Do vegetarians lack in protein and other essential nutrients?

Healthy Fruits

Healthy fruits

Is it a myth or is true that if you are a vegetarian you are lacking in protein and other essential nutrients? Many of my friends have asked me this question several times.

Does my food lack in protein as vegetarians do not eat meat or eggs? 

Do non-vegetarians eat more protein than they need due to meat-rich and high fat diet?

I feel that as a vegetarian I can get enough protein from greens leafy vegetables, grains, nuts, lentils, tofu, milk and cheese. The discussions around these topics can go round in circles. Let me concentrate on how, as a vegetarian, you can eat food that contains good sources of protein that can help you with your nutritional requirements in a healthy way.  To be healthy it is important in any diet to eat healthy and ensure that you are not lacking in any essential vitamins, iron or proteins.   Try and  include a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, pulses, wholegrain into your daily diet. Fruits and vegetables are usually a  good source of essential vitamins, minerals, starch, sugar, protein and fats that our body needs. They are also essential  for growth, repairing tissues, supporting our body and mind to be healthy and active.

Protein: Which food has Protein?

Protein is good for hair, skin and nails.  It provides energy for growth and repair. Animal meat does contain high amount of protein but if you are a vegetarian good source of food that is high in protein could include:
  • handful of nuts and seeds
  • tablespoon of peanut butter
  • tofu
  • baked beans
  • raisins
  • brussel sprouts
  • lentils, beans legumes
  • quinoa
  • mushrooms
Calcium: Which food has Calcium? 
Calcium is essential to build strong bones, healthy teeth and good kidney functions. Food that are high in calcium are:
  • cheese
  • yogurt
  •  milk
  • almonds
  • turnip
  • green kale
  • Dark leafy greens like spinach, kale, turnips
  • Fortified cereals and orange
  • whole breads, grains
  • orange juice
Iron: Does our body need iron?

Iron is essential mineral that helps to produce red blood cells which carries oxygen around the body.

green Juice

Green juice

  • dark-green leafy vegetables, such as spinach, watercress,  broccoli and curly kale
  • peas
  • asparagus
  • chickpeas
  • apricots
  • prune
  • brown rice
  • pulses and beans
  • nuts and seeds
  • kidney beans
  • tofu

Our body needs various vitamins too!

Vitamin A 
Vitamin A helps in improving eyesight, strengthening the immune system, bone growth, in reproduction and cell growth and can be found in: .
  • Carrots
  • sweet potatoes
  • watermelon
  • papaya
  • carrots
  • tomatoes
Vitamin B1
Vitamin B1 is good for the nervous system heart muscles and digestion. It can be found in lots of vegetarian foods such as:
  • milk and cheese
  • eggs
  • fruits
  • wholegrain
  • peanuts
Vitamin B6 
Vitamin B6 is good for heart, brain and immune system and increases hemoglobin and can be found in:
  • Soya beans
  • avocados
  • bananas
  • cauliflowers
  • potatoes
  • spinach
  • lentils
  • green peppers

Vitamin B3

Healthy salad

Healthy salad

Vitamin B3 decreases heart decease and it helps lower the level of bad cholesterol.  Vitamin B3 can be found in:

  • Peanut butter,
  • asparagus
  • broccoli
  • whole grains
Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12  is good for nerves, blood tissues and growth. Vitamin B12 can be found in following food:

  • Cheese
  • Eggs
  • Vitamin D
    Sunlight
  • milk
  • butter
Vitamin E

Vitamin E helps in protection against toxins such as air pollution, premenstrual syndrome, eye disorders such as cataracts, neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, and diabetes.  Food high in Vitamin E are as follows:

  • Nuts
  • vegetable oil
  • oats
  • mangoes
  • peanuts
  • spinach
  • walnuts
Vitamin K

Vitamin K helps in responding to injuries, it regulates normal blood clotting which is helpful in reducing bone loss, and decrease risk of bone fractures.

  • spinach
  • broccoli
  • brussel sprouts
  • carrots
  • avocados
  • tomatoes
Magnesium 
Magnesium  helps in the formation of healthy bones guards against osteoporosis where bone can become brittle and can break easily.
  • molasses
  • nuts
  • spinach
  • pumpkin
  • seeds
  • potatoes
  • broccoli
  • bananas
  • sesame seeds
Selenium
Lentils and pulses

Lentil and Pulses

Selenium helps to protect immune system and keep it strong and is good for liver function.

  • whole grain
  • whole wheat bread
  • dairy products
  • brazil nuts
  • sunflower seeds
  • garlic
  • peas
  • mangoes
Sodium

Sodium helps to balances fluids in the body.

  • salt
  • soy sauce
Potassium

Potassium helps to maintain healthy PH level in our body, it regulates blood pressure, acid and fluid balance in the body.

  • potatoes
  • avocados
  • bananas
  • yogurt
  • spinach
  • mushrooms
  • milk
  • tomatoes
Zinc

Zinc helps to keep the immune system healthy, make new cells and enzymes which heals wounds faster. helps produce healthy sperm counts

  • beans
  • brazil nuts
  • pumpkin seeds
  • yogurt
  • brown rice

The above list is not a comprehensive list but I am sure it will help you towards identifying food that you could include in your diet on daily basis.

 

Fresh Vegetables

Fresh Vegetables

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