We eat food so that it gives us energy and keep us healthy. The food we eat should provide us with all the essential nutrients that the body needs! However all the foods don’t contain all the nutrients, a few plants products are abundant in certain nutrients but lacks with the remaining. Non vegetarian products are always god source of proteins but lack all other vitamins and minerals!
Being a non vegetarian is always better and wise as they will be receiving all the nutrients but being a vegetarian is a difficult task, as they would be lacking with those nutrients which are found only in animal products! But don’t get scared if you are a vegetarian, here is the guide which will help even you to get all nutrients and help you in consuming a balanced diet –
- Calcium – Milk is the best source of calcium, if you are a person who don’t drink milk then add soy milk, cereals, legumes, certain green leaves, tofu, nuts, seeds and orange juice as they can add up calcium to your body
- Vitamin D – It is universally known that apart from sunlight, meat is the only source of vitamin D!! Don’t panic!! Fortified soy milk and cereals can provide your body with necessary Vitamin D
- Iron – Being a vegetarian, you will never be devoid of Iron! Almost all foods you eat contain iron. Iron is found abundantly in dried cooked beans, green leafy vegetables, grains, peas and lentils
- Vitamin B12 – Is a complete animal originated vitamin. It is wise to choose foods fortified with B12 to supplement your body
- Proteins – Plant sources also have abundance of proteins. Regular consumption of legumes, seeds, grains, nuts, soy products will meet protein requirement
- Omega 3 fatty acids – Foods like hemp seeds, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, walnuts are rich in omega 3 fatty acids
- Zinc – Vegetarians will get their requirement of zinc when they consume foods like whole grains bread, cooked dried beans, soy products, so on
Consuming or adding above mentioned foods to your diet will make your diet a balanced diet as vegetarian foods are devoid of the constituents mentioned above!! With respect to how much to eat, here is a quick look –
- Carbohydrates – your clenched fist twice a day
- Proteins – Palm size of your hand
- Cheese – 2 of your thumbs
- Nuts or seeds – One palm size
- Butter – tip of your thumb
Follow this guide on balanced diet and be healthy with no deficiencies even after being a hard core vegetarian!