The vegetarian diet (like the vegan one) requires some precautions to avoid debilitating following the lack of some nutrients which, beyond any philosophy or ethical conviction, remain fundamental for the body.
For this reason it is often advisable to resort to specific supplements that can fill these deficiencies without affecting one's health from one's food and lifestyle choices.
So let's start to discover the nutrients that need to be added in the diet in the form of supplements, with particular attention to the category of protein supplements for vegetarians.
Be vegetarian today
What does it mean to be vegetarian?
Let's try together to retrace the reasons that drive some people to change their lifestyle and adopt a vegetarian philosophy.
Let's start from the assumption that there is no precise age in which this choice can be made: whether it is in adulthood or senile age or very young, there are no particular indications other than to supplement the diet to guarantee the necessary nutritional needs .
The reasons that lead to becoming vegetarian, i.e. to no longer eat animal meat of any kind, can be of three types:
- ethics. Respect and love for animals do not allow the person to eat another living being and therefore one chooses to eat in an alternative way.
- Healthy. Eliminating meat from your diet can improve your health, which becomes healthier and more balanced.
- Environmental. A vegetarian diet is sustainable because it is more attentive to the needs of the environment and animals.
There are also religious reasons, but they concern a smaller portion of the population who follow beliefs relating to some very specific countries of the world.
In any case, well-being (personal, animal and environmental) is always the basis of this decision to replace animal meat with any other plant-based food.
And then there are the vegans: in their case any food of animal origin is completely repudiated on the table. They are an extreme form of being vegetarian which, however, must be treated in the same way, planning appropriate supplements to ensure the supply of all essential nutrients.
What supplements do vegans and vegetarians take?
Supplements for vegans and vegetarians are a need not to be underestimated to preserve one's health, especially in the very young who are approaching this food style.
In the case of ovo milk vegetarians (i.e. those who do not eat meat but feed on derivatives of animal origin) the supplements concern fewer nutrients, as they are able to obtain proteins and amino acids in sufficient quantities from other foods.
For vegans the matter is more complex. They need protein supplements for vegetarians which are protein concentrates that are essential to give energy, especially if we are talking about sports people who need a greater boost to increase their resistance.
But now let's see in detail which nutrients you need to take in the form of supplements to stay in perfect health.
To say no to food shortages, these food supplements for vegetarians can be introduced (and consistently).
That vitamin D is available to all through exposure to sunlight is not enough from a nutritional point of view. The body needs it above all to avoid bone health problems, generating complications especially in childhood and senile age.
Since it is found in particular in foods such as fish or liver, it is certainly deficient in vegans, therefore it represents one of the elements to necessarily integrate with ad hoc supplements.
Iron and zinc
Although iron and zinc are present in nature in many plants, their quantities are not sufficient for the body. Therefore, their reintegration is required when talking about a vegetarian or vegan diet.
So it is good to associate foods rich in minerals with iron and zinc supplements, for a more complete requirement.
Let's talk again about the importance of supplements: vitamin b12 is another element that cannot be missing if you have made the choice not to feed on animals and derivatives.
In fact, it cannot be found in any food of plant origin! Oh yes, unfortunately it is a prerogative of animal food only. So what to do? To avoid even serious forms of anemia it must therefore be taken in another way. In this case, both multivitamin supplements and single vitamin B12 taken regularly are fine.
Protein supplements for vegetarians
As far as protein needs are concerned, there are many foods that come directly from nature that have vegetable proteins that can make up for the deficiencies of meat and other highly protein foods deriving from the animal world.
Dried fruits, buckwheat, legumes, cereals and soy are examples. But they are not enough for the body which needs them more and more every day. Thus, among all the supplements described above, protein supplements for vegetarians, based on amino acids and with the addition of other important nutrients, become essential.
One of these is spirulina algae, an inexhaustible source of protein and vitamin B12. It becomes one of the favorite foods in vegan diets, to be used in the kitchen and to be taken as a supplement in the form of capsules or powder to be dissolved in water.
When to use protein supplements
The best time to take vegetarian protein supplements is in the morning. As you know, this is the time of day when you need to recharge your batteries to face commitments, school and work.
Here supplements help to give that sprint that is needed to increase resistance and vitality. To benefit from all their strengthening effect it is advisable to take them close to meals (or even during).
The evening represents another ideal moment for taking the aforementioned supplements, as the action of the proteins, in addition to reinforcing the body's defenses, works all night while at rest.
What happens if you neglect to take the proper protein supplements? The result is a growing weakness that spills over into everyday life, with a body gradually lacking strength and not very energetic.
But just follow these simple steps and never miss protein supplements, to take care of yourself without breaking your beliefs.