Supplements are concentrated and isolated forms of specific nutrients especially curated to treat nutritional deficiencies. Nutritional deficiencies are common these days, our lifestyle and improper eating habits contribute to the deficiencies. They present with symptoms as common as fatigue, weak immunity, and weak bones. Some symptoms are specific to certain nutrients, but blood tests are the best way for diagnosing deficiencies.
Traditionally, supplements were mostly derived from animal sources – right from protein to omega-3 fatty acids. Whey, a milk derivative, is most commonly used in protein supplements while fish oil, cod liver oil, etc., is used for essential fats supplements. These ingredients which are also common allergens are most commonly used in artificial supplements. Whereas plant-based supplements are derived from fruits, cereals, and grains, bark, leaves, etc. As time has changed, a lot has changed about supplements too.
There was a time when the only protein supplement known and consumed was whey protein. But now, you must have come across people who swear by plant-based supplements, may it be a protein or omega-3 fatty acids. Have you ever wondered the reason behind this shift? Read on to know!
Before we dive deep into plant-based supplements and their benefits, let us take a look at where animal-based supplements lack.
Drawbacks of artificial supplements
Toxicity or allergy risk –
Allergies and risks from animal-based products are common. People many times experience symptoms like abdominal discomfort, digestive issues like constipation or diarrhea, or bloating. These can be symptoms of allergies or intolerances as well.
Not vegan –
Artificial products are commonly derived from animal-based sources and are consumed in people who consume eggs and meat, but people following a vegan or vegetarian diet cannot go for some supplements like cod liver oil or fish oil. Protein derived from whey is also a limitation for people following a vegan diet.
No added benefits/nutrients –
Artificial sources do not offer many nutrients apart from the main nutrient offered in the supplement. These supplements can be fortified with added nutrients including vitamins and minerals, but they do not offer natural cofactors or minerals.
The taste of animal-based products can be a little difficult to get used to since the taste is a little different. It takes time to get accustomed to this taste and might not be pleasant for some people, especially for those who follow a vegetarian or vegan diet.
Perks of plant-based supplements
Low toxicity risk –
Since these supplements are derived from plant sources, the risk of toxicity is minimum. Plant-based supplements are not concentrated with nutrients, this lowers the risk of overdose and toxicity with plant-sourced supplements.
Bioavailability is the rate of absorption of nutrients in your body. Previously, animal-based supplements were considered better because they provided better bioavailability. But today, sources used in plant-based supplements provide equal bioavailability and are equally good.
Good taste –
Since the sources of plant-based supplements are ingredients like fruits, greens, seeds, etc., the supplements are more palatable and the taste is liked by everyone. Owing to the naturally tasty ingredients, the supplements do not need synthetic fillers and artificial flavors and sweeteners. This makes them safer and more natural in taste.
Natural cofactors –
Unlike animal sources, plants come with a team of natural cofactors meaning additional nutrients. These are called polynutrients and include phytochemicals. Plant-based supplements contain active components like curcumin in turmeric, anthocyanins from berries, and enzymes like protease, cellulase, etc.
When it comes to plant-based supplements, andMe is a trusted brand for their quality ingredients and authentic sources. Speaking of it,andMe’s multivitamin capsulesfor women are formulated with more than 18 essential nutrients from ingredients like Shatavari, Ashwagandha, Fenugreek, Barley, Ginger, etc. Along with correcting nutrient deficiencies, they help with improved energy, hair and skin health, and bone and joint health. These are made without adding any chemical preservatives or harmful synthetic ingredients and flavoring agents. These are 100% vegan.