The Vitamins Every Vegetarian Should Be Taking
Vegetarians and Veggie-Caps
Well thought out vegetarian diets can be healthy for the body as they help kick heart disease and type 2 diabetes to the curb. Do your research on common mistakes to avoid when getting started on a vegetarian diet. It’s completely possible for vegetarians to get adequate nutrients without eating meat, it just requires an awareness of the body’s nutritional needs. Adding an array of fruits and veggies is a good start, followed by throwing in nuts, seeds, and whole grains to help the body meet nutritional requirements. Don’t be afraid to fill any nutritional gaps with supplements. You can find omega-3s, vitamin B12, iron, calcium, and vitamin D in convenient vegetarian formulations known as veggie-caps. Find out what these supplements can do for your health.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) are good for brain function and overall health. As if heart and bone health weren’t enough, omega-3s help combat diabetes before it starts.
Plants contain ALA (alpha-linolenic acid), which is as basic as omega-3s get. Yes, the body will convert plant-based ALA into EPA and DHA. The problem is that it is difficult for the body to produce enough. This results in blood tests showing some vegetarians having less EPA and DHA than their omnivore counterparts.
If fish is completely off the table for you, you will have to get our EPA and DHA from other sources. Chia, flax seeds, and walnuts are chocked full of ALA. Fish-free supplements deliver omega-3s during those times when you know you’re missing something in your diet.
When meat is removed from the diet, with it goes a major contributor to the body’s intake of protein. It is vital for vegetarians to add protein-containing foods and supplements to their diets to promote continued muscle growth.
A quick source of protein can be found in fortified meat substitutes like veggie burgers and cheese snacks. Make a peanut, almond, or sunflower butter sandwich to get a boost of protein. Legumes like beans, peas, and lentils are top choices. Eggs and dairy foods like yogurt, cheese, and milk also provide noteworthy amounts of protein to a vegetarian diet.
Our nerves and blood rely on B12 to function properly. Fatigue, anemia, and nerve damage await if your body runs low on B12 on a regular basis. Since it becomes increasingly difficult for your body to absorb B12 from food as you age, it is recommended that all adults over 50 take a B12 supplement.
Multivitamins and veggie-based capsules can provide you with your body’s daily requirement of B12. Some breakfast cereals and plant-based milks are fortified with B12. Eggs and dairy also do their part to add some B12 to your diet, naturally.
Finding the mineral, iron, in your plant-based diet is not hard, it’s finding iron that the body can absorb easily that is tricky. Hemoglobin is a protein that needs iron to do its job, which is carrying oxygen to cells. A lack of iron can make you feel weak, foggy-headed, and tired.
You will get the most out of your plant-based iron sources when you pair them with foods rich in vitamin C like tomatoes and citrus fruit. Beans, seeds, tofu, and fortified cereals are decent sources of iron. Try a variety of dark green leafy veggies like spinach to supply your body with much need iron, and don’t forget that dried fruit can be rich in iron, too. Coffee and tea drinkers will want to find an iron supplement since compounds found in both inhibit iron absorption.
Bones and teeth count on calcium to stay strong. Many people don’t realize calcium also aids in blood vessel and nerve function.
People who eat dairy like milk, yogurt, and cheese usually supply their bodies enough calcium to meet their needs. If dairy is not a part of your diet, you will have to be more conscious of your calcium intake. Leafy green veggies are a great base to which you’ll want to add edamame, broccoli, and tofu for variety. Many plant-based milks are fortified with calcium.
Vitamin D’s benefits are still under investigation. We know vitamin D plays a role in calcium absorbency. It’s becoming obvious that some mood and sleep disorders benefit from vitamin D supplementation.
Eggs and fortified dairy products offer natural sources. Look to fortified cereals and juices for additional sources of vitamin D. When diet alone does not give the body what it needs, go for vitamin D veggie-caps.
Vegetarians must find a balance of foods that provide essential vitamins and minerals to help replace what omnivores get from meat. Being a vegetarian has many rewards as long as you are conscientious of your body’s nutritional needs. CebaTek offers high-quality supplements in veggie-cap form in large or small quantities.