When beginning your new vegetarian diet, it is important to make certain that you are still getting all of your necessary vitamins and nutrients. The biggest reason most former vegetarians quit their diet is because they failed to learn how to eat a healthy vegetarian diet and they were lacking proper nutrition in their diets. Here are several ways to start off your new vegetarian diet the right way and start eating healthier today!
Most new vegetarians have trouble consuming enough protein. While meat is an excellent source of protein, there are so many fruits, vegetables and grains that are just as good. Peanuts, almonds and cashews are all high in protein. Quinoa, a grain-like seed, is not only high in protein, but is also rich in magnesium and vitamin E.
Iron is another vitamin that some vegetarians have difficulties with. Once again, nuts are a great source of iron, particularly pine nuts, hazelnuts and pistachios. Spinach and kale are also high in iron, so make sure to include them in your salads and in your smoothies.
One often overlooked vitamin is B12. Vegetarians usually have a tough time getting enough B12 in their diets. The best way to do this is to eat eggs and cheese. Some vegetarians may wish to avoid eggs and cheese, though, so for them the best way to get a proper amount of B12 is to eat more mushrooms or to find a good yeast extract spread.
Another supplement that new vegetarians need to look out for is iodine. This is most commonly found in fish so it is tough for vegetarians to get, but the best source is kelp. Kelp tastes great in a salad or a smoothie. If you really dislike it, then an iodine supplement is the next best thing.
Make sure to eat a lot of fruit! Mix it up as well. Perhaps eat a banana with your lunch, then a red pear with your dinner. Don’t be afraid to try out new or exotic fruits in order to spice up your diet a little bit. Lychee fruit may seem strange, but it is delicious and high in potassium, magnesium, vitamin C and vitamin B6.
One of the most difficult challenges that new vegetarians frequently face is, “How am I supposed to eat enough fruit and vegetables throughout the day in order to get all of my daily vitamins and minerals?” The solution to this problem is actually quite simple. You need to find a high quality blender. Fruit and vegetable smoothies are the absolute best way to pack all of your nutrients into a few drinks throughout the day.
One tasty smoothie that I enjoy making with my blendtec is yerba mate tea blended with chopped mangoes, strawberries, blueberries, bananas and lots of spinach and romaine. This is an excellent source of iron, protein, magnesium, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, loads of antioxidants and more! Drinking one is a great way to start your day off healthy.