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In today's health-conscious world, more and more individuals are embracing vegetarianism for various reasons, including ethical, environmental, and health concerns. A vegetarian diet typically excludes meat, poultry, and fish, instead emphasising plant-based foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and legumes. However, while a plant-based diet offers abundant nutrients, including fibre, vitamins, and antioxidants, it may lack certain essential nutrients typically found in animal products.

What are the health benefits of adopting a vegetarian diet?

Adopting a vegetarian diet offers numerous health benefits that can contribute to overall wellbeing. Research has shown that vegetarians tend to have lower rates of obesity, heart disease, hypertension, type 2 diabetes, and certain types of cancer compared to omnivores. A plant-based diet is naturally rich in fibre, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, which can help reduce inflammation, support healthy digestion, and promote a strong immune system. Additionally, vegetarian diets are often lower in saturated fat and cholesterol while higher in beneficial nutrients such as potassium, magnesium, and folate. By prioritising whole, plant-based foods and minimising or eliminating animal products, individuals can improve their health outcomes and reduce their risk of chronic diseases, ultimately leading to a longer, healthier life.

While a vegetarian diet has many benefits it's essential to pay attention to meeting all nutritional needs adequately. With the right approach, vegetarians can thrive and enjoy all the benefits of their chosen lifestyle.

What are the key points to consider when adopting a vegetarian diet?

In addition to ensuring adequate intake of essential vitamins and minerals, it's crucial for vegetarians to pay attention to their macronutrient balance, particularly protein intake. Protein is essential for building and repairing tissues, supporting immune function, and maintaining muscle mass. While plant-based foods such as beans, lentils, tofu, tempeh, and nuts are rich sources of protein, they may not always provide all the essential amino acids in the optimal proportions. Therefore, it's essential for vegetarians to consume a variety of protein-rich foods throughout the day to ensure they receive all the essential amino acids their bodies need. Additionally, incorporating complementary protein sources, such as pairing beans with rice or lentils with quinoa, can help achieve a more balanced amino acid profile. Protein supplements derived from sources like soy, pea, or rice can be convenient options to ensure sufficient protein intake for muscle repair, growth, and overall health.

So what are the best individual supplements for vegetarians?

To ensure optimal health and vitality, vegetarians often turn to supplements to fill in the nutritional gaps. Here, we explore some of the best supplements for vegetarians and their benefits:


Incorporating a multivitamin into a vegetarian diet can be a convenient way to ensure baseline levels of essential nutrients are met. A multivitamin provides a comprehensive blend of vitamins and minerals, including those that may be lacking in a plant-based diet, such as Vitamin B12, iron, calcium, Vitamin D, and zinc. While it's essential to obtain nutrients from whole foods whenever possible, a multivitamin can serve as a safety net to fill in any nutritional gaps and ensure adequate intake of essential nutrients. However, it's important to choose a multivitamin specifically formulated for vegetarians, as some may contain animal-derived ingredients such as gelatin or vitamin D sourced from fish liver oil. By incorporating a multivitamin into their daily routine, vegetarians can enhance the nutritional quality of their diet and support overall health and wellbeing.

Vitamin B-Complex

For vegetarians, a high-strength vitamin B-complex supplement can be particularly beneficial due to the increased risk of vitamin B12 deficiency. B-complex vitamins, including B12, are essential for energy production, nerve function, and the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. Since vitamin B12 is primarily found in animal products, vegetarians may struggle to obtain adequate amounts from dietary sources alone. A high-strength B-complex supplement provides a concentrated dose of B-vitamins, including vitamin B12, as well as other B-vitamins such as B6, folate, and biotin. Supplementing with a high-strength B-complex can help vegetarians maintain optimal energy levels, support nervous system health, and promote overall wellbeing.


Calcium is essential for maintaining strong bones and teeth, as well as supporting muscle function, nerve transmission, and blood clotting. While dairy products are a primary source of calcium for many people, vegetarians can also obtain this mineral from leafy greens, tofu, and certain nuts and seeds. However, achieving adequate calcium intake solely from these sources can be challenging, especially for individuals with increased calcium needs, such as pregnant or lactating women, or those with limited access to fortified foods. Therefore, calcium supplementation can serve as a valuable tool for vegetarians to ensure they meet their daily calcium requirements and support bone health. Choosing a calcium supplement that also contains vitamin D can further enhance calcium absorption, as vitamin D aids in calcium absorption and utilisation in the body. By incorporating calcium supplementation into their routine, vegetarians can reduce their risk of osteoporosis and maintain optimal bone health throughout their lives.

Vitamin D

Often referred to as the "sunshine vitamin," vitamin D is essential for bone health, immune function, and mood regulation. While sunlight exposure triggers vitamin D synthesis in the skin, vegetarians living in areas with limited sunlight or those who avoid sun exposure may need to supplement. Vitamin D2, derived from fungi , is commonly used in vegetarian supplements to meet the body's needs.


Supplementing with zinc is important for vegetarians because zinc plays a crucial role in immune function, wound healing, and DNA synthesis. While zinc is found in plant foods such as legumes, nuts, seeds, and whole grains, the phytates present in these foods can inhibit zinc absorption. Therefore, vegetarians may benefit from zinc supplementation to ensure they meet their daily requirements and support optimal health and immune function.


Iron is an essential mineral that plays a crucial role in transporting oxygen throughout the body and supporting overall energy levels. While iron is abundant in many plant-based foods, the type of iron found in these sources, known as non-heme iron, is not as easily absorbed by the body as heme iron from animal products. This makes iron supplementation particularly important for vegetarians, who may have higher iron requirements and be at a greater risk of deficiency.

When choosing an iron supplement, vegetarians should opt for formulations that contain ferrous iron, as this form is better absorbed by the body compared to ferric iron. Additionally, it's essential to select supplements that are free from animal-derived ingredients, making them suitable for vegetarians and vegans alike.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

While omega-3 fatty acids are abundant in fish oil, vegetarians can still obtain them from plant-based sources such as flaxseeds, chia seeds, and walnuts. However, the conversion of these plant-based sources into the active forms of omega-3s, EPA and DHA, is inefficient in the body. Therefore, vegetarians may benefit from supplementing with algae-based omega-3 supplements, which provide a direct source of EPA and DHA without the need for conversion.

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