what supplements if any should i take if i become a vegetarian?
Topic: what supplements if any should i take if i become a vegetarian?
November 13, 2019 / By Rehoboam Question:
Ive been leaning towards being a vegetarian for a long time because growing up ive always been a picky eater and very finicky when it came to eating meat, but i still ate some meat like fish and turkey but that was about it, so now i want to try and eliminate it all. My only concerns are what supplements if any should i take. proteins? vitamins(i already take a one a day multivitamin)? any info/help would be very appreciated
Best Answers: what supplements if any should i take if i become a vegetarian?
Meade | 10 days ago
Well, here's a list of all the vitamins & minerals you should keep an eye on if you decide to go vegetarian, and what they do for your body. These are items that are frequently found in meat, but since you'll be giving up meat and fish, you'll need to eat other items to make sure you're still getting all the nutrients you need. =)
Zinc. You need zinc to keep your immune system in optimal shape, heal wounds and metabolize carbs, proteins and fats. Vegetarian sources include legumes (beans and lentils), whole grains, nuts, seeds, soy, dairy, and fortified foods. Try Vegetarian Chili for a super-easy (microwave!) way to pull together a meal rich in zinc-containing foods.
Iron. This mineral is required for blood cell formation and oxygen transport throughout the body. Not getting enough can leave you weak, pale, and easily tired. Vegetarian sources include fortified cereals and grain foods, legumes, soy, dried fruit, and green leafy vegetables like kale and spinach. This Lentil Spinach Soup would be a great pick because it contains both lentils and spinach. (Omit the chicken, obviously, to keep it vegetarian!)
Vitamin B12. This vitamin is required for normal metabolism of lipids, protein and fats, as well as for production of the myelin sheath that covers nerves. Besides meat, the only good sources of naturally occuring B12 are dairy and eggs. Vegans should take a supplement or use fortified foods like soymilk. A Breakfast Burrito or Garden Omelet (both of which have eggs and cheese) would help you get B12, and both take less than 10 minutes to make. Bear in mind though, that 91% of the B12 in eggs is in the yolk, so use whole eggs instead of whites.
Vitamin D. Recently, all sorts of data have come out indicating that this vitamin is implicated in preventing chronic diseases from cancer to cardiovascular disease. Vitamin D is also needed for bone health, regulation of the inflammatory response, and absorption of dietary calcium. You may know that you can synthesize vitamin D in your skin with exposure to sunlight. You can also get D from a vegetarian diet by choosing milk and dairy foods fortified with vitamin D. In light the of recent research though, it appears that higher levels of vitamin D than the RDA are beneficial, so this one instance in which I recommend taking a supplement of 400-1000 IU.
Vitamin B2 (riboflavin). Like other B vitamins, riboflavin in involved in the reactions necessary to utilize carbohydrates, fat, and protiens for energy. Good sources include mushrooms, spinach, romaine, broccoli, eggs, soy and dairy foods. Why not throw together a vegetable-rich stir fry with tofu or tempeh on a weeknight? You’d get lots of different B12 sources there from the vegetables and the soy.
Calcium. This mineral is needed for bone growth and maintenace, as well as maintaining normal blood pressure, nerve transmission, blood clotting, and muscle contraction. Choosing 3 dairy foods a day will provide enough calcium for an average adult, or you can substitute non-dairy equivalents like soymilk, soy yogurt. (But check that nondairy foods have added calcium, because some don’t.) Some quick ideas for meeting calcium needs include smoothies, yogurt with nuts, fruit or flaxseeds stirred in, or a dairy dessert like Riccotta Cream or instant pudding. You can also use milk in tomato soup to bump up the nutrient content of an instant meal, like this Creamy Tomato Soup.
Protein. Our body nerves, tissues, bones all are made up of proteins. So proteins become very necessary for them to grow and repair. Another function of protein is that it produces antibodies which fight with the bacteria, viruses, toxins and many foreign substances that are harmful for the body. Moreover when you are injected by cold, flu etc. it helps in the cellular healing process. The best sources of protein are chick peas, baked beans, tofu, cow's milk, lentils, soya milk, museli, boiled eggs, peanuts, bread, and hard cheese.
Omega 3 fatty acids. There are many functions of omega 3, some of which are: increasing energy and performance, easing PMS, lowering risk for cardiovascular disease, aiding in weight reduction, strengthening the immune system, regulating organs and glands, speeding up the healing process, improving digesting and lessening the chance of infection. Omega 3 fatty acids can be obtained by eating flaxseed, omega-3 fortified eggs, omega-3 fortified butter, omega-3 fortified cheese, walnuts, various leafy greens, and flaxseed oils.
Lastly, remember, there's an alternative for EVERYTHING. Like if you're a past turkey-lover (like many vegetarians or vegans on here used to be), there's things to substitute turkey for, like eating "tofurkey" instead. Maybe just keep some on hand if one day you're having a ___(insert meat name here)____ craving, but you don't want to go out and indulge in that meat because of animal cruelty. Things like tofurkey can save you while you're still getting used to vegetarianism.
