I’m often asked if it’s possible to have a healthy vegetarian diet…. The answer is YES! The same as any other type of diet, it’s all about making sure that you are getting ALL of the essential nutrients the body needs to function. Guess what happens when we don’t??? The body can’t function properly and it’s that simple! Over time this creates disease, especially chronic diseases that much of the population nowadays has something or other going on. The reality is that if you don’t take care of what you feed your body, how you feel and how often you do activities aside from sitting down, disease is going to occur. There is so much scientific evidence demonstrating the benefits of wholefood, plant-based diets, happiness and positivity, as well as physical activity and relaxation in all different forms so there really is something to suit everyone 😊
Anyway end of rant and back to the topic of this article lol 😉
If you are choosing to opt for a vegetarian lifestyle it’s important to ensure a few nutrients are still being consumed in high enough quantity to meet your body's needs -
Protein – nuts and seeds, beans and lentils, vegetables (broccoli is very protein dense), eggs and dairy.
Healthy fats – nuts and seeds, avocados, olive and flaxseed oils, as well as chia seeds.
Iron – prunes, nuts and seeds, eggs.
Zinc – nuts and seeds, eggs, dairy.
Vitamin A – plant-based beta-carotene can be converted to pro-vitamin A however requires enough iron to do so! Mainly orange and dark green fruits and veges contain beta-carotene.
B12 – eggs and dairy, green and purple nori seaweed, shitake mushrooms and properly fermented foods like tempe (fermented bean loaf), sauerkraut or kim chi. High fibre foods in the diet like beans and lentils, along with loads of veges will ensure that our good gut bacteria are able to produce some of its own B12. For an extensive overview see B12 plant-based sources for vegetarians - research article https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4042564/
The picture is a dish I just whipped up with onion, slow fried first in some sesame oil. Next I added some chopped kale, shitake mushrooms and black bean tempe, then finished off with a dash of tamari (wheat free soy sauce), juice of half a lime and a sprinkle of chili flakes.
Hope you get to try and enjoy!!