Vegetarians are those individuals who do not consume animal meat. However, there are different categories of vegetarians too. Lacto-ovo vegetarians are those who consume diary and eggs, but abstain from consuming animal meat. Whereas, lacto vegetarians are those that abstain from meat and eggs, but consume dairy products.In such cases, individuals do not get the required amount of essential vitamins and minerals. Given below is a list of essential vitamins that are required for vegetarians, for optimal functioning of the body.
Best Vitamins For Vegetarians
This vitamin is water-soluble and is required for numerous processes inside the body. It plays a crucial role in absorbing nutrients and breaking them down as well. Vitamin B12 deficiency is extremely common among vegetarians due to the fact that it is present mostly in animal products. Therefore, it is extremely important for vegetarians to include this vitamin in their diet. The recommended amount of this vitamin is 2.4 mcg each day.
Vitamin D is classified as a fat-soluble vitamin that helps in the process of absorbing calcium. In addition to that, it also plays a key role in controlling calcium and phosphorous levels in the bloodstream. However, depending on your current location, you might not be able to avail of proper sunlight. In such cases, you need to consume vitamin D in the form of whole foods or supplements.
However, vitamin D is present mostly in non-vegetarian food sources. Although foods such as dairy products contain significant amounts of vitamin D, they also contain high amounts of fat. Therefore, it is recommended that you consume this vitamin orally in the form of capsules or tablets. You should aim at consuming around 200 IU of this vitamin each day for optimal health.
Vitamin B2, commonly known as Riboflavin, is a vitamin that is required for a number of bodily processes. This vitamin helps in promoting growth as well as production of red blood cells. In addition to that, it also helps in metabolizing carbohydrates, which are required for energy. Vitamin B2 is also found mostly in non-vegetarian food sources such as liver and red meat. Although this vitamin can also be obtained from vegetarian foods such as green leafy vegetables or fortified cereals, the quantity of this vitamin is not enough. The recommended intake of vitamin B2 for male adults is around 1.3 mg each day, whereas, women need to consume around 1 mg of this vitamin each day.
Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin that is needed for several bodily processes. Although this vitamin is present mostly in non-vegetarian food sources, it is also present in a number of vegetarian foods, in good amounts. Deficiency of this vitamin leads to the occurrence of night blindness and vision issues. Most individuals need to consume at least 700 mcg of this vitamin each day for optimal health. Vitamin A can be obtained from a wide range of foods such as vegetable oil, lettuce, dried apricots, cantaloupe, carrots, bell peppers, spinach, sweet potatoes, apple, butternut squash and kale.