You can find all essential vitamins, minerals and nutrients, and even protein, in vegetables. Studies show that women eating meat have a 50% higher risk of suffering from heart diseases than those who are vegetarians.
Vegetarians who eat milk and eggs are sufficiently supplied with protein. In order to have enough protein, amino acids, vitamins and minerals, you also eat white and green beans, lentils, cereal and nuts. Recent research indicates that these beans and nuts should be consumed during the day.
Some recommended nutritious menus are: sticky rice with black beans and salted sesame; sandwiches with peanut butter; bean soup served with bread; lentil soup and corn flour cakes; and navy bean soup with sunflower seeds.
It is wrong to think that milk can provide all essential nutrients provided by meat. It is especially true that milk and cheese are good sources of protein, but they cannot provide enough iron, zinc and other minerals found in meat. However, two or three servings of white, green or black beans a day can provide enough essential minerals for the body.
To avoid zinc deficiency, vegetarians should eat zinc-rich foods such as lima beans, wheat spouts, nuts and beans of all kinds, and dark green vegetables every day. Semi-polished cereal, rice and wheat can supplies three times more zinc than well-polished ones.
Meat is a good source of iron. To have enough iron, vegetarians, especially women and children, should have daily servings of iron-rich foods including beans, dark green vegetables and dried fruit. To supplement the essential protein needed by the body, al vegetarians, including those consuming milk and eggs, should eat various kinds of beans, nuts and sesame.
Vegetarians also avoid eating too much sugar, edible oils and alcoholic beverages, which bring “empty” calories, but lack many essential vitamins and minerals for the body.