Adopting a vegetarian diet can offer health benefits such as lower levels of inflammation. It is also linked to healthier gut microbes and a greater consumption of antioxidants.
However, not everyone gets all the nutrients they need from their diet alone – low intakes of iron, zinc, Vitamin B12, D, calcium, and omega-3 have been linked to poor health.
Iron is an essential mineral that supports red blood cell production and transports oxygen throughout the body. Iron deficiency is more common in people who avoid meat, so it’s important to maintain adequate levels of the nutrient through food or supplements.
Most vegetarians get plenty of iron from plant-based foods such as dark leafy greens, beans and peas, nuts, enriched grains, and dried fruit. However, the type of iron found in these foods is called nonheme iron and is more difficult for the body to absorb than heme iron from animal products. In fact, studies show that consuming phytate inhibitors like those found in beans and some legumes, as well as coffee and tea with meals can decrease iron absorption.
Fortunately, ascorbic acid (found in citrus fruits, peppers, tomatoes and some vegetables) enhances nonheme iron absorption. Additionally, avoiding caffeine at mealtimes can help increase iron absorption. If you’re not able to meet your iron needs through diet alone, try taking an iron supplement that is specifically designed for vegetarians.
Vitamin D, the sunshine vitamin, is mainly found in animal products, but it can also be obtained through plant-based foods. It’s important to make sure to get enough sun to ensure your body produces the proper amounts of vitamin D, as deficiency can lead to neurological problems and pernicious anemia. It’s a good idea to take a multivitamin that contains vitamin D or a vegan-friendly vitamin D supplement like MyVegan’s D3 capsules.
Another supplement that vegetarians may want to consider is omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential for brain health and heart disease prevention. They’re mainly found in fatty fish and can be obtained through canola oil, walnuts, ground flaxseed, and soybeans.
It’s also recommended that vegetarians take a vitamin K supplement to promote normal blood clotting. This nutrient is usually found in meat, dairy, and eggs, but those who choose to be vegetarian should consider taking a vitamin K2 supplement since it can be found in fermented soy products such as tempeh and tofu. These plant-based sources of vitamin K2 are easier to digest than the coagulation-promoting forms of vitamin K that are found in meat, cheese, and dairy.
Vitamin B12 is a key part of the nervous system and helps make healthy blood cells. It is found naturally in animal products but is fortified in some plant foods like milk and breakfast cereals. Those who choose to be vegan or have a strict vegetarian diet may not get enough of this vitamin through food and should consider taking a supplement. This is particularly important during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Vitamin B12 deficiency can cause anemia and other health problems.
Iron is a mineral that is crucial for making healthy red blood cells and transporting oxygen throughout the body. This can be found in many plant foods including dried beans and peas, lentils, enriched cereals, dark leafy vegetables and whole grains. To increase your absorption of iron, eat it at the same time as foods rich in vitamin C which include peppers, strawberries and citrus fruits.
This micronutrient test checks for vitamin B12, D, E, Magnesium, Copper, Selenium & Zinc. Order today to find out if you are deficient in any of these essential nutrients!
Selenium is an essential mineral that acts as an antioxidant and supports immune function. It also helps prevent the oxidation of fats and proteins. It can be found in meat, fish, dairy, and plant-based foods like Brazil nuts, whole grains, and beans. The best way to get enough selenium is through a healthy diet. But if your diet isn’t meeting the recommended intake, supplements may be needed to avoid deficiency.
You can check your selenium levels with BetterYou’s health test kits. If you’re concerned about your selenium intake, speak to a healthcare professional for advice. Deficiency is usually diagnosed with a blood test, although hair or nail samples can be taken to give a more accurate picture of long-term selenium status. If you have a low level of selenium, your healthcare provider may recommend sodium selenite or l-selenomethionine supplements.
The good news is that most people, even those who live in areas with low soil selenium, consume adequate amounts of the mineral. That’s thanks to the food supply and the fact that a vegetarian diet is a great source of selenium.
While many people eat a plant-based diet, there are many different types of vegetarianism. For example, a vegan diet excludes all food containing meat, fish or poultry as well as any products made with gelatine, animal rennet, insects or animal fats. While a vegan diet may seem restrictive, it can actually be quite healthy as it encourages more fresh fruit and vegetables to be eaten.
However, if someone chooses to be a lacto-ovo-vegetarian they may include eggs and dairy in their diet. For this reason, it can be difficult for some people to get the recommended amount of vitamins in their diet.
This is where supplements can come in handy. It is recommended that vegetarians take a multivitamin to ensure they get all the essential vitamins they need, especially when their diet doesn’t contain a lot of fortified foods. Alternatively, they can take specific vitamins and minerals that they know they are lacking in such as magnesium or Vitamin D. Vitamin C is found in a wide range of healthy foods such as peppers, berries and kiwis. Vitamin C also helps absorb iron by combining with foods rich in this mineral such as kale, broccoli and oranges.
A vegetarian diet is a great way to meet your body’s vitamin and mineral needs, especially if you pile your plate with leafy greens. However, some people who eat vegetarian may not be getting the minerals they need, which is why mineral supplements are important.
Magnesium is one of the most important minerals for a healthy life. This do-it-all nutrient is essential for many bodily functions, including heart health, bone formation, and metabolic regulation. It also plays a role in preventing high blood pressure and helps with sleep and stress.
Vegetarians who have low magnesium levels can experience issues like fatigue, depression, and heart palpitations. A supplement is an easy and safe way to boost your levels.
Another supplement that’s helpful for vegetarians is calcium. This mineral is crucial for healthy bones and helps prevent osteoporosis. Our BetterYou magnesium and calcium lotion includes these two minerals together to promote optimal absorption. Our product also contains turmeric to help reduce inflammation and support immune function. This formula can be applied topically or swallowed as a capsule.
Calcium is the main mineral that supports healthy bones and teeth. It’s commonly associated with milk and dairy products but can also be found in dark leafy vegetables (especially turnip greens and kale), calcium-fortified plant-based drinks and yoghurts, sesame seeds and tahini, wholemeal bread and chia seeds.
Iron is a crucial mineral that helps red blood cells carry oxygen to the body’s tissues. A deficiency can cause iron deficiency anaemia which can make people feel tired, weak and dizzy. It’s important that vegetarians have enough iron in their diet and a blood test will show whether they are getting enough.
Selenium is a trace mineral that’s found in organ and muscle meat, as well as eggs and dairy. It’s a vital supplement for vegetarians to ensure they have the correct levels in their bodies because a deficiency can make them feel fatigued and can weaken their immune system.
As a superfood, turmeric has been linked to reducing inflammation in the body. It is also believed to prevent cancer cells from forming and spreading, though this is still early lab research and needs further study. A recent study found that curcumin—the active ingredient in turmeric—could reduce gastrointestinal tract polyps, lower cholesterol and protect against bacterial infections.
Vitamin B12 is another nutrient that can be hard to get enough of on a vegetarian diet, as it is only found in meat, fish and dairy. Fortunately, there are now fortified veggie-based foods that can help you meet your recommended intake.
Zinc is another mineral that can be hard to get enough of on the vegetarian diet, as it is only found in animal products. However, many plant-based foods do contain zinc, such as legumes, nuts and leafy greens. A dietary supplement is an easy way to ensure that you are getting the right amount of this nutrient. Zinc helps support immune function and cell metabolism, as well as normal blood clotting.