Nowadays one can observe growing wave of emphasis on the nutrition. There are many reasons why people pay so much attention to their dietary structure. It can be a desire to keep health in good condition, to over come a disease, to help the environment or for some religious/ethical basis.
Vegetarianism appeared centuries ago and keeps being popular now.
Being a vegetarian influences health in many ways. Fruits and vegetables provide the body with vital vitamins and minerals that keep general health and immunity. Most vegetarian diets are rich in fibre and low in fat.
There are three kinds of vegetarians:
- Vegans: vegans stay away from meat, fish, dairy, eggs, and honey as well as other products like gelatin, silk, fur, and wool clothing.
- Lacto-vegetarians: do not consume meat, chicken and fish but consume milk and milk products.
Being vegetarian has shades too
Some vegetarians have low levels of certain nutrients so that on must keep in check.
- Vitamin B12: Plant foods are naturally lacking it. So vegans need a regular source of this vitamin. A good source of Vitamin B12 is fortified breakfast cereal.
- Protein: Lacto-ovo-vegetarians easily get their protein from dairy products and eggs.
- Iron: Iron from plant food does not absorb as well as that from meat. So the iron intake should be pushed up as well as consumingof Vitamin C to provide iron absorption.
- Zinc: Soy foods, legumes, nuts and supplemented foods are good sources of it.
- Calcium and vitamin D: Excludingof milk products makes calcium levels drop. So it’s advised to consume fortified soy milk with calcium and vitamin D.
- Riboflavin: Low levels of riboflavin can be corrected byconsumption of milk, almonds, fortified breakfast cereals, yogurt, soy, bananas and broccoli.
Being vegetarian/ vegan doesn’t mean you will surely become healthier one day. As you can still have a vegetarian mealwith lots of useless and even harmful fat.