Vegetarian Diet
Vegetarian food is extracted from each and every aspect of nature. Vegetarian food is profoundly extracted from mother earth and is highly pure and nutritious for our bodies.

Our body is a composition of elements of nature, as a result, it is very important to supply it with the entities of nature. Thus, in this case, vegetarian food acts as a natural booster for the development and growth of the body. A well- organized vegetarian diet meets the requirements of people of different age groups like children, teenagers and pregnant women.

Important is to understand your nutritional requirements so that you can plan diet accordingly.

Here are different types of vegetarian diets:

A vegetarian diet varies in what foods it has and doesn’t have. Here are the different types of diets

  • Lacto-vegetarian: This diet does not include poultry, fish, meat and eggs. It does not include foods that have meat or fish or poultry materials. However, it includes dairy products like cheese, milk, yogurt as well as butter.
  • Lacto-ovo vegetarian: these diets do not include fish, meat and poultry. It includes all dairy products and eggs.
  • Ovo- vegetarians: These diets exclude poultry,  meat, eggs, fish and dairy products. It does not include the foods which also contain these products.
  • Flexitarian vegetarians: Some people follow a Flexitarian diet, which is also known as semi vegetarian diet. This is a plant-based diet, which includes dairy, meat, poultry, eggs and fish.

Vegetarian Diet Pyramid

We have been reading and knowing the food pyramid since our school days. However, most of us are unaware of the benefits offered by it.  The vegetarian pyramid offers the right perfect food choices and options.

The vital key to a healthy vegetarian diet is to enjoy all varieties of foods. The essential fact is that no single food can provide nutrients required by your body. You need to be experimental and open enough to enjoy different dishes and have a healthy body.  The more you restrict your diet, the more challenges you face to get all nutrients. For example, a vegan diet does not have vitamin B-12 sources as well as milk to add calcium to your diet.

It is important to feed following nutrients to the body:

  • Calcium: It is necessary  to maintain strong bones and teeth. Dairy products like milk or curd have the highest amount of calcium in them. Other than these, all green vegetables like collard greens, turnip, broccoli, and kale are also rich in calcium. Green vegetables are highly beneficial for health. Other products like cereals, soy yogurt, juices, soy milk and tofu are also extremely rich in calcium.
  • Iodine: It is found in thyroid hormones and regulates growth, metabolism and functions of key organs. People following a vegan diet do not get enough iodine and are at a risk of deficiency or a goiter. In addition, foods like cruciferous vegetables, soybeans and sweet potatoes can increase the problem of goiter. However, 1/4th consumption of salt provides a significant amount of iodine.
  • Iron: It is a very essential component of red blood cells. There are many foods which have high iron content like peas and dried beans, lentils, whole-grain products, enriched cereals, dried fruit and dark green leafy vegetables. Vegetarians should increase the iron consumed as iron is not directly absorbed from plants. Therefore, to avoid deficiency of iron, vegetarians should consume food that is rich in vitamin C like strawberries, tomatoes, citrus fruits, broccoli and cabbage.
  • Omega 3 fatty acids: These acids are important for the health of the heart. Diets that are devoid of eggs and food are low in active forms of omega-3 fatty acids. Soy oil, canola oil, walnuts, ground flaxseed are good sources of fatty acids. You may desire to consider fortified products or supplements, because the conversion of plant based omega 3 to the types used by humans is inefficient.
  • Protein: Protein helps to maintain healthy skin, bones, organs and muscles. Dairy products and eggs are a good source of proteins. You get a sufficient amount of proteins from plant based foods too, like meat substitutes, soy products, lentils, legumes, nuts, whole grains and seeds.
  • Vitamin B-12: It is necessary to produce red blood cells and prevent anemia. Almost all animal products contain huge amounts of vitamin B-12. People consuming a vegan diet have no source of vitamin B-12. Vegan diet is extremely rich in vitamins called folate, which masks the deficiency in Vitamin B-12.
  • Vitamin D: Vitamin D is very important for bone health. It is added to cow’s milk, to soya, to rice milk, to cereals and margarines. If you are restricted from sun exposure and do not consume fortified food, then it requires a Vitamin D supplement.