How to Get the Best Nutrition with Vegetarian Diet?

A well-planned vegetarian diet is a healthy way to meet your nutrient needs. Learn what to know about a plant-based diet.

A well-planned vegetarian diet can meet the needs of individuals of all ages, including children, adolescents, pregnant women or who are breastfeeding their children. The secret lies in the awareness of nutritional needs so that you can plan a diet that meets them.

Types of vegetarian diets

When people think of a vegetarian diet, they usually think of a diet that does not contain meat, chicken or fish. But plant diets differ in the foods they include and exclude them:

  • Dairy-based vegetarian diets exclude meat, fish, chicken, and eggs, as well as the foods they contain. It contains dairy products, such as milk, cheese, yogurt, and butter.
  • Dairy and egg-based vegetarian diets exclude meat, fish, and chicken, but allow dairy and eggs.
  • Egg-based vegan diets exclude meat, chicken, seafood and dairy products, but allow eggs.
  • Exclusive vegan diets exclude meat, chicken, fish, eggs and dairy products, as well as foods that include these products.

Some people follow a semi-vegan diet, which is a plant-based diet primarily but includes meat, dairy products, eggs, poultry, and fish in some cases or in small quantities.

The pyramid of the vegetarian diet

A healthy diet requires a plan, and the food pyramid can be a useful tool in this. The plant pyramid determines the food groups and food options that are the basic basis for a healthy vegetarian diet if taken in appropriate quantities.

Get the right nutrients

The main point in pursuing a healthy vegetarian diet – like any diet – is to enjoy a variety of foods. There is no single food that can provide all the nutrients the body needs. The more restrictive your diet, the more difficult it is to get all the nutrients you need. A pure vegan diet, for example, excludes all sources of natural foods that contain vitamin B-12, as well as dairy products that are good sources of calcium.

But with a little planning, you can make sure your diet includes everything your body needs. Pay close attention to the following nutrients:

  • Calcium helps build and maintain strong teeth and bones. Milk and dairy products are characterized by the highest value of calcium. However, dark green vegetables, such as cabbage, kale and cabbage and broccoli Vegetables are good plant sources when eaten in sufficient quantities. Other products rich in calcium-fortified foods such as juices, cereals, soy milk, soy yogurt, and tofu are other options.
  • Iodine is a component of thyroid hormones, which helps in regulating the metabolism, growth, and functioning of the main organs. Vegetarians may not get enough iodine and run the risk of deficiency, and possibly a goiter. Moreover, some foods such as soybeans and vegetables from the Crusader family and potatoes can stimulate peach infection. However, only a quarter of a teaspoon of iodine salt provides a large amount of iodine.
  • Iron is an extremely important component of red blood cells. Good sources of iron are dried peas, dried beans, lentils, fortified cereals, whole-grain products, dark-leafed vegetables, and dried fruits. Since iron is not easily absorbed from plant sources compared to other sources, the recommended iron intake for vegetarians is almost twice that of non-vegetarians. To help the body absorb iron, eat foods rich in vitamin C, such as strawberries, citrus fruits, tomatoes, cabbage, and broccoli, while eating foods that contain iron.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for a healthy heart. Diets that do not include fish and eggs are generally lacking in the effective types of omega-3 fatty acids. Canola oil, soybean oil, nuts, ground flaxseed, and soybeans are good sources of essential fatty acids. But given the insufficiency of converting plant-derived omega-3 fats into human species, you may want to consider using augmented products, taking nutritional supplements, or both.
  • Protein helps maintain healthy skin, bones, muscles, and organs. Eggs and dairy products are good sources, and you do not need to eat large quantities to meet your protein needs. An adequate amount of protein can also be obtained from processed foods from plants if you eat a variety of them throughout the day. Plant sources include soy products, meat alternatives, legumes, lentils, nuts, seeds, and whole grains.
  • Vitamin B-12 is essential for red blood cell production and anemia prevention. This vitamin is available almost exclusively in animal products, and therefore it may be difficult to obtain an adequate amount of vitamin B-12 in pure plant diets. Likewise, people with a purely vegan diet may not be aware of vitamin B-12 deficiency. The reason for this is that pure plant diets are rich in a vitamin called folate, which may mask vitamin B-12 deficiency until severe problems occur. For this reason, vegetarians should make sure to take vitamin and vitamin supplements rich in fortified soy products.