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7 essential nutrients for a vegetarian diet

There are many concerns about whether a vegetarian diet provides the necessary nutrients for the body to be healthy enough. Many people think that nutrients from food are enough to provide vitamins and minerals for the body. Others encourage people to be vegetarian to reduce the risk of animal diseases. But in the end, the advice needs to be grounded and set in certain circumstances to be accurate.

Agri will show you 7 important nutrients you need to have while following a vegetarian or vegan diet.

1. Nutrients from Calcium

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Calcium is a nutrient that strengthens bones. It also plays an important role in muscle function, heart and nerve health. Plant sources of calcium come from varieties such as radishes, watercress, kale, green beans, fruit juices, milk, etc. However, studies by the National Institutes of Health agree that most people eat them. Vegetarians do not get enough calcium (1 Trusted Source, 2 Trusted Source).However, in the vegan community, there are quite special thoughts. They claim that vegetarians need less calcium than non-vegetarians. Because they don’t use calcium to neutralize the acid produced by eating meat.

Adults need 1000 mg of calcium per day. For people over 50 years old is 1200 mg per day. Research evidence shows that vegetarians who consume less than 525 mg per day have an increased risk of osteoporosis. Therefore, vegetarians should consider adding calcium in their daily meals.

2. Iron nutrients

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Iron is essential in making new DNA and red blood cells. Iron also carries oxygen in the blood, necessary for energy metabolism (3 .). Trusted Source). Iron deficiency can lead to anemia. Iron deficiency can lead to fatigue and a weakened immune system. Iron is divided into two forms. Iron from plants and iron obtained from animals (4 Trusted Source).

Vegetarians with low iron should focus on eating more foods that contain iron. Examples are: peas, cruciferous vegetables, dried fruits, nuts. Iron-fortified foods such as cereals, bread (5 .) Trusted Source6 Trusted Source). Premium Grain Sprouts – Nuts that are incubated and then roasted (no sugar)

In addition, we should note the use of cast iron pots and pans for cooking. Do not drink tea or coffee with meals. I can combine iron-rich foods with a source of vitamin C to enhance iron absorption. However, not everyone needs iron supplements. If the supplement is not needed, it will lead to harm to health. Too much iron in the body can lead to death. So you need to check the amount of iron before increasing use. The best way to check iron in your body is to see your doctor.

3. Nutrients from Vitamin D

How many types of vitamin d are good for you?
Avocados are rich in vitamin D

Vitamin D supports calcium enhancement and affects many other body processes. Specifically, they affect: mood, memory, and muscle recovery (7 .). Trusted Source).

In fact, there are very few foods that contain vitamin D. This means that vegetarians and regular eaters are equally at risk of vitamin D deficiency. But you can absorb vitamin D in a very special way. Most vitamin D is absorbed enough if you stand in strong sunlight for about 15 minutes. But be careful not to use sunscreen and expose most of the skin. However, this method is also less risky because of the harmful effects of UV rays that we are all known to have in the sun. According to dermatology, you should not stand in the sun to absorb vitamin D (8 .). Trusted Source).

Therefore, absorbing vitamins from plants is still the safest way. Some foods you should increase use in the absorption of vitamin D: mushrooms, cereals, oatmeal.

4. Nutrients from Iodine

Nutrients from iodine

For a healthy thyroid, you need enough iodine. For pregnant women, iodine deficiency can cause intellectual disability in children (9 .). Trusted Source). In adults, it leads to metabolic imbalance, hypothyroidism. Iodine deficiency manifests itself in different symptoms. For example: dry skin, tingling in hands & feet, depression, forgetfulness, weight gain,… (10 .) Trusted Source).

Research shows that vegetarians have 50% lower blood iodine levels than non-vegetarians (11 .). Trusted Sourcetwelfth Trusted Source). The concentration of iodine in foods depends on the soil in which they are grown. For example, foods near the ocean most often contain more iodine. For vegetarians who do not want to use iodine, other food alternatives should be considered.

Foods high in Iodine that vegetarians can use: seaweed, milk, iodized salt, …..

5. Nutrients from Zinc

The process of metabolism and repair of body cells requires zinc. If there is not enough zinc, it can easily lead to hair loss, diarrhea, and slow wound healing.

Not all vegetarians are deficient in zinc. However, according to a recent study, vegetarians have lower zinc levels than non-vegetarians (13 .). Trusted Source). So to supplement this nutrient need to eat more foods containing zinc. Those foods are: whole grains, legumes and legumes nuts

Soak nuts, seeds, eat enough protein, consume fermented foods, such as tempeh and miso to enhance absorption. People with low blood zinc levels should consider taking this supplement.

6. Nutrients from Omega-3

Omega-3s fall into two categories: essential omega-3 fatty acids (ALA) & long-chain omega-3 fatty acids (including EPA and DHA). Long-chain omega-3 acids play a role in the structure of the eyes and brain. Getting enough long-chain omega-3s is important for brain development as well as a reduced risk of depression, breast cancer, and hyperactivity disorder (14). Trusted Source15 Trusted Source,16 Trusted Source17 Trusted Source,18 Trusted Source19 Trusted Source).

Plants that are high in ALA include: chia seeds, walnuts, flaxseeds, and soybeans. EPA and DHA are mainly found in animals such as fish and fish oils. In addition, research consistently shows that vegetarians have 50% lower EPA and DHA levels than non-vegetarians (20).Trusted Source).

Vegetarians can supplement this substance by using algae oil. Also, minimize omega-6s from safflower, sunflower, and sesame oils. This way you’ll be sure to eat enough ALA-rich foods, which can maximize EPA and DHA levels (21 Trusted Source).

7. Nutrients from Vitamin B12

Foods containing vitamin B12 are quite abundant and easy to find. That is: mushroom Grown in soil rich in B12, nutritional yeast, spirulina and uncooked organic produce. Many vegetarians believe that eating a lot of plants does not need to worry about vitamin B12 deficiency. However, there is not enough scientific evidence to confirm this.

Research indicates that anyone can have low B12 levels. Vegetarians, in particular, are at a higher risk of deficiency. This is even more true for vegetarians who take no supplements (22 reliable source23 reliable source24 reliable source).

Vitamin B12 is extremely important in many of our body’s processes. As well as playing an important role in the health of the nervous system, protein metabolism (25 .)reliable source). Too little B12 can lead to nervous system damage, infertility, anemia, heart disease, and bone disease (26 .). Trusted Source27 reliable source).

You can improve absorption of this nutrient by only consuming foods that contain B12. These are foods: soy milk, plant milk, nutritional yeast, breakfast cereal.


A carefully prepared vegetarian diet will satisfy your body’s nutrition. Not everyone who is vegetarian is lacking in nutrients. In contrast, not people who eat a regular diet also ensure enough nutrients for the body. Vegetarians who are not meeting nutritional recommendations should review their own vegetarianism. The best way is to visit and consult a nutritionist to adjust the best diet.

Emilia Chaney
Emilia Chaneyhttps://agrisearch.net
My name is Emilia Chaney. I'm a social girl from Romania with a big smile and 3 passions: Agriculture, Travel and Social Media. I try to make this blog practical, full of great advice and inspiring ideas.

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