Multivitamin supplementation with nutraceuticals is normally not required for healthy adults. Supplements should only be consumed under medical supervision. The vegetarian diet in South Asia is often rich in oil and dairy products. This is not good for health. Oil and dairy products must be cut down to make this diet nutritious.
In addition to proteins, carbohydrates, fats, and fiber, a healthy human body requires minerals in small quantities. Eight trace elements — cobalt, copper, iodine, iron, manganese, molybdenum, selenium, and zinc — are accepted by nutritional experts as trace elements essential for our well-being. Two more elements, boron and chromium, are likely to be also essential. However, there isn’t enough scientific evidence to support this.
Some of these elements are components of enzymes. Others play a critical metabolic role. Iron, the most well-known of these, is understood to bind, transport, and release oxygen in the blood.
A plant-based diet, though, is good for health. Multiple studies have shown that this diet prevents cardiovascular diseases, cancer, and diabetes. Plants are rich in fiber, antioxidants, and essential minerals. People who are exclusively consumers of a plant-based diet show deficiencies in iron, Omega 3 fatty acids, and vitamin B12. Multivitamin supplementation is required in cases of deficiencies.
Iron obtained from plants is of poorer nutritional quality than heme iron obtained from red meat. Non-heme iron is provided mainly by plant-based foods like whole grains, legumes, lentils and nuts, dairy products, and iron-fortified foods. The usefulness of supplementation and its relationship to health is not yet fully established.
Vitamin B12 is obtained from dairy products, and the best sources of Omega3 fatty acids are available from fatty fish. Plant-based sources of Omega3 are flaxseed, chia seeds, canola, walnut and soybean oils, land eafy and green vegetables. These are rich in short-chain omega-3 molecules that need to be converted in the body into long-chained fatty acids. Converting plant-based omega-3 foods into nutritionally useful forms is an inefficient metabolic process. The absorption levels of this type of fatty acid are quite low. Multivitamin supplementation may be required in such cases.