Vegetarian diets continue to increase in popularity. Some vegetarians rely on processed foods, and may not eat enough fruits, vegetables, whole grains and calcium-rich foods, thus missing out on the nutrients they provide. However, with a little planning a vegetarian diet can meet the needs of people of all ages, the key is to be aware of your nutritional needs so that you plan a diet that meets them. The experts at Feels Juice Bar & Kitchen tell us more.
Regardless of what foods you choose, diversifying your intake by eating whole grains, fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, and seeds will help you make the most of your vegetarian diet. By doing so, you can ensure that you are meeting your nutritional requirements every day. With the plant-based alternatives available, it has become even easier to achieve this daily goal. But it is important to know and understand your body and then plan your diet accordingly, so you don’t miss out on essential nutrients.
From foods to include in your diet daily to alternative sources of nutrients, here are some tips on how to get the most out of a Vegetarian Diet with some recommendations from Feels Juice Bar & Kitchen.
Eat your greens and fruits: It is recommended to eat at least five 80g portions of fruit and vegetables per day, including fresh, frozen, canned, dried and juiced. Fruit and vegetables provide vitamins and minerals, as well as fibre, which aids digestion and prevents constipation.
Get your daily dose of starch: Potatoes, bread, cereals, rice, pasta, and whole grain cereals should make up approximately a third of your diet. As a healthier alternative, opt for whole grain foods and incorporate that every day as part of a healthy, balanced diet. Starchy foods provide energy and a range of nutrients in our diet. In addition to starch, they also contain calcium, iron, and B vitamins.
Calcium in milk and greens: As much as possible, dairy products should be included in your diet as it contains protein, calcium and vitamins A and B12. For those who stay away from dairy, some alternatives, such as fortified unsweetened soya, rice and oat drinks, are also high in calcium. Leafy vegetables, calcium-set tofu, and bread are other foods that also contain calcium.
Build your body with proteins: For those who do not get protein from meat, fish, or dairy products, beans, peas, and lentils are alternatives that contain a lot of protein, fibre, vitamins, and minerals. Foods such as tofu, mycoprotein (such as Quorn), textured vegetable protein, and tempeh, are other non-dairy sources of protein. These are all necessary to get the right mix of amino acids that the body uses to repair cells, hence it’s important to eat a variety of different types of protein.
The key is to get the balance right over a day, or even a week, and since there are a variety of plant-based options now available, this is easier than ever before.