How vegetarians can meet their nutritional needs

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Ensuring that you get the best from your vegan diet is no easy task. When you consider the main food types and the vitamins and minerals you need from your diet, a lot of it points to meat. You will, however, be pleasantly surprised that you can get all of these essential nutrients from foods that don’t include meat.

IRON is important in a diet, especially for women as they lose vital amounts of this while they are menstruating. A lack of iron in a persons diet leads to anemia. A lot of meats are rich in iron, but for vegans, the best way to get iron into your diet is to eat sea vegetables. Not only that but broccoli is also rich in iron as is soy products, raisins and legumes. Not only that, but there are plenty of breakfast cereals and other foods that have been fortified with iron. CALCIUM is essential for promoting healthy bones and teeth. The common misconception is that this mineral generally only comes from milk and other dairy products such as yogurt and cheese. Believe it or not, many soy products contain the right amounts of calcium that you need, as does tofu. You will also find food stuffs, such as fruit juices, that contain added calcium.

PROTEIN is an important dietary requirement for improving muscles. Again, chicken and eggs are two of the main sources of this, but vegans can find it in nuts, seeds, grains and also many vegetables. Again, many soy products also contain protein.

VITAMIN D is needed to ensure that calcium is absorbed into the body. Again, milk is one of the best sources of this vitamin, but sunlight is also a good source. Just spending a few hours per week in the sun will ensure that you have the right amounts of Vitamin D in your body. Again, there are fortified products you can buy to ensure that you are not lacking in Vitamin D.

VITAMIN B12 is a hard vitamin to get into a vegans diet, but it is essential. There are no known sources of this vitamin that don’t involve meat. Some cereals and soy products have this fortified in it, and there are also supplements you can take to ensure your body doesn’t lack this vitamin.

ZINC is usually found in milk and dairy products, but vegans can find this mineral in soy products, nuts and also dried beans. Again, there are supplements you can take to ensure that your body has the right amount of zinc.

One thing you need to remember, if you are a vegan, or are thinking of switching to the vegan way of life, is that soy products are amongst the best food stuffs you can buy when trying to get those essential nutrients from your food. Not only that, but you also need to have a good mixture of fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds to ensure that you are getting a bit of everything, rather than a lot of one thing. You may also want to consider looking at supplements just to be on the safe side.

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