Non-Negotiable Nutrients For Vegetarians
There are many reasons behind switching to a plant-based diet. Some people do it for environmental reasons, some for religious reasons, and others for financial or health reasons. And if done right, sticking to a vegan diet can have some amazing health benefits. As Sarah Considine, a certified nutrition consultant, says, “If you want to add For longevity and overall health, a vegetarian diet is the best choice.”
However, when vegetarians cut meat from their diets, they may be missing some points. We spoke with a number of experts to understand how vegans may not be getting enough nutrients and vitamins, and what they should be looking to which foods or supplements to make sure they get a nutritionally fortified diet.
Zinc is important for strengthening the immune system so that it can fight bacteria and viruses.
While vegans can get some zinc by eating foods such as beans, nuts, dairy products, and whole grains, it’s not always enough. According to the National Institutes of Health, “the legumes and grains [vegans] typically eat have compounds that prevent zinc from being fully absorbed.” Because of this, the National Institutes of Health informs that “vegetarians may need to eat up to 50% more zinc than recommended.”
Don’t want to consume more legumes than you can handle? Fortunately, this mineral is also available in a variety of multivitamins and supplements (such as Bulletproof Zinc & Copper, $12.95) ).
The secret about iron is this. According to the National Institutes of Health, “vegetarians who don’t eat meat, poultry, or seafood need almost twice as much iron as those listed in the table , because the body does not absorb non-heme iron from plant foods as well as heme iron from animal foods.” That’s a lot of spinach (hint, hint – great source of iron)!
Samantha Cassetty RD, OMG! a spokesperson for Nutrition, says: “Increasing plant-based foods The easiest way to absorb iron is to include a source of vitamin C in your meals.” Another tip she shares is to “use a cast iron skillet when cooking your meals, as this will transfer some of the iron into your food.” Considine adds that “lentils, soybeans, pumpkin seeds, and a variety of green vegetables” are all great sources of iron.
Regardless, it’s important to maintain your iron levels because low iron can lead to anemia. Symptoms of this condition include a weakened immune system, lack of energy and difficulty concentrating.
Vitamin D is a nutrient that plays a vital role in bone health, as it helps the body absorb the calcium that comes in. However, this vitamin isn’t just an assistant to calcium; it’s also important in its own right for the proper function of muscles and nerves. According to the National Institutes of Health, “Vitamin D deficiency can lead to osteoporosis, causing bone pain and muscle weakness.”
Fortunately, boosting your intake isn’t difficult, and Considine says the vitamin “can be found in mushrooms and even can be found in 30 minutes of sunlight a day” and if lots of sunshine (or mushrooms) doesn’t work for you, you can always walk the supplement! The route. Cassetti says, “I always recommend vitamin D3 supplements.” He explains that it’s hard to find naturally in many foods.Hum Nutrition has Here Comes the Sun Vitamin D Supplement, $20, if you’re looking for a popular option.
Vitamin B12 is important for maintaining healthy neurological function, but this particular nutrient is usually only found in animal foods. To get your daily fill of vitamin B12-which, according to the National Institutes of Health, also requires ‘proper red blood cells’ Considine Name Garden of Life Organic Vitamin B-12 Spray, $12.94, as a try.
omega-3 fatty acids
There are three different types of omega-3 fatty acids: alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DTA). Carbohexaenoic acid (DHA). The vitamin company Ritual considers omega-3 fatty acids to be one of its key ingredients, noting that this nutrient is important component of cell membranes, “also involved in supporting favorable lipid metabolism, immune function, and skin health.” However, it’s EPA and DHA (found primarily in fish products and oils) that provide these benefits.
ALA is the only one of the three types that is derived from plants, and Considine says that it “can be found in walnuts, found in chia seeds and flaxseeds”.ALA can be converted to EPA and DHA, but in limited quantities, so you must take a vegan diet! A friendly supplement to make sure you’re getting enough omega-3 fatty acids in your diet.
For those of you who live on a truly plant-based diet (I’m talking to you, vegan), chances are, you Not getting enough calcium. Often found in dairy products, this nutrient is vital for bone health. Calcium deficiency can lead to osteoporosis, which becomes osteopenia, making your bones more susceptible to fractures and breaks. While certain vegetables are indeed a source of calcium – for example, cabbage, kale, and broccoli – you may not be eating enough of those! to meet your recommended daily intake. There are many supplements available to help you get your daily dose.
Finally, since every cell in your body contains protein, it is absolutely vital that you get enough of this nutrient every day. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, protein provides your body with the fuel it needs to repair cells and make new ones. While meat is the obvious source of protein, there are many plant-based alternatives. Popular choices include soy, beans, legumes, and grains like quinoa. You can also always go the supplement route.