Since the general population consumes some form of meat, fish or poultry; there’s a growing curiosity about thevegetarian diet. Non-vegetarians might wonder whether these individuals receive proper nutrition. There are many vitamins and minerals that can be derived from the above mentioned food. Our bodies can naturally replenish them when we eat, but given that vegetarians limit their selection; they may be deficient in some minerals and vitamins
Contrary to popular belief, not all vegetarians refrain from eating meat, fish and poultry. Some occasionally eat meat products. For this reason, not all people need the same amount of supplementation.
- Protein is a big part of a healthy diet that vegans might need extra amounts of. These are vegetarians who do not consume any form of meat, fish or poultry.
- Any processed food that has dairy products, eggs, or ingredients taken from animals are not part of the vegan diet. Aside from taking food supplements, vegetarians can also get protein from bananas, wheat, beans and nuts. Soy protein products can also be purchased.
- Many vegetarians might not be aware that they have very low levels of vitamin B12. The reason for this is it doesn’t exist in ingredients that are not from animal sources.
- Fortified products in the market come in handy. When food is fortified with vitamins or minerals, it implies that these nutrients are artificially added. Fortified soy milk and cereals are good alternatives.
- The importance of vitamin B12 should not be undermined. It promotes healthy blood and nerve cells. More importantly, it is needed for DNA production. Most good multi-vitamin products or food supplement brands have enough amounts to meet nutritional requirements.
- Vitamin D can be another nutrient that a vegetarian might be deficient in. The natural sources for this vitamin include sardines, salmon, tuna, eggs and milk.
- Vitamin D deficiency often leads to the weakening of the bones and muscles. This is because its role is to help the body absorb the calcium that it receives. Some individuals complained about hair loss and back pains when they started shifting to a no-meat-and-fish diet. This is a concrete example of low vitamin D levels.
- The good news is that it is easy to increase the production of vitamin D. For at least three times a week, go out and face the sun. Expose your arms, legs and limit sun block protection only to the face. Allot 20 minutes for each exposure for you to receive enough sunlight.
- Supplements and fortified food with vitamin D can help normalize levels as well.
- Vegans can rejoice when it comes to vitamin A because they have a lot of it. Good sources for this vitamin include dark green or orange vegetables and orange fruits. Carrots, pumpkin, squash, sweet potatoes, oranges, cantaloupe, papayas, mangos and peaches all provide vitamin A.
- It can also be found in milk, eggs, cereal and liver. Vitamin A benefits consist of good eyesight, healthy immune system and good skin.