Whatever your reason for being vegetarian, whether you want to help towards a more conscientious tomorrow or improve your health, being sure you get all the nutrients you need is imperative. Keep in mind that not including meat and other animal products in your diet means you won’t get all the nutrients you used to.
In this post we look at five of the foods you simply cannot live without. These will ensure you get all your nutrients, protein, iron and amino acids. Let’s take a look at what they are!
But it is tasteless so you don’t want to eat it, right? There are loads of ways you can dress tofu up or buy pre-marinated tofu. The thing is, tofu is rich in mega-3 fatty acids, iron, zinc and protein. This means tofu should be your best friend.
It also contains calcium and vitamin D, which is crucial for healthy bones and the digestion of any other protein that enters your body.
Nuts is quite easy to consume for most people, and it should be included in your diet! Nuts are a great source of protein, but some are even rich in calcium, zinc and vitamin E. Recent studies have also shown that even though nuts are high in calories, they do not contribute to weight gain.
So, whether you pack some nuts for a snack in between meals or add them in a salad, sticking with nuts in your diet is the healthy way to go!
Grains found in cereal contain calcium, iron and vitamin B12. Vegetarians who do not eat eggs or dairy will have to take a supplement for vitamin B12 to be sure you get the required daily amount! If your diet includes whole-grains you should be okay.
Grains are known to decrease cholesterol levels and decreases your risk of colon cancer and other digestive diseases.
Did you know that a single cup of beans per day will provide you with half of the required amount of fiber and a third of the daily required amount of iron and protein? Beans are also rich in zinc and potassium and is great for lowering cholesterol.
You also have the option to buy dry or canned beans. Be sure to rinse canned beans as they are often soaked in salt.
Lentils are also a legume and essential if you are a vegetarian. They are (just like beans) high in protein and soluble fiber. What sets them apart is the fact that lentils contain twice as much iron as beans. Lentils are also more versatile than beans and can be served with anything.
Did you know that lentils are high in folate and vitamin B? These nutrients are especially important for pregnant women as it decreases the risk of congenital disabilities.
There you have it! Our top pick of foods you cannot live without as a vegetarian. Perhaps you have been skimping on some foods. Remember that there are a lot of delicious vegetarian recipes on the web, making any meal time something to look forward to. Here’s a list of some of Jamie Oliver’s vegetarian recipes to try out!