Thinking around a vegetarian diet? here are the 6 most important nutrients because that vegetarians and also the supplements you might need.


Vegetarian diets have actually a well-deserved reputation for great health, but you might wonder if you space meeting your nutrition needs. While invited with plenty of nutrients, plant-based diets might fall brief on nutrients found primarily in animal-sourced foods. In part cases, you might need a supplement.

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Here space the peak 6 nutrient for vegetarians to consider:

1. Vitamin B12

Why is that important?

Vitamin B12 is an important for your health, playing a role in whatever from red blood cell formation to nerve and mind function. Vitamin B12 is only found in animal-based foods. It"s essential to find reliable resources if you space a vegetarian or a vegan.

How much do I need per day?

Men and women 14 years and older: 2.4 mcg

Vegetarian sources of vitamin B12:Dairy foodsEggsFortified plant-based milk alternativesFortified nutritional yeastDo I need a vitamin B12 supplement?

If you regularly eat dairy foods and also eggs, girlfriend are likely to get sufficient vitamin B12.

If you don"t consume vitamin B12-fortified foods, you risk a deficiency and also should take it a vitamin B12 supplement. Ask your medical professional if girlfriend should have your vitamin B12 level monitored.

2. Iron

Why is it important?

You require iron to make the oxygen-carrying component of red blood cells. Stole deficiency is a common cause of anemia.

How lot do I need per day?

Typically, civilization need the amounts shown below. However, the said RDA because that vegetarians is 1.8 times greater than the list displayed due to lessened iron absorb from tree sources. Males 14-18 years: 11 mgMen 19-50 years: 8 mgWomen 14-18 years: 15 mgWomen 19-50 years: 18 mgMen and Women 51 years and also older: 8 mg

To aid absorb iron, eat foods high in vitamin C such together citrus fruits, strawberries, and also peppers, together with iron sources.

Vegetarian resources of iron include:

SpinachSwiss chardBeansBlackstrap molassesFortified cerealsDo I require an steel supplement?

It relies on your hazard for steel deficiency. Larger adults typically don"t need extra iron. Ladies of childbearing period have a higher risk of iron deficiency and also may require supplements. Asking your doctor if girlfriend should have actually your iron level tested. Don"t take a supplement uneven you space advised to, together too much iron deserve to be a health and wellness risk.

3. Calcium

Why is that important?

Calcium is a mineral discovered in the greatest quantities in the body. It gives bone structure and also is important for muscle and also nerve function.

How lot do I need per day?

Men 19-70 years: 1000 mgMen 71 years and also older: 1200 mgWomen 19-50 years: 1000 mgWomen 51 years and also older: 1200 mg

Vegetarian sources of calcium include:Dairy productsFortified, plant-based, milk alternativesTofu made with calcium Kale, broccoli, and collards Blackstrap molassesDo I require a calcium supplement?

If you routinely eat dairy products products, calcium-fortified foods, or high-calcium plant foods, you might be getting sufficient calcium. You may need a complement if girlfriend consume under than three servings of high-calcium foodstuffs daily.

If you prevent dairy or calcium-fortified foods, take into consideration a supplement. Plant-based calcium sources come with other essential nutrients, such as vitamin K and magnesium.

4. Vitamin D

Why is that important?

Vitamin D and calcium go hand-in-hand. Vitamin D help calcium absorption and plays a function in immune health and hormone production.

How much do I require per day?

Men and women 19-70 years: 15 mcg (600 IU)Men and women 70 years and also older: 20 mcg (800 IU)

Note: over there is debate about optimal vitamin D intake and blood levels. Speak to your healthcare provider if you have actually questions about your specific needs.

Vegetarian resources of vitamin D include:Sunlight, though not a reliable resource if you usage sunscreen or live at high latitudeEggs strengthened dairy foods and also plant milks execute I require a vitamin D supplement?

Perhaps. That is unlikely the vegetarians and non-vegetarians acquire adequate vitamin D from your diets, also if they consume strengthened foods. Take it vitamin D supplements through a enjoy the meal that contains fat for far better absorption the this fat-soluble vitamin.

5. Zinc

Why is that important?

Zinc is an important for immune function and wound healing. Since we don"t save zinc fine in our bodies, daily intake of high zinc foods is important.

How much do I require per day?

Men 14 and also older: 11 mg ladies 14-18 years: 9 mgWomen 19 years and older: 8 mg

Vegetarian sources of zinc include:Dairy eggs LegumesSoy (tempeh has absorption due to fermentation)Nuts and seedsWhole seed (sprouted grains and also leavened grains allow better absorption)Some fortified cerealsDo I need a zinc supplement?

It"s possible to get sufficient zinc native plant foodstuffs if you have a well-balanced diet. Numerous multivitamins save zinc. Do not take an ext than the upper limit of 40 mg of zinc per day.

6. Omega-3 fatty acids

Why space they important?

Omega-3 fatty acids may help reduce inflammation and lower your hazard of heart disease. Castle are needed for cabinet membrane formation and also are useful for immune duty and mind health.

The key omega-3s room docosahexaenoic mountain (DHA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and alpha-linolenic (ALA) acid. DHA and also EPA room the active forms the omega-3 and come from fish and seafood sources. ALA comes from plant sources and is converted to DHA and also EPA by the body only in small amounts.

How lot do I require per day?

There is no created guideline because that DHA and EPA intake.

The day-to-day guidelines because that alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) are:Men 14 years and older: 1.6 gWomen 14 years and also older: 1.1 g

Vegetarian resources of omega-3s (from ALA) include:Flaxseed, flaxseed oilChia seedsWalnutsSoybean oilCanola oilDo I need an omega-3 supplement?

Taking a complement is a reasonable method to boost your omega-3s. Most omega-3 supplements space from fish sources. Fortunately, algae-sourced DHA and also EPA supplements room becoming much more available.

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Tracking nutrients v

Want to make certain you are gaining the important nutrients for her vegetarian diet? Premium will permit you to customize her reports for up to 45 nutrients, including iron, calcium, vitamin D, and also vitamin B12. Friend can additionally include contributions from vitamins and also supplements.

Resources for more information

See vitamin referrals for all populations here.See mineral referrals for all populaces here.Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics" position record on vegetarian dietsVegetarian resource GroupVegetarian Nutrition Practice team of the Academy that Nutrition and also Dietetics