SUPPLEMENTS FOR VEGETARIANS
Vegetarians enjoy a rich diet in plant based foods, which means they are void of animal based protein and fats. Although this is not a bad thing, it can cause some nutritional imbalances.
Most of us get our b-vitamins, iron, folic acid and of course essential amino acids from animal meat and poultry. So a diet void of animal based foods is often lacking those nutrients.
Does this mean you should chew on steak once in awhile? No! It means you should consider using a few supplements to ensure you are getting the right nutrients into your body. This is especially important if you are weight training or exercising as we deplete vitamins and minerals when we exercise. Also, our muscles need protein and amino acids to recover and grow. Thus it’s super important to ensure you are getting enough protein!
6 MUST HAVE SUPPLEMENTS FOR VEGETARIANS
Here are 6 supplements that I would recommend for all vegetarians!
Essential Amino Acids:
Essential Amino Acids (EAAs) are a group of 9 amino acids that can only be ingested from diet. They are the most important to muscle growth, tissue repair and recovery. EAAs can help you maintain muscle mass especially in times of high endurance activities. Most vegetarians unfortunately have a difficult time getting enough protein, thus it’s a good idea to invest in EAAs. I would suggest taking these during workouts.
Vegan, Pea, Rice or Hemp based protein supplement:
As mentioned above, most vegetarians have a difficult time getting enough protein so it’s a good idea to invest in a a vegan or plant based protein supplement. It’s one of the easiest way to get protein in! It’s also super important for recovery after workouts as protein help rebuild lean tissue. Some brands include Bodylogix, Vega, and Kaizen Naturals. Looking for more info on how to choose the right protein powder? Make sure to read my post here!
B vitamins/ B Complex / B12:
Because vegetarians don’t consume meat they often fall short of the vitamins and minerals in red meat. This includes B-vitamins. B-vitamins are important for energy production and cell metabolism. I would recommend taking some additional B-vitamins. Speak to a Nathuropath or Registered Nutritionist on which type and brand is best suited for you!
According to the American Heart Association, “Vegetarians may have a greater risk of iron deficiency than non vegetarians. The richest sources of iron are red meat, liver and egg yolk …. However, dried beans, spinach, enriched products, brewer’s yeast and dried fruits are all good plant sources of iron.” Even with eating more plant foods, you may still be very iron deficient. I would suggest investing in sea veggies like Chlorella or Spirulina which have Iron or an actual Iron supplement.
Chlorella or Spirulina:
Both these algae have minerals and vitamins AND protein! Spirulina has a higher percentage of protein and iron than chlorella. It also has all essential amino acids, potassium, zinc, calcium, vitamins B1, B2, B3, B6 and B12. Either of these are good options to get in your vitamins and minerals. The added bonus: you can get your iron and b-vitamin simply by adding either of these super foods to your diet! You can buy these in powder or pill format… either way is good!
Bee pollen helps with muscle recovery and energy. It it full of antioxidants and contains all the nutrients that we need including folic acid, B-vitamins and free amino acids. It can improve digestive system, boost your immune systems and help support cardiovascular health. It’s a great addition to any diet but specially important for vegetarians!
The top 6 supplements can help you get the nutrients that you may lack as a vegetarian! I would also recommend checking out my 20 Foods Vegetarian Diet list and of course my vegetarian meal plan, which includes a meal chart and some awesome recipes!