There are numerous reasons to travel without meat, but you will be deficient in a few essential nutrients. This is something you should bear in mind.
Most Americans don’t eat enough vegetables, so you’d think vegetarians and vegans (vegetarians who don’t eat animal foods) would be the healthiest people. Cutting down on meat can indeed lower your risk of heart disease. And eating a vegetarian diet can also lower your risk of diabetes, high vital signs, and even cancer.
However, research suggests that vegetarians are at risk of dietary inadequacies, particularly vitamin B12 deficiency. According to a study published in the journal Nutrients in 2016. “Vitamin B12 is vital for maintaining proper brain function and blood flow throughout our bodies and is found especially in animal products. So someone who follows a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle can develop a deficiency,” explains Amanda. Hostler, RD, a specialist in therapeutic nutrition.
At Abbott in Houston, TX. “Vitamin B12 deficiency [can manifest] due to the disease megaloblastic anemia, characterized by a coffee red blood cell count, with red blood cells larger than normal.” Fatigue, weakness, constipation, a desire to eat, and weight loss are some of the symptoms of anemia. Signs of vitamin B12 deficiency without anemia can include tingling in the hands and feet, depression, confusion, memory problems, and balance problems.
To make sure you’re getting enough B12, try nutritional yeast, fortified ready-to-eat cereals and soy milk, and (if you eat some animal products) dairy, eggs, fish, and shellfish. While whole foods are the simplest source, supplements can ensure adequate intake of two .4 micrograms per day, especially if you are vegan. Check out this guide on how to go vegan and get proper nutrition.
You may have heard that zinc is vital in preventing colds and, in fact, this mineral plays a role in regulating the body’s system. But it is often difficult to insist naturally if you are a vegetarian. “A deficit can emerge because zinc is available in small levels in plant-based meals and zinc absorption from plant-based foods is reduced,” says Erin Palinski-Wade, RD, author of Belly Fat Diet For Dummies. “A deficiency disease can cause an impaired system, slow wound healing, hair loss, diarrhea, and loss of appetite.”
Try foods like fortified breakfast cereal, pumpkin seeds, yogurt, cashews, and chickpeas. But keep in mind that you will still need a supplement or multivitamin to fuel your 8 mg (for women) or 11 mg (for men) daily dose.
And be careful, you don’t want to go overboard with zinc because too much of it can cause nausea and vomiting, so check with your doctor before starting. When choosing a zinc supplement, “look for brands that are USP certified to make sure the supplement meets standards for purity and potency,” says Palinski-Wade.
According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, iron is the most common nutritional deficiency and therefore the leading explanation for anemia in the United States.
The body absorbs two to 3 times more iron from animals than from plants, so vegetarians can have a difficult time getting the iron they have. “Iron plays a vital role in transporting oxygen through our blood to take care of our energy levels,” explains Hostler.
Fatigue, dizziness, headaches, pale skin, weakness, and strange cravings for items like ice and dirt are all signs of an iron deficiency. Vitamin C combined with sources of iron can help increase absorption. This is why Hostler recommends food options like bell pepper and bean salad, spinach salad with lemon vinaigrette, or berry-fortified cereal.
Beans, lentils, spinach, cashew-fortified cereal, and tofu are loaded with iron. As are these iron-rich foods that are great for vegetarians. You will also need an iron supplement after consulting with your doctor.
Omega-3 fatty acids
If you are a vegetarian but eat fish (specifically fatty fish like salmon, tuna, or trout), you should be good with omega-3s. But vegans need to be especially careful to urge enough. “Although seafood-free diets may also be lacking in omega-3 fatty acids, adding omega-3s like chia seeds, walnuts. And even seaweed is often a heartfelt thank you for increasing your intake,” says Palinski-Wade. Flaxseed and soybeans are other good options.
Among the many benefits of omega-3s is their important role in brain and eye function, their anti-inflammatory properties, and their ability to help lower cholesterol. To make sure you’re getting enough, consider an omega-3 supplement, says Palinski-Wade. “Look for high-quality sources that, if they come from shellfish, have had purities like mercury and PCBs removed,” she adds. “I personally recommend the Nordic Naturals line as a high-quality brand.”
Many Americans, especially in northern climates, are deficient in vitamin D during the winter. The simplest source of vitamin D is the sun, and Hostler says that just 10 to 15 minutes of sun exposure each day is enough to avoid a vitamin deficiency. “Vitamin D contributes to good bone health and stimulates the body’s system, so it is important to have an adequate intake,” she says.
Without it, you will also have weakened bones as a higher risk for depression and diabetes. The thing about counting on food for vitamin D is that “dietary vitamin D is provided in only a couple of food sources, mostly animal sources,” says Hostler.
Therefore, it is one of the vitamins for vegetarians that is even more difficult to consume. Try eggs, cheese, salmon, tuna, and cow’s milk; If you’re vegan, try fortified fruit juice, soy milk, cereals, and shiitake mushrooms. Supplements can help you get the recommended 600 IU per day (800 IU per day if you are over 70 years old). Make this vegan ramen recipe that boosts your vitamin D intake with mushrooms.
You probably know that calcium is important for building and maintaining strong bones. We generally consider dairy because they are the source of calcium, but there are others.
Plant-based calcium sources “are not absorbed into the body as well, which can cause a deficiency,” says Palinski-Wade. Over time, low calcium levels can increase the risk of weak bones and osteoporosis.
In addition to dairy, Hostler says that natural sources include cabbages, vegetables, kale, broccoli, and Chinese cabbage. As well as soybeans, chickpeas, black beans, and almonds. She will also try calcium-fortified milk, cereal, or vegetable juices. But, says Palinski-Wade, “a daily calcium supplement can be a good idea for all vegetarians and vegans. And particularly for women and young people. ” The recommended intake for adults is 1,000 mg per day, or 1,200 if you are a woman over 50 years of age. “Also, incorporating daily exercise with your own weight is often a helpful thanks to building bone strength,” she says.
We associate protein with meat, so it will seem that deficiencies among vegetarians are common. But in reality, you can easily get enough protein during a vegetarian diet. “Since plant-based protein sources are so abundant, a protein deficiency in those who follow a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle is rare,” says Hostler. “Plant-based protein sources typically contain more dietary fiber and less saturated fat compared to animal-based protein sources.
It is important to remember, however, that vegetarians and vegans may consume more protein than their meat-eating counterparts. Because plant-based protein has lower digestibility than animal protein. “Foods like bean burritos, tofu, vegetable stir-fry, and lentil chili are protein-packed options.
Legumes, whole grains, soybeans, nuts, and seeds, as well as dairy and eggs, are good options. And Palinski-Wade advises consuming a variety of sources to ensure Get all the essential amino acids that make up protein. (Consider including one of these vegan protein powders in your diet to make sure you’re getting all the protein you want.)
This B vitamin, also known as B2, helps convert food into energy. Which is why Palinski-Wade says a deficiency could lead to low energy, slow growth, and digestive problems. “Since this nutrient is found primarily in animal protein. You may not get enough of it every day,” especially for vegans, says Palinski-Wade.
If you don’t eat dairy, try plant-based sources like almonds, spinach, and mushrooms. Plus, “a daily B-complex vitamin can help fill in the gaps,” she says. But, ask your doctor to make sure you’d like it: B vitamins are water-soluble. So even if you only urinate more, it will cause your kidneys to calculate over time. “It is most beneficial to consume your vitamins and minerals through whole foods. Which give your body many diverse nutrients that are used together to have a greater effect on your health,” says Hostler.
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