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5 Essential Nutrients That Every Vegetarian Should Know
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5 Essential Nutrients That Every Vegetarian Should Know

For many people the mere mention of a vegetarian or vegan diet elicits all kinds of questions about how someone can...

5 Essential Nutrients That Every Vegetarian Should Know

For many people the mere mention of a vegetarian or vegan diet elicits all kinds of questions about how someone can get adequate nutrition without eating meat. The answer is: Pretty easily, and often in healthier ways than many who follow meat-based or omnivore diets. You just have to get informed about what nutrients you need and which vegetarian foods you can get them from.

 

1. Vitamin B12

Why: According to Dr. David L. Katz of Yale University, B12 is a very important nutrient that doesn’t get the attention it deserves. We need B12 for making red blood cells, maintaining nerve cell function and replicating DNA.

Where to get it: Eggs and dairy products, or fortified foods like cereals, breads and soya milk.

 

2. Protein

Why: Necessary for building and repairing cells and body tissue, protein is found in all foods to some degree.

Where to get it: Nuts, seeds, beans, grains, soya products, peas, spinach and dairy products.

 

 

3. Omega-3 fatty acids

Why: Omega-3s are key in brain and eye development and for maintaining a healthy heart.

Where to get it: Flax seed, walnuts, soya products, canola oil, fortified foods, algae-based supplements.

 

4. Vitamin D

Why: Vitamin D is necessary for absorbing calcium and phosphorus for healthy bones.

Where to get it: Sunlight, eggs and fortified cereals, spreads, dairy and soya products.

 

5. Iron

Why: Essential for making haemoglobin, which carries oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body. According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the absorption of iron from plant sources is significantly aided by eating them together with foods rich in vitamin C.

Where to get it: Dark leafy greens like spinach, Swiss chard, kale and broccoli, as well as eggs, peanut butter, beans, enriched grains, soya beans.

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