A vegetarian diet is undoubtedly healthy and offers plenty of health benefits, such as low risks of obesity, diabetes, and heart conditions. However, it takes a little effort to make a vegetarian diet balanced and well-nutritional. As you refrain from eating certain foods as a vegetarian, you need to add the foodstuff that offers the nutrients present in animal products. To help you eat a balanced vegetarian diet, we have come up with certain tips. Follow them to make sure all your nutritional needs are met.
Take Ample Protein-Rich Foods
As a vegetarian, you have to rely on protein-containing vegan food instead of animal products. Some of the best sources of proteins you can consider are legumes, dairy foods, soy products, nuts, and nut butter. You can create interesting food recipes out of these items to keep your meals interesting.
Rely On A Variety Of Vegetables
Vegetarians have got the benefit of eating a variety of vegetables so make sure to take full advantage of it. Try to choose certain vegetables for your meals for the day and then pick everything different for the next day. In this way, you will be taking all the necessary nutrients. For breakfast, you can have a vegetable pancake. For lunch and dinner, you can choose red beans plus vegetable salad and chickpea patties and vegetable soup respectively. Change the menu for the next day covering different vegetables, and so on.
Eat Fresh Fruits Instead Of Frozen
Frozen fruits have significantly less amount of nutrients than their fresh counterparts. According to certain sources, frozen fruits have lesser antioxidants and are also devoid of vitamin C and vitamin B that are lost in the processing. So, try to eat fresh fruits every day and don’t be shy about eating a wide variety. Just make sure to watch your portion size while eating fruits.
Have Food Rich In Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Most health-conscious vegetarians are aware of the benefits of omega-3 fatty acids. These essential fatty acids lower the risk of heart diseases and also control inflammation. So, make sure to include them in your balanced vegetarian diet. Vegetarians who can’t eat fatty fish should rely on other good sources of omega-3 fatty acids like tofu, chia seeds, flaxseeds, and walnuts, to name a few. You can also try tofu and soybean recipes to obtain a sufficient dose of omega-3 fatty acids.
Get Your Vitamin D and B12
A balanced vegetarian diet should also include plenty of vitamin D and vitamin B12. For vitamin D, you can rely on soy milk or dairy products. Vegetarians who are not vegans can eat eggs and drink cow’s milk for vitamin B12. On the other hand, vegans can consider fortified soy milk and vegan vitamin B12 supplements.
Eat Nuts As Snacks
Instead of unhealthy snacks, try to eat healthy snacks such as nuts every day. Eating nuts as snacks will keep you satisfied for a longer period. If you eat them before dinner, you will also avoid overeating. Eat a variety of nuts like peanuts, pine nuts, hazelnuts, walnuts, pecan nuts, chestnuts, and cashews. Try to add them to your main dishes, smoothies, and salads.