Zinc is something of a multi-tasker, helping boost the immune system, efficiently heal wounds, and even fine-tuning senses like smell and taste.
For vegans looking to get their zinc from foods, there are plenty of plant-based sources high in this essential mineral, including tofu, tempeh, nuts, seeds, and fortified products.
However, you might want to take out some extra insurance to make sure you’re hitting the necessary levels, or you have health needs that require more zinc than foods can provide.
Adults need 8-11mg of zinc per day, but the Institute of Medicine suggests that vegans with high intakes of unrefined grains might need 50% more zinc than recommended for other adults. Upping intake of zinc to 12-17mg per day can help boost immunity and keep the body healthy.
Every vegan knows supplementation can be tricky – animal products can hide under all kinds of sneaky names, from the gelatin used to make the capsule to magnesium stearate as a filler and binder.
To make things a little easier and a little more straightforward, we’ve compiled our top five vegan-friendly zinc supplements below.
Read more to find which plant-based zinc supplement is right for your preferences and your lifestyle.
BlueBonnet Zinc Picolinate (Top Pick)
Vegan, gluten free, and kosher, the zinc Vcaps by BlueBonnet are made from a chelate of picolinic acid.
Each capsule contains 333% of your daily recommended intake of zinc or about 50mg of zinc per capsule.
The supplement comes in a dark bottle of 100 capsules and has an overwhelmingly positive presence on Amazon.
The product is great for ensuring normal function of organs and systems within the body, healing wounds, and helpful for even persistent, cystic acne.
It also helps maintain the health of skeletal, immune, neurological, and endocrine systems.
What We Love
Reviewers love that this product is pure and natural, and notice improvements to acne, skin inflammation, allergies, and noise from tinnitus. It also appears to keep a high longevity of customers – those who take it often have been taking it for years, and are very committed to this specific brand of supplements. The easy-to-swallow capsule is also appreciated by those who have difficulty taking pills.
This is a very potent supplement, which is great if that’s what you’re looking for, but can be overkill if you’re already getting a good amount of zinc from food. Additionally, it is on the pricier side when compared to many other vegan-friendly zinc supplements.
Natural Nutra Zinc Gluconate Supplement
A super potent supplement, Natural Nutraceuticals’ zinc tablets contain 333% of the recommended dosage for each day, which is particularly important for pregnant or nursing mothers.
The supplement is made in the United States in a Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) certified environmentally-friendly facility, and is certified by the FDA.
Each bottle is made of BPA-free glass and contains 100 vegan-friendly and gluten free tablets. Because the tablets are very high potency, it’s important to take these with food to avoid any nausea or other unpleasant side effects.
What We Love
Natural Nutraceuticals has unparalleled customer service. In addition to overwhelmingly positive feedback on Amazon, the company offers a 30-day risk free trial of the product – if you’re unhappy with any aspect of the supplement, you can return it for a 100% refund of your money.
They’re also extremely responsive to any complaints about errors or dissatisfaction with your order, so trying the product is extremely low-risk and as pleasant a shopping experience as you can get.
Because this supplement is extremely potent, you’ll want to be careful about how much zinc you’re getting in your day. This is perfect for people who are low on zinc, have been advised by a doctor to take an intense supplement, or those who are at higher needs for zinc, but if you’re getting a good amount through food, you’ll want to exercise caution so you don’t consume too much.
Garden of Life Vitamin Code Zinc
A favorite brand of raw vegans and those gravitating toward more wholesome, natural foods and supplements, Garden of Life’s zinc supplement provides 30mg of raw zinc and 100% of your daily value of vitamin C per serving.
This formula features a veggie mineral blend of 17 raw organically grown vegetables, a whopping 75 soil-based alkalizing minerals, a raw probiotic, and an enzyme blend for optimal digestion.
These supplements promote a healthy immune system, wound recovery, DNA synthesis, and eye, skin, and prostate health. Each serving of this product consists of two easy-to-take capsules.
What We Love
Reviewers who have taken this product rave about the noticeable effects this supplement has had on their body and their life. Many customers report better, more restful sleep, fast recovery from tough workouts, and boosted libido. Reviewers also like that this raises the body’s content of zinc, along with supporting nutrients to promote overall health and wellness.
While the whole food blend is perfect for those who are looking for a supplement derived from real food ingredients, those with food sensitivities or allergies should read the ingredient label carefully.
