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All about the benefits of vegetarian diet | 24 Mantra

Does a vegetarian diet meet all your nutritional requirements?

Does-a-vegetarian-diet-meet-all-your-nutritional-requirements?

Does a vegetarian diet meet all your nutritional requirements?

Blog
26.06.2019

A lot of people in this world are vegetarians and they are healthy. A vegetarian diet is a diet which is devoid of flesh foods such as meat, poultry, wild game, seafood, and their products.

Vegetarian diets are followed by a lot of people all over the world and the number keeps growing. A vegetarian diet is probably be followed for several reasons.

  1. Religious
  2. Ethical
  3. Health
  4. Environmental

Plant-based foods such as grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, fruits, vegetables are the main constituents of a vegetarian diet and it may or may not contain milk and milk products and eggs. Vegan diets are devoid of all animal foods including dairy products and eggs.

If you are a vegetarian, these are some points you need to keep in mind

A well-balanced vegetarian diet can provide all the nutrients a person requires.  But there are some nutrients which need special attention because on a vegetarian diet these nutrients recommended daily allowances are a little difficult to meet.

Calcium  

A vegetarian has to be careful and ensure that there are enough dairy products in the diet to get sufficient calcium. The absorption of calcium is much better from milk and milk products compared to plant sources. Calcium-fortified foods such as soy products, juices are also a good source of calcium compared to plant sources.

Iron

Heme and non-heme iron are the two types of iron found in foods whereas Heme is found in animal products and non-heme in plant products. Heme iron (15 to 35 %) is better absorbed compared to non-heme iron (1 -34 %). The reason for the lower absorption of non-heme is because of the fiber and phytate content of plant products.

In adolescents, low iron levels in the body are more prevalent and among vegetarian adolescents, it is even more. Special attention has to be paid to iron in the diet.

Vitamin B12

Only foods that are derived from animal sources contain vitamin B12. Plant sources do not contain this vitamin. Even animals do not synthesize vitamin B12, the intestinal bacteria in these animals synthesize vitamin B12. When we consume these animal foods, we get sufficient vitamin B12. Therefore, strict vegetarians are at a higher risk of developing vitamin B12 deficiency and supplements may become necessary.

Proteins

A vegetarian diet can meet protein requirement without too much effort. But as all the essential amino acids are not present in one plant food with a few exceptions all a vegetarian need’s to do is to get proteins from a variety of sources. That way a vegetarian will get all the essential amino acids needed by combining different complimentary proteins.

Fiber

Vegetarians get an adequate amount of fiber very easily from their diet. It sometimes may exceed the required amount. This may lead to reduced absorption of certain nutrients such as calcium and iron. Make sure the fiber content is not too much in the diet.

For whatever reason, a person adopts vegetarianism with a little attention paid to certain nutrients it can be healthy. Research states that a vegetarian diet reduces the risk of developing metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes. It is also beneficial for heart health. Properly planned vegetarian diets are healthy and help in managing weight.

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