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7 Supplement a Vegetarian Should Take

People switch to a vegetarian diet for a number of reasons, often times because it can provide healthier vegetarian benefits than a diet that includes meat. However, a vegetarian diet can be even more unhealthy if you don't focus on the proper nutrient intake, especially in what you may be lacking as a vegetarian who does not eat animal sources. A vegetarian faces a number of health risks without a balanced diet, leaving you as a vegetarian open for mineral and vitamin deficiencies that may be lacking from poultry, meat, and fish.

How to balance your diet as a vegetarian:

If you are a vegetarian, it is highly important to take specialized vegetarian supplements. You may do well to take a complete multivitamin, but you do need to examine your vegetarian diet carefully to determine if you need additional protein intake, specific vegetarian vitamin supplements, or even specialized minerals that you may be missing.

To begin, here are the top 7 choices in vegetarian supplements to enhance a vegetarian diet:

1.       Vitamin B12. Vitamin B12 is commonly found within many animal products, and it is necessary for the function of the central nervous system as a vegetarian. This vitamin for a vegetarian will provide a boost in healthy red blood cells, and it also prevents damage from stress on the body. A normal diet can intake vitamin B12 from a number of meat sources, but a vegetarian needs to be vigilant to prevent a vitamin B12 deficiency. This is especially important if you are a vegetarian that is pregnant or nursing, so that both you and your baby have adequate levels of vitamin B12.

2.       Calcium. Since a vegetarian may avoid animal byproducts, potentially including milk and dairy products, calcium is a necessary supplement. Certain vegetables contain high levels of calcium, but calcium is essential for healthy bone development to prevent osteoporosis. Within a vegetarian diet, make sure that you have a calcium supplement and also use a fortified source of soy milk. It is in addition a great idea to drink calcium enriched products, like orange juice, if you are avoiding dairy products as a vegetarian.

3.       Iron. Often times, a vegetarian diet can have a lack of iron, which is found in a diet rich in meat. However, iron can be found within a number of vegetable sources in a vegetarian diet, as well as in a supplement. Focus on a diet rich in dried fruits, beans, and lentils for sources of iron, as well as an iron supplement designed for a vegetarian.

4.       Protein. Protein should be a common concern for a vegetarian, especially if meat is not consumed within the diet. There are a number of protein sources for a vegetarian, but taking a protein supplement, such as soy or hemp, will provide the perfect protein alternative to balance protein levels in the body and protect your health.

5.       Zinc. Zinc is a mineral necessary to the function of the body, and it promotes a healthy immune system within a vegetarian. If you are on a vegetarian diet, look for zinc in your food sources, like beans, pumpkin seeds, and wheat germ, but in addition, choose a zinc vegetarian supplement. This is your opportunity to prevent any type of mineral deficiency, especially as a vegetarian. If you are a vegetarian who is also an athlete, make sure that you are vigilant about your zinc intake, since this is a mineral that can often be depleted through strenuous exercise.

6.       Vitamin C. Luckily, vitamin C for vegetarians is found in a number of fruits and vegetables, but if you are not getting an adequate fruit and vegetable intake, you may need to take a vitamin C supplement. Vitamin C can promote wound healing and recovery within the body, so it can help to take a vitamin C supplement to balance your diet and make sure that all of your cells are protected from disease and damage

7.       Vitamin D. Vitamin D for a vegetarian goes hand-in-hand with calcium since vitamin D is necessary to promote calcium absorption. If you are a vegetarian that still drinks milk, look for milk that is fortified with vitamin D to promote calcium absorption. If you are avoiding dairy products as a vegetarian, take a supplement that contains both vitamin D and calcium to promote calcium absorption within the body. Vitamin D can also come from outside sun exposure at 15 minutes per day.

A vegetarian can still be healthy!

Anyone who is under the impression that a vegetarian has an unhealthy diet is sorely mistaken if it is coupled with a number of healthy vegetarian supplements. This is beneficial to the vegetarian lifestyle to prevent any type of mineral or vitamin deficiencies. As a general rule of thumb, make sure to limit the amount of fatty foods and sweets that you intake within your vegetarian diet. It is also important to include whole grains, fruits, and vegetables within your vegetarian diet for balance. Often times, eating a balanced diet can give you ample amounts of vitamins and minerals, meaning that you will only need to rely upon a vegetarian protein and iron supplement to give you the nutrition that your body craves.

Choose low-fat alternatives.

If you are a vegetarian that only intakes milk and dairy products, it is still important to be as healthy as possible. To regulate your weight as a vegetarian, look for low-fat and fat-free dairy choices, which will prevent an excess calorie intake that can cause weight gain. Eggs are another food that contain high cholesterol, so it is important to monitor your intake. That being said, if you are looking for vegetarian protein, it is a great idea to choose a vegetarian egg protein that can substituted for actual eggs. This will provide the same amount of protein to the body, without the additional calories or cholesterol from eggs. On top of that, it is completely safe for a vegetarian!

As a vegetarian, it is important to take your health and diet seriously through premium supplementation. As we mentioned above, there is no reason for a vegetarian not to have a healthy diet, even though you are abstaining from meat. It is important to assess your dietary and lifestyle needs based on your existing nutrition and exercise program to allow you to best choose a supplement that is customized to your vegetarian lifestyle. From there, you can prevent any vitamin and mineral deficiencies through a custom supplement that is perfect for a healthy vegetarian lifestyle!

  • For a complete protein, try North Coast Naturals Veganique.
  • For a premium source of vitamin B12, try Now B12.
  • For an iron supplement, check out Nu-Life Opti-Iron.