By Karin Krisher
Vegetarianism is not, as so many once thought, a passing trend. A vegetarian diet is part of a lifestyle choice, and that deserves our attention.
A recently published analysis of data from studies on health and diet confirms what many cardiologists have suspected for decades: “eating red meat is associated with a sharply increased risk of death from cancer and heart disease.” (New York Times)
For those that love a juicy burger for dinner, the news couldn’t be more discouraging. Old habits die hard, and we see that in the correlations between more smoking, less physical activity and higher rates of red meat consumption. But perhaps viewing this news differently is the real trick to forming new habits—any vegetarian could tell you that.
While omnivores continue to lament the downfalls of diet decisions, herbivores the world-over continue to celebrate the health benefits of their choices with new restaurant options and the persistent emergence of research validating those choices.
While FoodScience doesn’t take one position or the other (we have plenty of meat-eaters on board!) we do recognize the importance of offering healthy supplement alternatives for those looking for vegetarian-sourced products. As mentioned, vegetarianism is part of a lifestyle, and if one wants to maintain a healthy lifestyle without sacrificing his or her choices, s/he will ask for and need vegetarian alternatives in all product fields. Supplementation is just one of those fields.
Supplementing a vegetarian diet with FoodScience
Perhaps the most highly publicized non-vegetarian supplement is glucosamine. Most glucosamine is sourced from crustacean shellfish. While this is both effective for the sourcing company and supportive of joint health for those that choose it, crustacean-sourced glucosamine interferes with the needs of vegetarians and those that must stare down the beast of crustacean allergies.
FoodScience came up with a solution. Superior Joint is a delicious chewable tablet that includes several factors for joint support—specifically, GreenGrown™ glucosamine. Rather than sourcing from sea-dwellers, we’ve included a form of USP grade glucosamine made from non-GMO corn fermentation. This option is ideal for anyone looking for joint support that fits in with his or her vegetarian lifestyle.
Supplements Vegetarians Swear By
Other vegetarian supplements might be more popular because of the inherent gaps that can occur in a vegetarian diet. (Not that they always occur—many vegetarians are aware that they will need to seek out food sources of iron or vitamin B to maintain healthy levels of these vitamins and minerals.) These include, but are not limited to: fatty acids, calcium, magnesium, vitamin D, iron, and vitamin Bs.
Something Seems Fishy
Because fatty acids or omegas so often come from fish oils, supplementing with omegas can be difficult while maintaining a vegetarian diet. However, it is also important, especially as the essential fatty acids, omegas 3 and 6, are not produced by the body, but are important for the maintenance and support of brain health and cognitive functions, skin health, and cardiovascular function.* (Even the non-essentials, like gamma linolenic acid, support skin and nerve health, and can become depleted when a diet is not comprehensive.) Both flax seed and primrose are vegetarian sources of EFAs.*
Primrose is an evening primrose oil formulation to support cognitive function, skin health, cardiovascular health, and more.* Flax seed oil provides omegas 3, 6 and 9 and is a great vegetarian source of omega 3. Both flax and primrose oils support optimal cellular function and overall health.*
B Your Best
Vitamin Bs are a part of our existence that we can’t ignore. They support proper circulatory function, blood pressure within normal ranges, homocysteine levels, restful sleep and normal energy and stress levels.* Vegetarian diets often lead to deficiencies in vitamin B. Luckily, supplementation exists! We’ve created two B12 formulas that combine B12 and folic acid in synergistic levels. They’re both cherry flavored, and of course, vegetarian. Our B complex, which includes a larger variety, is also vegetarian. If you’re looking for true supplementation (meaning, as an addition to proper diet), then these formulas will be right up your alley. *
‘Cuz We Are Living In A Mineral World
Calcium is an obvious concern for vegans, and many vegetarians don’t drink milk by the gallon, either. Other calcium food sources might feature not enough or too much of other minerals/vitamins to support proper utilization. Once again, supplementation finds its stride.*
Calcium makes up two percent of our bodyweight. As the most abundant mineral in the body, it’s necessary for most bodily functions. Supplementing with calcium supports bone health, while calcium and magnesium together work synergistically to support cardiovascular health.* Vitamin D is necessary for proper absorption of calcium, so it’s also important to include in supplement regimens. *
We all know that red meat packs a punch when it comes to iron. But that’s not going to help anyone who read the first bit of this post. So, what can you do to get enough iron in the diet, without sacrificing your health and moral values? See our post on multivitamins, to start.*
While most vegetarians are highly educated on nutrition (because this lifestyle choice generally requires such education), choosing supplements can throw a wrench in the game. Take it slow. Discovering what formulas are right for you isn’t as easy as merely looking for the word “vegetarian” somewhere on the label. Assessing your own nutritional needs over time will help you decide what supplements to love, and what to leave.
* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.