With a healthy and varied diet [...] vegetarians usually do not have to fear a lack of nutrients.

Vegetarians should pay attention to nutrients

Whether for animal love, environmental awareness or health reasons more and more people are eating vegetarian food or are severely limiting their meat consumption. The latter are also known as flexitarians. Most vegetarians are ovo-lacto-vegetarians. This means that they consciously avoid meat and fish, but eat eggs and dairy products. The German Society for Nutrition (DGE in its German acronym) considers this diet to be harmless and even recommends it. It presupposes however that vegetarians take nutrients, which the body needs daily, in sufficient quantities to itself. With a healthy and varied nutrition with much fruit, vegetables, legumes, nuts, grain and milk products as well as eggs vegetarians have to fear usually no nutrient deficiency..

Healthy vegetarian: nutrients you need every day

In addition to so-called macro-nutrients such as fats, carbohydrates and proteins, which we usually consume in sufficient quantities, both food mixers and vegetarians need micro-nutrients such as minerals and vitamins. Of course, meat and fish also contain valuable nutrients. They score particularly highly for their protein content. Nevertheless, vegetarian foods contain enough nutrients to easily replace meat. Vegans have it more difficult, because they completely do without animal products. If you are switching to a purely vegetable diet, you should compile your meal plan very carefully and prevent deficiencies with special dietary supplements. The following table will tell you which nutrients are particularly important for you as an ovo-lacto-vegetarian*and how to cover your needs with a sufficient amount of vegetarian food.

The following table will tell you which nutrients are particularly important for you as an ovo-lacto-vegetarian and how to cover your needs with a sufficient amount of vegetarian food.

Important nutrients Recommended daily dose Alternative vegetarian foods
Protein 50 bis 60 g Milk and dairy products as well as nuts, legumes and cereals (soya, peanut, lentil), eggs
Iron 10 bis 15 mg Legumes, wholemeal products (especially wheat bran), pumpkin seeds, nuts; best in combination with vitamin C containing foods
Calcium 1.000 bis 1.200 mg Milk products, tofu, kale, broccoli, fennel, mineral water rich in calcium
Iodine 150 bis 200 µg Milk products, sea algae, iodized table salt
Zinc 7 bis 10 mg Whole grain cereals (e.g. oat flakes), cheese (e.g. Edam), pulses (e.g. lentils, peas), nuts, seeds (e.g. pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds)
Omega-3 fatty acids 300 mg linseed oil, rapeseed oil, hemp oil, walnut oil, soya oil
Vitamin B12 3 µg eggs, dairy products (especially camembert), fortified foods (margarine, soy products), food supplements

Reasons for nutrient deficiency

A deficiency exists if your body is not sufficiently supplied with nutrients and thereby bodily functions and metabolic processes are limited. Whether meat-rich or vegetarian – nutrients are found above all in fresh, unprocessed food. Fast food, ready-made products and heavily processed and heated foods, on the other hand, hardly contain any valuable vitamins and nutrients. It is therefore advisable to eat predominantly home-cooked and freshly prepared food. A changed nutrient requirement, e.g. due to physical strain through sport, psychological problems and excessive consumption of stimulants such as alcohol, cigarettes and sugar can increase the risk of a nutrient deficiency.

Also intestinal diseases can cause a nutrient deficit. Chronic gastrointestinal diseases such as Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis hinder the absorption of nutrients in the intestine. This is mainly due to the fact that the disease disturbs the balance of the intestinal flora. It is also possible, however, that those affected generally have an intestinal flora that is less rich in beneficial bacteria. If you know how your intestinal flora is, you can prevent some intestinal complaints and diseases. INTEST.pro from BIOMES offers you a comfortable option. On the basis of the analysis results, you receive concrete recommendations for action. In this way you can quickly find out which foods are particularly good for you and your intestines.

Possible complaints of vegetarians with nutrient deficiency

Whether meat eaters or vegetarians – missing nutrients in the body sooner or later lead to deficiency symptoms. The symptoms can be very different and depend on which nutrient your body is lacking. Iron deficiency may be indicated by headaches, concentration problems, brittle nails, torn corners of the mouth or hair loss. If you are often tired, in a bad mood, without appetite and have a cold, this may indicate a vitamin B12 deficiency. If you feel that you do not eat enough nutrients despite a healthy, balanced diet as a vegetarian, you should consult your family doctor. By checking your blood count, vegetarians can find out what nutrients they lack. Some need more than others – for example, women in pregnancy or lactation. They are advised to prepare their diet with particular care and to consult their doctor. Only this recognizes possible lack in time and can recommend suitable food auxiliary means and Vitaminprparate.