A healthy balanced vegetarian diet plan takes research and consideration. When you make the decision to become a vegetarian, you will find yourself faced with many choices. There are many different kinds of vegetarian diets. Some include dairy and eggs, others have one or the other included, and still others add some animal products on occasion. Then there are the vegans who consume a strict plant based diet with no dairy, no eggs, and no animal products. You will also find that most vegans are careful not to wear, or use any products that relate to animals including gelatin or honey. Vegans are often very conscious of the ethical treatment of animals.
When you decide on a balanced vegetarian diet, you will need to be aware of all the vitamins and minerals that you will need to supplement to get adequate nutrition in your diet on a daily basis. There are some vitamins and minerals that are lacking in a traditional plant based diet including iron, zinc, calcium, vitamin B-12, vitamin D, and protein. Some of these minerals and vitamins can be found in a daily multivitamin, or in other supplements. The following are some of the benefits and foods to look for in a healthy vegetarian diet plan.
Iron is an important nutrient because it carries oxygen in the blood. Because iron is most often found in a nonvegetarian diet, vegetarians and vegans need to find good sources of iron in a variety of foods. These kinds of foods include sea vegetables like wakame, and nori, iron fortified cereals, soybeans, tofu, and dried fruits.
Zinc is a mineral that is generally found in dairy products. Vegetarians can find this mineral in foods like nuts, soy products, and a number of cereals.
Calcium strengnthes teeth and bones, and can also be found mostly in dairy products. You can also find calcium in some cereals, tofu, soy milk, and orange juice with added calcium.
Vitamin B-12 is essential for blood formation and cell division. It can usually be found in animal products including eggs and dairy, and vegetarians can find this vitamin in foods like fortified cereals and soy milk.
Vitamin D is a vitamin often found in dairy products. Everyone can benefit from vitamin D to keep them strong and healthy. It is also known to elevate the mood. It can be found in exposure to the sun, mushrooms, and in fortified cereals.
Protein is critical for maintaining bone and muscle mass. It is usually found in animal products, although vegetarians can get adequate protein through soy based products, beans, tofu, peanut butter, and nuts.
Knowing what foods to eat in a healthy balanced vegetarian diet is critical for staying vital and healthy. You will want to do the research before beginning any new diet plan. Once you decide on a balanced vegetarian diet plan, you will want to educate yourself, and decide which diet is best for you. Eating a variety of foods is best, and if you can supplement your diet with essential vitamins and minerals, you will be ahead of the game.
Source by Kelly Simpson