Feedback from TappMD Expert
Erin Palinski, RD, CDE, LDN Do you get enough nutrients as a vegetarian athlete?
Vegetarian athletes can meet their dietary needs almost effortlessly when consuming a diet that is balanced and incorporates a variety of foods. Vegetarian diets have demonstrated significant health benefits, and with just a bit of planning can consist of all the nutrients needed to fuel an athlete’s performance.
Research suggests that a vegetarian diet can improve your health and may even extend your life. But can eating only plant-based foods really fuel distance runners? New research says that it can—provided athletes make a concerted effort to seek out nutrients often gleaned from animal products.
After reviewing multiple observational and short-term intervention studies, Dilip Ghosh, Ph.D., director of Nutriconnect in Sydney, Australia, concluded that by targeting certain foods, athletes can get the protein, iron, zinc and other nutrients necessary for health and performance from a vegetarian meal plan.
Ghosh lists foods such as green leafy vegetables, fruits, fortified breakfast cereals, soy drinks, nuts and milk products (for vegetarians who consume dairy) as sources that can help athletes avoid common deficiencies…
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