A vegetarian or vegan diet can be a healthy way to eat if you pay attention to what you’re putting on your plate. Here are some tips for a healthy vegetarian or vegan diet:
1. Make sure you’re getting enough protein: Vegetarians and vegans can get protein from a variety of sources such as legumes, tofu, tempeh, nuts, and seeds. Including a variety of protein sources in your meals will ensure that you’re getting all of the essential amino acids your body needs.
2. Include plenty of vegetables and fruits: Vegetables and fruits provide important vitamins, minerals, and fibre that your body needs to stay healthy. Aim for at least five servings of fruits and vegetables each day.
3. Get your calcium: Calcium is important for strong bones and teeth. Vegetarians can get calcium from dairy products such as milk and cheese, while vegans can get it from fortified plant-based milk, tofu, and leafy greens such as kale and collard greens.
4. Don’t forget about iron: Iron is essential for healthy blood cells, and vegetarians and vegans can get it from sources such as lentils, spinach, tofu, and fortified breakfast cereals.
5. Consider taking a vitamin B12 supplement: Vitamin B12 is important for nerve function and the production of red blood cells. It’s found almost exclusively in animal products, so vegetarians and vegans may need to take a supplement to ensure they’re getting enough.
6. Limit processed foods: While it’s easy to rely on processed vegetarian or vegan foods, such as fake meat or cheese, they can be high in salt, sugar, and fat. Opt for whole, unprocessed foods whenever possible.
By following these tips, you can enjoy a healthy and balanced vegetarian or vegan diet that provides all the nutrients with your body needs.