Proper Planning For Vegetarians


Special care must be taken when planning a vegetarian diet to ensure suitable amounts of nutrients are included daily. Nutrients like protein, iron, calcium, zinc and vitamins B-12 and D may all be easily integrated into your vegetarian lifestyle with the proper planning. Here are a few guidelines to consider when you’re planning your weekly shopping trip and coordinating your weekly menu.


Plant proteins alone may provide enough of the essential and non-essential amino acids, as long as sources of dietary protein are varied and caloric intake is elevated enough to meet energy needs.   Whole grains, legumes, veggies, seeds and nuts all contain both essential and non-essential amino acids. Soy proteins, like soya milk and tofu, have been shown to be equal to proteins of animal sources.


Vegetarians might have a greater risk of iron deficiency than non-vegetarians. Dried fruits and beans, spinach, and brewer’s yeast are all great plant sources of iron. Vitamin B-12 may be found in some fortified breakfast cereals and soy beverages, some brands of brewer’s yeast as well as vitamin supplementations.  Read the labels of other foods cautiously; you may be surprised what food is B-12 fortified.


As a vegetarian, it’s crucial that you’ve a reliable source of vitamin D, in your diet.  Exposure to UV (UV) light stimulates your body produce its own vitamin D. Daytime outside exercise and working in your garden are both excellent alternatives for obtaining this crucial nutrient. Those who don’t have the chance to get out and soak up the sunlight may want to consider adding a supplement to their diet.


Recent studies suggest that vegetarians absorb and retain more calcium from foods than their non-vegetarian counterparts. Veggie greens like spinach, kale and broccoli, and some legumes and soya products, are great sources of calcium from plants.


Vegetarians might have a greater risk of iron deficiency than non-vegetarians. Dried beans, spinach, enriched products, brewer’s yeast and dried fruits are all great plant sources of iron.  When consumed alongside a fruit or vegetable containing high amounts of ascorbic acid, your body more willingly absorbs the required iron, so make sure to team these 2 vital nutrients up as much as possible when meal planning.