Oh, one more thing. You DON'T NEED to take a multivitamin if you're vegetarian. That's just a rumor. You can do it without multivitamins and be perfectly healthy. However, you DO need to make sure you're still getting the proper nutrients if you're not taking a multivitamin, more so than if you WERE taking a multivitamin. If you don't have enough food (non-meat) alternatives for a certain nutrient or vitamin (like iron), maybe a multivitamin WOULD benefit you, atleast until you have a dietary "plan" of sorts worked out for you, like buying more spinach (loaded with iron) instead of normal lettuce for your salads. Either way, a multivitamin wouldn't HURT, but you don't NEED one.
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Originally Answered: What supplements and or vitamins would be good to take, now that I have began a vegetarian diet?
If you do your research and eat a healthy vegetarian diet the only thing you may be missing is vitamin B12, available only from meats, cheese, eggs, milk and tofu. B12 is required for digestion, absorption of foods, protein synthesis. Also prevents nerve damage, maintains fertility and promotes normal growth and development.
Be sure to mix protein sources to make sure you get all the essential amino acids: arginine, histidine, isoleucine, lysine, tryptophan and others - that the body cannot manufacture. You get complete proteins by combining Beans with any of these:
Or by combining Brown Rice with these:
Learn to read the labels. There's much to be learned from them. For instance, that there is more nutrition in black and red beans than in pintos. And Amaranth grain is a powerhouse of iron. Here's a handy place to look things up on the web: http://www.ars.usda.gov/Services/docs.ht...
N.K.- fish oil isn't vegetarian.
If you're a lacto-ovo vegetarian, you don't really need supplements if you eat a balanced diet- fruits, veggies, whole grains, dairy, nuts, seeds, some soy/fake meat products, and some eggs.
You can get B12 from dairy and eggs- all other nutrients are available from plant sources.
A mistake many female veg*ns make is not eating lots of iron-rich foods. These include jasmine rice, oatmeal, beans and lentils, blackstrap molasses, bran products (bran flakes, muffins, etc) dark leafy greens (like spinach and collard greens), quinoa, tofu, or certain fake meat products. When you're
There are a ton of veg*n sources of iron that I actually enjoy eating, but since the average American (around here) eats mostly animal products, refined grains, and some fruits, not many non-meat iron sources exist in the SAD, so many people aren't familiar with these foods.
Bottom line: if you eat a balanced lacto-vegetarian diet, nothing is a worry :) No supplements needed.
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Animal-free proteins are the following:
Grains: Legumes: Seeds & Nuts: Vegetables:
Barley Beans Sesame Seeds Leafy Greens
Corn Meal Lentils Sunflower Seeds Broccoli
Oats Peas Walnuts
Rice Peanuts Cashews
Pasta Soy Products Other Nuts
Whole Grain Breads...and one they forgot is Quinoa
Personally, I take a liquid multi-vitamin that includes probiotics, trace minerals and such. In addition, I also get my B-12 levels tested when I go for my annual blood test. I just ask the doctor to add it to my panel when they are testing for cholesterol, blood-sugar levels, etc.
Also, most people's protein intake is higher than it needs to be. Here's how to calculate according to about.com: How to Calculate Your Protein Needs:
1. Weight in pounds divided by 2.2 = weight in kg
2. Weight in kg x 0.8-1.8 gm/kg = protein gm.
Use a lower number if you are in good health and are sedentary (i.e., 0.8). Use a higher number (between 1 and 1.8) if you are under stress, are pregnant, are recovering from an illness, or if you are involved in consistent and intense weight or endurance training.
If you use their link "recommended daily amount" on page two, there is a chart that shows how many grams of protein you need daily depending if you are male, female, pregnant, a certain age and so on.
I hope that helps. Good luck. :-)
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You will get plenty of protein do not worry.
Your only real concern might be vitamin b12, but if you eat dairy, eggs, etc... this will probably not be a problem.
Natural vegetarian sources of b12 are here:
A lot of iron comes from plants and a strongly advise against supplementing as too much iron in the blood is suspected to cause more free radical damage and accelerate aging. Natural food sources are the best, here is a list of foods packed in iron, most of which are vegetarian:
Really, that is it! You do not need to supplement. For your health, try eat whole grains, a balanced diet, and stay away from commercial vegetarian foods.
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this obsession with vitamins and supplements is created by pharmacists, you can get every vitamin you need even if you don't eat meat.
about b12 - organism is storing it, if a person wouldn't get it at all, he'd run out of it only after a few years. some say b12 is in carrots, some name other vegetables, it's proved that b12 is in water (but only natural, not the one you get from stores or taps) etc. you don't need to take any pills to get it.
so don't take any supplements, and you can even get rid of the multivitamin, because you really don't get any significant amount of vitamins from meat. compared to vegetables and fruits, meat has almost none vitamins in it.
