Vegetarianism and a balanced diet.
People who suddenly become vegetarians with the hope of changing their life style turn out to be terribly disappointed disillusioned individuals because they find that they face odd health problems, hitherto unknown to them. What is the reason for this? It is an uninformed, unaware way of following a diet without bearing in mind the adverse consequences. There ought to be a healthy mix of carbohydrates, proteins, minerals and vitamins in our daily diet and instead of this if people just munch on celery sticks and baby carrots they would only end up with a lot of acidity and exhaustion. This is not true vegetarianism
Why do many Indians succeed in this diet without too much of complaint?
One important factor is their cultural upbringing that makes a huge impact on them. There is a huge benefit arising out of their bygone traditional beliefs that permeated to their food and other living habits. There is a lot of concentration on Dhal, in their food… In fact, the first birthday of all children is celebrated in a very ceremonious way where they have prayers chanted, gods and goddesses are invoked and the child is fed its first proper rice dhal food. It is just plain rice, some cooked yellow dhal, salt, and few drops of ghee for taste, and given in the presence of fire… Though it is bland, it has a nice flavor and even adults have it. This forms part of their offering to God in some houses and generally children are given this dhal rice for a very long time… There are different types of Dhal and this can be made into a variety of side dishes and this forms their staple food on many days. There is a great variety of this dhal, yellow, green, red beans .that can be made into mouthwatering delicacies… [They make this as part of their daily meal everyday]. Edible peanuts and [available to the poorest person]and almonds can be eaten without cooking… There is idly and dosa on a fairly daily basis and this has high protein content .It is supposed to be rich in vitamin B12 .It is prepared only after 12 hours of grinding and getting the batter ready when fermentation has taken place. Of course women were slogging their lives out in the kitchen in the days of their ancestors because then there was no grinder. But nowadays people do have a grinder and this batter is readily available in shops too. The village people resort to millet in some areas and this is very rich in protein and gives a lot of stamina.
A boiled green vegetable and salad form a portion of a meal and this is only served as a dish on the side. This is never treated in isolation. Fruits are taken in ample quantities and the more colorful a meal is the richer is its nutrition. Yellow and orange colored fruits supply the necessary Vitamin A; Vitamin C abounds in their food. There is no lack of iron content in a vegetarian meal Milk however has not been excluded as an animal product and this is a great source of protein.
One can always supplement the inadequacy of certain vitamins by consuming them as tablets and still successfully follow a vegetarian diet.