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Essential Nutrients for a Balanced and Healthy Vegetarian Diet
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Essential Nutrients for a Balanced and Healthy Vegetarian Diet


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  • 1. Essential Nutrients for
    a Balanced and
    Healthy Vegetarian
  • 2. As long as there is balance in the nutritional intake by eating a variety of foods, a vegetarian diet
    is on the right track. But to give a clearer idea on how this works here are the essential nutrients that needs to be included.
  • 3.
    • Calcium
    Because not all vegetarians eat meat by-products such as milk which is rich in calcium, a vegetarian needs to consume foods that are rich in calcium.
    • cereals, orange juice, soy milk
    • 4. other calcium-fortified foods - the manufacturers have added calcium to it.
    • 5. legumes, tofu, seeds
    • 6. green leafy vegetables
    • 7. consult your doctor about taking in calcium supplements
  • 8.
    • Vitamin D
    Just like calcium, vitamin D is also an essential nutrient in keeping our bones strong. As mentioned earlier, for vegetarians who do not drink or eat milk products they may consume breakfast cereals or soy milk. Our bodies can also produce vitamin D when we are exposed to sunlight regularly. If you feel that your vegetarian diet isn’t providing enough vitamin D for the body you may consult your doctor about taking in supplements.
  • 9.
    • Iron
    Our bodies do not absorb iron from plant foods well compared to meat so it is essential that vegetarians eat a variety of food particularly foods that are rich in iron.
    • green leafy vegetables
    • 10. peas, lentils
    • 11. cooked dried beans
    Because iron is best absorbed with the help of Vitamin C, a vegetarian may take in foods rich in this vitamin and if it helps, iron supplements may be taken in too.
  • 12.
    • Vitamin B12
    Since vitamin B12 is found in animal sources only, vegans will have to get this from foods that are fortified with it such as soy milk or better yet take in supplements. This is crucial most especially for vegan women who are pregnant or breast-feeding.
    • Protein
    One of the common worries of vegetarians is not being able to get sufficient protein in their diet but protein may also be gotten from grains and legumes.
  • 13.
    • Omega-3 Fatty Acids
    The best source of omega-3 fatty acids is usually found in fish and even eggs but since these are exempted from a vegetarian diet, a vegetarian may get it from soybean oil, pumpkin seeds, walnuts and canola oil.
    • Zinc
    Similar to iron, zinc is best absorbed when we eat it from meat rather than plants but this won’t be much of a problem for vegetarians because there are foods that are excellent sources of this vitamin such as lentils, vegetables, whole grain bread and soy.
  • 14. For more details
    please visit
    Healthy Balanced Diet