If you’re trying to eat healthily or avoid certain foods, you should know that certain elimination diets can lead to nutrient deficiencies. That’s where supplements can help. They’re a great way to get the nutrients necessary for optimal functioning of your body.

Supplementation is also necessary because of soil deficiencies that have stemmed from poor farming practices over the last century. Our soil is no longer as rich in the vitamins and minerals we need for our bodies to function at their highest potential. So even if you’re sticking to an organic diet, you might not be getting all the nutrients you need.

A note about supplement quality

Many supplements on drugstore shelves are made with fillers and lack quality control. Look for supplements that have the Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) certification or NSF Certification. Note that the supplements recommended below have all been selected according to Pharmaca’s strict Quality Assurance Guidelines, assuring the highest purity and potency. Browse Pharmaca’s full selection of vitamins and supplements

Below are our recommendations for supplemental nutrients for special diets:

Paleo diets

Paleo diets, though nutrient dense in fruits, vegetables and animal products, can still leave one lacking a few nutrients such as calcium and fiber. There are also additional needs for vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids like EPA and DHA.

Supplement recommendations for paleo diets
Calcium, Fiber, Vitamin D3 (liquid or vegetarian capsule form), Omega-3 Fatty Acids (vegetarian alternative)

Gluten-free diets

Gluten is not a nutrient that our body’s need to function properly, but the grains in which we find gluten are staple sources of B vitamins and fiber in the standard American diet.

Supplement recommendations for gluten-free diets
B Vitamins, Fiber, Vitamin D3, Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Low-carb diets

On a low-carb diet, one may have difficulty replenishing the glycogen in their liver. Honey can be helpful to take before and after workouts or before bed (since glycogen is needed to keep blood sugar steady, and drops in glycogen during the night can cause wakefulness). Look for quality raw honey such as Honey Garden Organic Raw Honey.

Supplement recommendations for low-carb diets
B Vitamins, Fiber, Vitamin D3, Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Vegan/Vegetarian Diets

Vegan and vegetarian diets can lack nutrients that are typically obtained from animal products (e.g. B12 and vitamin A). In addition, EPA and DHA are mainly found in animal products but also exist in small amounts in algae. Iron, calcium and protein, while found in plants, can be more difficult to absorb and for this reason may need to be supplemented.

Supplement recommendations for vegan or vegetarian diets
Omega-3 Fatty Acids, Vitamin B12, Vitamin D3, Calcium, Iron, Vitamin A, Protein

Supplement Note:

Vitamin D3
If you’ve had your gallbladder removed or have trouble digesting fat, look for Pharmax D-Mulsion.


Jamie Stephens, NTP, is the Lead Practitioner at our newest Pharmaca Integrative Pharmacy in Chicago, Ill.