A vegetarian diet can possibly cover all your dietary needs, given that the full ‘rainbow’ of vegetables is included in your diet, backed by sufficient amounts of plant-based proteins.
Although not everyone is able to include all the vegetarian sources in their meals for reasons like preference or allergies, even the thorough vegetarians can find it hard in getting enough of certain important nutrients. Especially the ones found to be commonly low in vegetarian foods like B12, Iron or Calcium.
Without a structured and well planned approach to protein and other nutrients, especially, vegetarian athletes can find themselves at a disadvantage. This is where choosing a high quality supplements can help make up for shortcomings in a typically vegetarian diet.
Read on for our top suggestions:
- Vegetarian Protein Powder
While on a vegetarian diet, getting enough protein to meet your day’s requirement may be challenging if you are not well prepared to provide your body with all the required essential amino acids. Not all plant-based proteins can provide you with complete proteins and that is where, especially, those who do heavy workouts or are athletes may find it tough to match up to their meat-eating counterparts. This can be tackled by incorporating complementary protein in diet.
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Lacto-vegetarians can easily include whey-based protein powder that also provides BCAA which works perfectly for those looking to build lean muscles, while vegans can opt for soy or hemp protein for a complete vegetarian protein.
Iron, one of the most important nutrients needed in the body for the most primary functions is found in both animals as well as plant based foods, however the form in which it is absorbed better (heme iron) is found in the animal foods (meats); while the non-heme iron, found in the plant based foods is not absorbed as easily; thus, putting vegetarians at risk for iron deficiency.
The plant based iron is better absorbed when combined with vitamin C from fruits and vegetables.
- B 12
If you are a lacto or ovo-vegetarian, you have a better chance at getting Vitamin B-12 through eggs and dairy. However, this might be a bit challenging for those with vegan choices. But even those who consume meat opt for B-12 supplementation due to its ability to boost red blood cell production, nerve functions.
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The main nutrient required to maintain healthy bones and efficient muscle functioning, nerve transmission, cardiovascular health- Calcium forms the vital part of the nutrient bank required by the body for smooth functioning. Although it can be found in in dark green leafy vegetables, a calcium supplement serves as a safe bet to ensure your daily calcium intake is taken care of, especially for vegans.
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