Though it’s easy to get most of the nutrients that you need without eating meat, you do need to pay special attention to the combination of foods that you eat if you’re a vegetarian or a vegan to be sure that you’ve got your bases covered. There are three primary issues that you need to address in order to get what you need to stay healthy.
As long as you eat the correct foods or supplement, then you’ll be fine. Vitamin B12 is a vitamin found almost exclusively in animal products and is necessary for good immunity and nerve and cell health, among other functions. If you’re a lacto-ovo vegetarian, eggs and dairy products are sources of vitamin B12. Soy milk, some nutritional yeasts and fortified cereals also contain B12.
Vegans likely need to supplement. Don't let this one slide because vitamin B12 deficiency is linked to several different conditions including depression.
Protein is necessary for bone and muscle health, energy production, and keeping your immune system strong. It’s comprised of amino acids and though your body can produce some of these amino acids, it can’t produce all of them.
Those amino acids that your body can’t produce must come from food sources and are called essential amino acids. Most complete proteins (proteins that contain all of the essential amino acids) are meats. Beans and legumes are good meat alternatives because they’re also sources of complete proteins but raw vegans or vegetarians who don’t eat beans miss out on one amino acid in particular - lysine. Lysine is critical because it plays a huge role in muscle and collagen synthesis, which are necessary for wound healing and youthful skin. It's also necessary for absorption of calcium and helps to keep your immune system strong.
Papayas are a source of lysine, offering 95mg each. Other sources include nuts, eggs and dairy products. Recommended daily intake is about 1 gram.
There are many good plant sources of iron, but plant iron is non-heme, which isn’t as easy to digest as the heme iron in meat. Foods that have vitamin C help the body to digest non-heme iron,.
Our Papaya Leaf Extract Veggie Capsules provide the health benefits of papayas, including the nutrients that you need, in a convenient, Non-GMO, gluten-free capsule. One advantage of our veggie capsule versus gelatin capsules is that they’re vegan- and vegetarian-friendly and the papain in the papaya can also help digest the protein in beans if you have difficulty digesting them.
If you’re a vegetarian or a vegan, you can survive perfectly well without meat. You do, however, have some specific dietary needs that you need to address and we’re here for you. While you’re on the site, check out some of our other awesome products!