Vegetarianism is the health mantra of the new times. The number of people following a vegetarian diet is seen increasing around the world. It is a common misconception that people who follow a vegetarian diet tend to be less healthy than their non vegetarian counterparts. But this belief is a myth as a proper vegetarian diet will be as nutritious as a non-vegetarian diet.
The main ingredient in a vegetarian’s diet should be plenty of vegetables and fruitsThey are low in fat, but rich in fiber, folic acid, vitamin C and minerals like calcium and magnesium which is required to maintain health.They also contain phytochemicals which boosts the immune system and help in repair of cells.
Dark leafy vegetables and dried beans are found out to be an excellent source of Iron. Legumes and nuts provide the required amount of zinc in the diet. The deficiency of omega 3 fatty acids which is usually provided by fish oils can be made up by the use of flax seed oil. Mushrooms and certain lentils are an excellent provider of vitamin D.
The intake of protein is an important factor to be considered as all vegetarian foods do not supply the required amount of proteins. Broccoli, almonds, spinach, peas, tofu and dry fruits can provide the required protein level in a vegetarian diet.
Vitamin B12 plays an important role in keeping the nervous system healthy and also in the production of red blood cells in the human body . While non vegetarian food has a very high amount of this vitamin, it’s level is very less in vegetarian food. The deficiency of vitamin B12 is one reason why vegetarians are seen to become more prone to anemia. To make up for this deficiency, vegetarians must definitely include food items like soy milk, breakfast cereals and textured vegetable proteins in their regular diet .
Following a vegetarian diet has many advantages as it is found to reduce the incidence of conditions like high blood pressure, diabetes, cholesterol and certain cancers. It is also seen to be highly beneficial for pregnant women, lactating women and for infants.
A vegetarian diet is found to be one way to remain healthy and fit. Experiment with not one but with different kinds of fruits and vegetables and be sure to get all the nutrients you will ever need to keep you fit and fine.