal vitamins tend to be a little more expensive than other multivitamins. Most consumers can expect to spend around $15-$40 per bottle, or about 20 to 60 cents per serving.
Vegan prenatal vitamins FAQ
I eat a healthy diet — do I still need to take prenatal vitamins?
A. Regardless of your diet, you should still take prenatal vitamins to ensure that you and your baby are receiving the proper nutrients throughout your pregnancy.
When should I begin taking prenatal vitamins?
A. The sooner you start, the better. This can be a month before conception or as soon as you find out you’re pregnant.
What are the best vegan prenatal vitamins to buy?
Top vegan prenatal vitamins
What you need to know: These prenatal vitamins contain no soy, gluten or animal byproducts and are gentle on the stomach.
What you’ll love: These vegan prenatal multivitamins contain high amounts of essential nutrients like iron, DHA and vitamin B12. If you don’t like taking pills, the powder inside the capsules can be dissolved into a beverage.
What you should consider: You have to take three capsules a day, which can be a lot for some people.
Where to buy: Sold by iHerb
Top vegan prenatal vitamins for the money
What you need to know: This once-daily vitamin is budget-friendly and certified plant-based by the Vegan Society.
What you’ll love: One serving contains high doses of necessary vitamins and minerals, in addition to soothing cinnamon and chamomile for upset stomachs. These vegan prenatal vitamins also contain no soy or gluten.
What you should consider: Some users felt that the pills were a bit too big.
Where to buy: Sold by iHerb
Worth checking out
What you need to know: Backed by an industry leader, this nutrient-packed multivitamin is certified organic and contains no genetically modified organisms, or GMOs.
What you’ll love: This prenatal vitamin’s formula has been certified vegan, non-GMO and organic by several third-party organizations, including the United States Department of Agriculture and Vegan Action. One container contains 180 vitamins.
What you should consider: The formula doesn’t contain calcium or DHA, two nutrients important for fetal development.
Where to buy: Sold by iHerb
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Patrick Farmer writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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