Understanding Vegetarian Supplements

Understanding Vegetarian Supplements

The vegetarian lifestyle is becoming more and more mainstream. In the United States alone, around 13% of the population, or 40 million people, identify as vegan or vegetarian – not including the rest of the world, where demand for animal-free products in countries such as India, Taiwan and Germany is part of the norm.

As vegetarian options are becoming more widely available in health, supplements are already paving the way. This is especially so, as supplements complement the good health, alongside a vegetarian diet. Still, what exactly are vegetarian supplements and how do they differ from the traditional ones?

The Deal about Supplements

Getting your full nutritional daily value during a hectic lifestyle can be easier said than done. With supplements however, you can fill in that gap with the quality nutrients you need, formulated specifically for your body to utilize. Supplements come in numerous forms, including tablets, capsules, powders, liquids and softgels. Each form has their different advantages; tablets are common and easy to break apart to put in liquids or foods, powders and liquids are another convenient form that can be taken alongside meals, and others such as capsules or softgels are not only easy to swallow, but have a high absorption rate, allowing your body to get the most ingredients as possible.

With such a wide and varied selection, there's a supplement out there for every person. However, if you're searching for supplements that are vegetarian-approved, you'll need to narrow down your search. Vegetarian supplements are more widely available in both capsule and softgel form.

Choosing Vegetarian Supplement from the Rest

So, what's the difference between traditional supplements and vegetarian ones? First off, the traditional capsules and softgels are mainly made from gelatin. Gelatin is derived from certain animal parts that come from the cow or pig. While the gelatin helps make it easier for the body to absorb nutrients, this can be an issue for consumers whose diets do not allow pork or beef, as well as those who want to maintain a fully vegetarian lifestyle.

There are other possible ingredients in supplements that can conflict with your diet; lanolin, which is common in most vitamin D3 supplements is a material derived from sheep's wool, which is still considered vegetarian, but not vegan. Strearic acid is another additive, which helps prevent ingredients from caking during the manufacturing process. This can either be derived from animals or plants, and should be listed as a vegetable source in the ingredients list in order to be a qualified vegetarian supplement.

Vegetarian capsules and softgels are instead manufactured with a different material – one that is free from any animal byproducts. Vegetarian capsules and softgels are typically made with cellulose, which consists of plant cells and vegetable fibers. Even with the different material however, these supplements portray the same advantages that gelatin-based supplements deliver, such as high absorbability and easy swallowing.

Understanding Vegetarian Supplements

Understanding the Vegetarian Supplement Advantage

For consumers who have either religious or dietary restrictions, or wish to simply not take products that conflicts with their morals, vegetarian supplements are a viable option, all without sacrificing one's nutrition. This is because vegetarian supplements can complement a majority of diets, and have more flexible uses than the traditional variety. These kinds of supplements can fit as Halal and Kosher products, for example, and by being free of animal byproducts, vegetarian supplements eliminates the risk of contracting any animal-transmitted diseases.

If you're following a vegetarian lifestyle, you can opt for these supplements, while being aware of the very nutrition you need. Some of the most important ingredients for a vegetarian diet include:

  • Omega-3s
  • Vitamin B12
  • Vitamin D
  • Calcium

There are also vegetarian multivitamins available, to get full comprehensive health support. As the market grows, so do options for your supplement choices.

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