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im with nk, good answer, simple and correct too
despite what others may tell you or beleive, suppliments may be necesary to YOU , they may not be necesary for THEM, but your body is not the same as theirs
you just learn what YOUR body needs
some need more iron, some dont, some need more b vitamins, soem dont
it all depends on how your own body absorbs, uses and how much it needs and how much it gets
IF you begin to notice any problems look into what it is, a multi vitamin is probably a good place to start with replacing what your not getting, but dont suppliment things your not sure about tilll you know you actually need them
fish oils are necesary if your not eating any fish, as we dont get them anywhere else, so taking flaxseed oil suppliment (the veggie version) is soemthing you should consider as we need that for a number of things, healthy brain, skin, joints etc
as a lacto ovo with a balanced diet i can say with expereince, i still had things to 'worry about' with this issue and since i began supplimenting those things, i dont worry about them so much now
as i said its about YOUR body, not other peoples, what YOU need, not what they, i or anyone else needs
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The only supplement you need is B12.. preferably a chew-able tablet or one that's dissolved under your tongue. Also taking some flaxseeds wouldn't hurt either to get Omega 6. There's been a lot of studies that that prove that taking a multi-vitamin everyday does nothing in the long run to protect yourself against diseases.
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Well, if you still eat dairy and eggs you probably have less to worry about.
If you are a vegan vitamin D and b12 are two.
B12 is stored in the liver, it's estimated the liver can store about three years worth, while re-absorption from bile can supply an additional 17years, b12 deficiencies can cause irreversible neurological damage but as said, it would take three years before your body begins to show signs of deficiency, three symptoms are anemia, fatigue, and loss of appetite, things you commonly see complaints about on this board after a few years of a vegan diet.
Don't believe the propaganda about it being sufficient in non-animal sources in their natural forms (fortified foods can be substituted for meat as a source, but however is not a natural form of a food), this is from a vegetarian website "The current nutritional consensus is that no plant foods can be relied on as a safe source of vitamin B12." (http://www.vegsoc.org/info/b12.html). What was once thought of as plant sources of b12 have proven to be b12 analogs, something similar in molecular structure but indistinguishable with b12 using older lab detection equipment but competes with b12 in your body when eaten and worsens b12 deficiency (http://www.vegsoc.org/info/b12.html).
B12 is found in bacteria, true. But the bacteria lives in a small section of the gut and is found in feces. The reason why it's not deficient in third world country vegetarians is because they fertilize with manure, hence it being found in soil, and don't wash their food as well as we do. Herbivorous animals can extract it from their gut via their rumens, which you don't have being an omnivorous animal or by via their hindgut but you would need a cecum which you also don't have being an omnivorous animal (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vitamin_B12...
Vitamin D is another, the human body needs 500 iu of vitamin D a day, mushrooms, the only vegan source of vitamin D in its natural state contains 14 IU per 100g, thus it would take 7.9lbs of mushrooms daily to satisfy your needs. Deficiencies have been linked to Alzheimer's and parkinson's disease, weakened immune systems, etc (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vitamin_d#Health_effects)
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None, really. Especially if you're vegetarian and not a vegan, i.e. if you keep eating dairy and eggs. I've been vegetarian, nearly a vegan for more than 5.5 years and I'm safe and sound, no supplements and other artificial stuff is needed. : ) Congrats if you do become a veg.
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Originally Answered: Vegetarian diet? how to become vegetarian?
to be a vegetarian its a good idea to plan what you are going to eat. if you are going to be a vegetarian you need to eat something with protein in it. try eating chia seeds on your food. you can get them at health food stores or online. i have to warn you they are a little expensive but its worth every penny. they have lots of protein and fiber in them and you can put them on almost anything
if you are going to eat eggs you can eat them in salads and for breakfast. i don't recommend it though. chickens are the most abused animals on earth. also, you should try to include fruits and vegetables in most of your meals like with breakfast: for grains eat whole grain toast. for fruit you can eat any kind of fruit you want. for vegetables you can eat as a snack afterward
if you want to become a vegan when you master the whole vegetarian thing you can make tofu scrambled eggs. im not sure how to make it though. what has lots of protein is nuts, seeds, legumes, and peanut butter. if you still need help you can go to happycow.net. theres a chat room you can go to. the people are really nice and its the safest chat room you can go to. tell them that vegetarian13 told you about it
if you are looking for ideas on a meal, here are some ideas:
spaghetti with meatballs made out of red kidney beans (spaghetti has lots of protein in it)
white rice with black eyed peas
portobello mushrooms, sauteed with BBQ seasoning on them and vegetables and a baked potatoe (the mushroom tastes like steak if you don't like mushrooms)
spanish rice and bean and cheese burrito
you can look up vegetarian recipies online and get lots of easy recipies. another idea is to go to wal mart and get the frozen meals. watch out for lard though. its in some refried beans. its not vegetarian