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7 Must Eat Foods for Vegetarians
In our previous article we looked at the advantages and disadvantages of a vegetarian diet. While the major drawback is finding a way to get a complete source of Vitamin B-12, Iron and protein in your diet, by choosing the right foods you can be a healthy vegetarian. Healthy vegetarians have lower BMI and lower cholesterol levels. This can be achieved with a high protein vegetarian diet that includes plenty of fruits and vegetables. The foods below are for those vegetarians that do not eat meat but are still open to dairy and other animal products. For Vegans, on the other hand, it becomes much more difficult to have a well rounded diet.
Excellent sources of protein, legumes, or dried beans as they are otherwise known, are affordable and convenient. Whether you prefer chickpeas, kidney beans, lentil or any of the other thousands of legume varieties, legumes are low fat, low cholesterol delicious foods that can be mixed with any dish.
Eggs are a complete protein, meaning they contain all the essential amino acids. Without meat in your diet, you will want to rely on eggs to give you a full supply of protein. Whereas with other vegetarian foods you get only a partial protein profile, eggs are a quick and reliable answer. Eggs also are full of vitamins and minerals such as B-12 and even Vitamin D.
3.Whole Grain Cereal
Ready to eat cereal is an excellent way to get sufficient iron in your diet. Cereal can provide 18mg of iron in a ¾ cup serving. That is 100% of your daily value!
4.Nuts and Seeds
Nuts and seeds are another excellent source of protein for vegetarians. Walnuts especially are great for your health as they contain omega-3 fatty acids and help protect against heart disease. Other great choices are Almonds, Cashews and Pecans.
Tofu is an excellent source of soy protein. It easily mixes with many dishes and is another food that is high in iron and other minerals. Half a cup of tofu can provide 6.7mg of iron as well as 11% of the daily value of copper and close to 10% of magnesium.
The healthiest dairy options are low fat or non fat milk, yogurt and cheeses. Yogurt is especially healthy since it is a great source of protein and is full of probiotics that help regulate your digestive tract. For a delicious breakfast try mixing some whole grain ready to eat cereal with some non fat or low fat yogurt. It is filling and will start your day with a healthy dose of protein and vitamins and minerals.
Seitan has served as a meat substitute for hundreds of years and is made from whole wheat flour. Gluten from the whole wheat provides 20-30 grams of protein per serving. If you are allergic to gluten then by all means skip this one! If not, then mix it with your favorite stir-fries and stews for a delicious meal.
For more articles about the benefits and drawbacks to a vegetarian diet click here.
The information supplied in this article is not to be considered as medical advice and is for educational purposes only.
|Healthy Diets10 Dec 2010|