While eating a healthy and well-balanced diet can avoid you from having to take too many vitamins and supplements, sometimes they’re a nice safety! It’s easy to miss a main food category every once in awhile. Life can get hectic but that doesn’t mean your body should suffer. It’s extremely important for people with strict diets, such as vegetarians, to note what nutrients their bodies need in order to remain strong and healthy. Vegetarians, especially vegans, need to pay special attention when it comes to protein, iron, calcium, vitamin D, vitamin B12, and omega-3 fatty acids.
It’s important to note that taking a supplement for one of these vitamins doesn’t mean that you can nix it from your real food diet. It’s a team effort! However, if you feel weak, sluggish, and your body seems to be craving some nutrients – it can most likely be fixed with the help of some of these supplements! Take a look!
Protein is needed for our muscles to grow. We can’t deny it, we need it! It is also a macronutrient that most vegetarians are good at slacking at! Adding some protein powder into your drinks and liquid-based foods is an easy fix for that! Pour a scoop into your smoothie, mix it into your oatmeal, sip it in your almond milk – whatever it takes!
The Benefits of Protein Powder Include…
- Grow strong and healthy muscles
- Increase lean muscle mass
- Encourage fat loss
- Increase satiety of foods
- Helps deliver essential nutrients
- Increase metabolism rates
Iron is a mineral that carries oxygen in our red blood cells and transmits nerve impulses. Not having enough iron, or suffering from anemia, can be a serious issue and it is very common for vegetarians to suffer from this! All of our cells contain some iron, but most of the iron within us exists in our red blood cells. These red blood cells are responsible for transporting oxygen from our lungs to our organs and tissues. Iron plays a massive role in our energy levels. Iron creates energy from nutrients. Also, iron is a contributor to the transmission of our nerve impulses. Nerve impulses are the signals that coordinate the actions of the different parts of our bodies. Unlike most vitamins and supplements, iron never goes to waste. If you have more iron than your body needs at the time, your body will store it for future use.
The Benefits of Iron Include…
- Avoid dangerous symptoms of iron deficiencies
- Promotes higher energy levels
- Increases athletic performance
- Healthy pregnancy
Calcium can be found in dairy products such as milk, yogurt, cheese, etc. – so vegetarians may not be lacking in this department, but vegans commonly will be. Calcium is the most important nutrient for our bodies when it comes to bone health. Everyone needs healthy bones! Bones are living tissue and in a constant state of changing, they need to be cared for properly. Building and maintaining strong bones is easy if you know what you’re doing and vitamins can really simplify your life. Keep your body full of calcium and it will take calcium from your bones to keep your blood calcium levels normal and healthy!
The Benefits of Calcium Include…
- Building and maintaining strong bones
- Helping heart, muscles, and nerves function properly
- Protecting against cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure
Vitamin D is a hormone that is made naturally in the body, however it is very easy to have a vitamin D deficiency. It is a fat soluble hormone that our bodies synthesize naturally and there are two different types of it – vitamin D2 and vitamin D3. Vitamin D2 is synthesized by plants while vitamin D3 is synthesized by humans when our skin is exposed to UV rays from sunlight. Vitamin D is found in many foods, but vegetarians may struggle if they’re not good about eating their vegetables! This is where supplements save the day.
- The Benefits of Vitamin D include…
- Increasing energy levels and overall well being
- Maintaining health of bones and teeth
- Supporting immune system health
- Supporting brain and nervous system health
- Regulating insulin levels
- Supporting lung and cardiovascular health
Vitamin B12 is an water soluble vitamin that can be found naturally in some foods and it is also commonly added to foods. It is necessary for the functioning of many crucial body processes and is responsible for proper red blood cell formation, brain function, nerve function, DNA synthesis, and more. Deficiencies in vitamin B12 are extremely common due to the fact that the vitamin can be difficult to absorb and when it comes to vegetarians, the battle is even harder. Aside from meat, vitamin b12 can be found in cow’s milk and eggs. If you don’t frequent either of these foods or they’re still not doing the trick, try taking a supplement!
The Benefits of Vitamin B12 include…
- Boosting energy
- Decreasing fatigue
- Promoting a healthy nervous system
- Reducing symptoms associated with depression, stress, and brain shrinkage
- Promoting healthy digestive system
- Protecting against heart disease
- Improving cholesterol levels
- Protecting against high blood pressure
- Essential for healthy hair, skin, and nails
- Aids in cell reproduction
- Protecting against cancers such as lung, colon, breast, and prostate
Omega-3 Fatty Acids:
Omega-3’s are essential fatty acids. “Essential” means that we need to get these fats from our diet since our bodies cannot produce them on their own. For vegetarians, omega-3 can be found in foods such as eggs, fatty fish, walnuts, chia seeds, tofu, flaxseeds, and more. Since everyone eats differently, it’s easy to be lacking in one of these departments. Try taking an omega-3 supplement!
The Benefits of Omega-3 Fatty Acids include…
- Speeding up muscle recovery
- Helping to recover from muscle inflammation
- Improving ADHD
- Treating Anxiety
- Treating Arthritis
- Reducing Alzheimer’s Disease risk
- Cancer prevention
- Improving Depression
- Aiding with Diabetes
- Improving eye disorders
- Preventing and treating Cardiovascular Disease
- Drastically boosting immune system
- Reducing inflammation
- Thickening hair
- Improving joint pain
- Promoting glowing skin
- Aiding in pregnancy and fertility
- Promoting weight loss