Summary recommendations for vegetarians to prevent nutritional deficiencies
Recommendations to prevent nutrient deficiencies
|Protein, essential amino acids||Vary various plant-based protein sources; legumes (beans, peas, lentils, soybeans), grain products (including so-called pseudo-grains like buckwheat and quinoa), seeds and nuts, soy products.|
|Fats, DHA||Add foods containing alpha-linolenic acid, such as rapeseed oil, flaxseed, walnuts, hemp seeds, and chia seeds to your menu.|
|Vitamin A, beta-carotene||The best plant-based sources of beta-carotene are primarily carrots and yams, but also rosehips, kale, spinach, pumpkin, broccoli, leaf lettuce, red paprika, papaya and persimmons.|
|Vitamin D||Vitamin D is not found in a digestible form in plant foods (with the exception of some fortified foods). Be sure to take it as a supplement.|
|Vitamin B2||The amount of vitamin B2 in food is usually low. A variety of menus containing fortified plant-based drinks, mushrooms, almonds, soybeans, and green vegetables provide the necessary amount of riboflavin.|
|Vitamin B12||Vitamin B12 is not found in its natural and digestible form in plant foods, so fortified foods and supplements must be consumed.|
|Calcium||Keep in mind that some components in plant foods can impair calcium absorption. Good sources of plant-based calcium include tofu, soy beverages, green vegetables, nuts, legumes, sesame seeds and dried figs. To cover calcium deficiencies, if needed, it can be taken as a dietary supplement, preferably with vitamin D.|
|Iron||Good sources of plant-based iron are whole-grain cereals and products, raisins, nuts, seeds, legumes, bread, buckwheat, and strawberries.
Eating foods containing vitamin C promotes iron absorption from plant foods, but excessive intake of zinc interferes with iron absorption. Because iron in plant-based foods is poorly absorbed, vegetarians and vegans may have a higher iron requirement compared to omnivores.
|Zinc||Good sources of zinc include seeds, whole grains, bread, and buckwheat. Vegans need to get 25-30% more zinc from food compared to omnivores. Excessive amounts of iron from supplements reduce zinc absorption.|