This product contains rice hull, which can promote inflammation in those sensitive to grains, and contain nightshades, which will cause adverse reactions for people who must eat according to the autoimmune protocol. Additionally, the vitamin E in this supplement is derived from soy, which will be important to know for people with allergies.
Benevolent Nourishment Liquid Zinc
A liquid alternative to capsules or lozenges, the zinc supplement from Benevolent Nourishment comes from glycinate chelate.
It also includes organic elderberry fruit and herbs, all in a potent, easy-to-take, and effective liquid.
The supplement is made in the United States in an FDA registered certified organic facility. It’s also kosher, and GMP certified, even down to the organically grown and ethically wild harvested herbs.
The formula is free of GMOs and tastes delicious thanks to the elderberry and blackberry flavor.
In addition to being tasty, the berry extracts are essential trace elements to help keep your body in peak condition and provide immune support. Each serving contains 15mg of zinc.
What We Love
The form is really where the praise pours in for this supplement! Alcohol- and gluten-free, this supplement couldn’t be easier to take, as there is no pill swallowing, and the flavor is smooth and sweet thanks to the berries and addition of stevia, a sweet-tasting plant that sweetens naturally.
The addition of other herbs is also appreciated, as those like echinacea and Angustifolia root can improve the immune system and make the body more defensible against illness.
Due to the natural and organic fruits present in the formula, each serving of this supplement contains 3.5 grams of fructose. This is negligible for most people, but those with diabetes and health conditions pertaining to blood sugar will want to take note.
VegLife Zinc Vegan Lozenge
Perfect for vegan kids, the VegLife zinc supplement comes as a fun and tasty cherry lozenge as opposed to a big hard-to-take pill or a foul-tasting liquid.
In addition to 13mg of zinc per serving, the formula also contains vitamins A and C for protection against free radicals, as well as a blend of soothing herbs.
The supplement is sweetened naturally with noncariogenic xylitol and sorbitol, which will not promote tooth decay like sugar.
Each bottle contains 50 cherry flavored lozenges, and there is one lozenge per serving.
What We Love
The lozenge format makes zinc supplementation accessible to those who have difficulty swallowing pills or capsules. The cherry flavor makes taking vitamins a little more fun and a little less overwhelming, and reviewers love the quality of the supplement itself. Additionally, at just 87% of your daily recommended allowance, there’s not as much chance that you will consume too much zinc due to the supplement.
Some reviewers noted that the flavor of this lozenge leaves a lot to be desired – either due to the cherry flavoring or due to the xylitol and sorbitol used to sweeten it. Additionally, those who have sensitivities to artificial sweeteners should exercise caution, as some of these can cause gastric distress.
Buying a Zinc Supplement
Vegan supplementation has come a long way, so you may come across a zinc supplement “in the wild” that catches your eye.
With just a few guidelines to bear in mind, choosing a vegan-friendly zinc supplement will be a breeze.
The first thing to pay attention to will be the source of the zinc.
On the whole, the mineral is not easily absorbed by the body unless it’s attached to another substance, so you may see many supplements made from “chelated” zinc, which just means the zinc is attached to organic and amino acids.
The best forms of supplemental zinc are zinc orotate, which has been chelated to orotic acid, zinc picolinate, which has been chelated to picolinic amino acids, and zinc gluconate, made from fermented glucose.
Your eyes should linger on the ingredient list to keep a lookout for sneaky animal ingredients that can often find their way into nutritional supplements.
The number one ingredient to watch out for is gelatin, which is often listed right on the label and is usually used to create the soft capsule on many pills.
Made from the boiled-down tendons and tissue from cows and pigs, this is most definitely not vegan-friendly, so supplements with these ingredients should go right back on the shelf.
Other ingredients to watch out for are magnesium stearate, lanolin, bee pollen, and Carmine.
By avoiding these ingredients, and looking out for the highest quality zinc available, you’ll be fueling your body with vegan-friendly, healthy nutrition.
Zinc Supplements for Vegans
While zinc is available in abundance from plant-based food sources, sometimes you want to take out a little extra insurance with the help of a zinc supplement.
Whether you’re looking for a capsule, a tablet, a liquid supplement, or fun, cherry-flavored lozenge, there is a plant-based, vegan-friendly supplement on the market available to fit into your lifestyle.
Whether you choose one from our list of top five supplements or find a supplement out on the market at your local drugstore, adding a zinc supplement to your diet will help you boost your immune system, help skin repair itself, and ensure a healthy life.