Taking My Vitamins Every Day
September 26 - October 2
This week I challenged myself to take all my vitamins and supplements consistently. I am taking Iron, Calcium & Magnesium +D3, Zinc, Omega-3, and Vitamin B-12. The reason I take so many supplements is that I am a vegetarian (who rarely consumes dairy or eggs), and I have also been diagnosed with iron deficient anemia.
Iron Deficient Anemia
According to Medical New Today, Iron deficiency anemia can cause fatigue, heart palpitations, pale skin, and breathlessness. So this is the reason why I take Iron supplements. However, you should not take Iron supplements if they are not Iron deficient.
Challenges of a Vegan Diet
Vegans or people who don’t consume animal products regularly like tend to be deficient in Vitamin B 12, Calcium, Iron, and Iodine. According to Medical News Today, a diet deficient in vitamin B12 can cause fatigue, lethargy, light-headedness, heart palpitations, weight loss and a host of other health complications. Additionally, they discuss how a diet deficient in calcium increases the risk for osteoporosis, bone fracture and heart failure. I am at little risk for Iodine deficiency because I use iodized salt in all my cooking. Omega 3 fatty acids are another substance that vegans are likely to be deficient in. Omega 3 fatty acids may reduce inflammation, decrease blood triglycerides, and even reduce the risk of dementia. So those are the other reasons I take so many different vitamins/supplements daily.
However, I must make a disclaimer and say that many of these vitamins can be found naturally in foods, and many vegans/vegetarians do not need to take as many vitamins as me. I am just a super busy broke college student, so taking supplements is much more convenient.
How did it go?
Well, to put it short, I failed. I took the majority of my pills, but I wasn’t able to take all of them every day. I have a pill box that I use to help me remember what vitamins I need to take. However, throughout the day, I tend to leave my house a lot as I go to work, school, etc. So sometimes, my pill box would be at home, and by the time I got home in the evening, I didn’t have much time to take all the pills I needed.
Though I failed this challenge, I was a lot more consistent than I usually am with taking my vitamins. Therefore I did notice a few positive effects on my general health and well-being. I felt slightly more energetic, and I also felt like my head didn’t hurt as much as it usually does too.
Strategies for the Future
- Set an alarm on my phone to remind me about my pills,
- Take a few of them with me in my backpack, so I can take them throughout the day
- Get a drinkable version of some of these vitamins so I can just put them in my water bottle and drink them throughout the day.
Ware, M. (2018, February 23). Iron: Recommended intake, benefits, and foods sources. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/287228
Kirkpatrick, K. (2021, August 6). Vegan and Omega-3 Deficiency: EPA is Easy, DHA is Hard – Gene Food. https://www.mygenefood.com/blog/the-vegan-omega-3-problem/
Robertson, S. (2019, May 2). Vegans are often deficient in these four nutrients. Medical Life Science News. https://www.news-medical.net/news/20190502/Vegans-are-often-deficient-in-these-four-nutrients.aspx
Link, R. (2021, December 22). The Best Plant Source of Omega-3 Fatty Acids. Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/7-plant-sources-of-omega-3s#TOC_TITLE_HDR_2