Recommendations for Preventing Nutrient Deficiencies


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.
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