Becoming a vegetarian is not only about cutting the meat from your menu. You have
you need to keep informed so you know which plant products contain your need
for your diet! That way you know for sure you’re getting all the necessary vitamins
for your health. Read below to see where to find…
Protein – You must include at least one protein-rich food with each meal. Great
sources of protein are pulses (the edible seeds of leguminous plants) like beans,
including soybeans, black or regular beans, peas, and lentils; soy products like soya
milk and tofu cheese; cereals, flour; and mainly nuts and seeds.
Calcium and Vitamin D – While calcium is often found in dairy products,
vegetarians that don’t consume dairy will find calcium in pulses, sesame seeds,
tahini, tofu and soy milk with added calcium, dried fruits. Also, dark green vegetable
sunshine contains some calcium. The body when exposing the sunshine produces
Vitamin D but you can also find it in foods such as margarines and fortified cereals,
as well as supplements.?
Iron – Iron from plant-based food is less well absorbed than iron from meat. So you
have to pay extra attention to this item. Good sources of iron include pulses, whole
meal bread and flour, dark green leafy vegetables, nuts, dried fruits and fortified
breakfast cereals. Remember to eat those foods with others that contain Vitamin C
like fruit juices, because that Vitamin helps iron to be absorbed.?
Vitamin B12 – Unfortunately, this Vitamin is only found in foods from animal
sources, so your vegetarian diet must include foods fortified with B12, like some
soya milks, breakfast cereals, wholegrain bread and yeast extract. If you are not a
vegan and still eat eggs and drink cow milk you have nothing to worry about,
because you will get your B12 from those sources.?
Selenium – Bread and eggs provide some selenium but the greatest sources are
Brazil nuts, especially if you are vegan and don’t eat eggs.?
Omega-3 fatty acids – This component can be found in flaxseed oil, rapeseed oil,
walnuts, soya oil and soya-based foods like tofu cheese. However, the conversion
of plant-based omega-3 to the types used by the body is inefficient, it is
recommended to use fortified products or supplements.?
Zinc – Zinc is also less absorbed if it comes from plants, however there are good
sources of zinc, like wholegrain, soy derivates, legumes and nuts. If you are not a
vegan, you can also have zinc from cheese.
It is important to keep a balanced diet, and so not eat too much of one type of food
and none at all of another type. You are going to have a very balanced diet by
dieting on the following vegetarian food pyramid: 6-11 servings of whole grains,
rice, bread, pasta and cereal; 2-4 servings of fruit; 3-6 servings of vegetables; 2-3
servings of legumes, beans, nuts and seeds; 2-3 servings of dairy products or
substitutes and vegetable oils and fats, sweets, salt and spices used sparingly.?