Nutrition Concerns for Vegetarians and How to Overcome Them
A vegetarian lifestyle can be healthy and beneficial for your body. However, you may also suffer from certain nutritional deficiencies if you don’t pay attention to your diet. Here are some concerns vegetarians may have and how they can solve them.
Not Enough Protein
One of the main concerns for vegetarians and vegans is they may not get enough protein without eating meat or dairy. However, this issue can easily be resolved by eating beans and nuts. Peanut butter is high in protein. Vegetarians can also eat eggs and milk products to get sufficient amounts of protein in their diet. Almond milk contains protein for the vegan.
Lack of Vitamin B12
While vegetarians should be aware of getting enough vitamin B in their diet, it is vitamin B12 which causes the most concern. A deficiency can lead to anemia, which can cause permanent damage to the nervous system.
For the vegetarian, the best sources of B12 are cottage cheese and blue cheese. If they avoid red meat only and eat fish, they can also get it in salmon and trout. The vegan may need to take a B12 supplement to ensure they get the nutrition they need.
Lack of Vitamin D
This vitamin is found in certain animal fats, such as fish, eggs and some dairy products. If you still eat fish and dairy as a vegetarian, you can get the amount you need through eggs, salmon and other foods. However, vegans will need to find other sources. Mushrooms contain vitamin D, while fortified cereals are another option.
It’s important to be aware of the nutrients normally found in animal products that may be missing from a vegetarian’s diet. While you can take a daily supplement to help provide the necessary nutrients, it’s still better to obtain as much as possible from natural sources.
Vegetarians need a well-balanced diet that contains a variety of foods to ensure they are getting the right nutrition. Add as many natural sources of vitamins and minerals to your diet as you can to ensure you are healthy.