The Vegetarian Athlete

With some careful planning, a vegetarian diet that excludes meat, fish and poultry can provide adequate protein and other essential nutrients for the athlete or fitness enthusiast. Here's some helpful advice from our healthpro Dietetic Clinic;

  • Protein - In addition to diary products (such as milk, cheese, yoghurt) and eggs, eat a wide variety of plant-based foods throughout the day to ensure adequate intake of essential amino acids. Examples of good plant sources of protein are beans, lentils, peas, nuts, seeds, and soya.
  • Iron - Consume vitamin-C rich foods (fruit, vegetables, fruit juice) at the same time as plant-based sources of iron such as wholemeal bread, wholegrains, nuts, pulses, seeds, dried fruits, fortified cereals and green leafy vegetables, to maximise absorption.
  • Vitamin B12 - Only found in animal products, diets excluding dairy products and eggs should include daily B12-fortified foods such as breakfast cereals and soya products or a regular supplement.
  • Calcium -  Good sources of dietary calcium include diary products, sunflower and sesame seeds, spinach, broccoli, almonds, brazil nuts, figs, and fortified soya products.
  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids - In the absence of oily fish from the diet, these essential fatty acids may be obtained through foods such as pumpkin and flax seeds, rapeseed oil, walnuts and walnut oil, soya products, omega-3-fortified spreads, yoghurts and eggs.


    © healthpro / 2015

Published on 16 May 2015 | Back to May Articles