It is a common thinking that only non-vegetarian food is full of proteins and minerals and the veg. food is lacking in it. But the fact is that vegetarian food is also very rich in nutrients and as it contains less fat so its very good instead of non-veg. food. Lack of protein should not be a concern. Anyone who is lacto/ovo vegetarian is one who eats dairy and eggs and will easily get enough protein.
Calcium is very essential for the formation of bones and teeth and also helps in blood clot. It is found in raw nuts, sesame seeds, orange, prunes and figs. Vitamin D is essential for processing calcium. These two nutrients are found in dark leafy greens, milk, butter, broccoli, calcium fortified tofu, calcium and vitamin D-fortified soy milk. Vitamin B-12, essential for healthy nerve and blood cells, promotes DNA synthesis, maturation of erythrocytes is found mainly in non-veg food. But intake is possible by consuming per day. Vegans, those who eat only plants for food, should check the label on fortified soy milk and fortified cereal to make sure B-12 has been added. Fermented soy products miso and tempeh provide some; sea vegetables such as nori, used to wrap rice balls and sushi, or kombu and dulse used in soups and with vegetables, provide more than adequate B-12 amounts. Sea vegetables, while still foreign to the American palate, can be purchased at natural food stores or Asian groceries.
Eating legumes, dried fruits and dark green veggies will help teens meet iron needs; eat them with a food high in vitamin C - citrus, tomatoes, potatoes - for optimum iron absorption.
Most important minerals like magnesium is found in cereals, green leafy vegetables, chocolate and wheat germ. potassium is also available in most fruits and vegetables and wheat germ. It is required for normal muscle and nerve activity. Zinc can be found in yogurt, tofu, whole grains, peas, nuts and legumes.
You may have heard that rice is a complete protein, it is balanced, and that in some countries people live well on rice. However, in North America, we have a tendency to eat white rice, instead of the more healthy brown or wild rice varieties, and this leads us to consume more starch or carbohydrates without the same amount of protein to balance it.
Soybeans are very good to eat as it contains many proteins as also helpful in preventing many diseases. Beans are delicious and so easy (and cheap) to cook in a crock pot. In the beginning, invite your teens vegetarian friends over to cook a meal for the family.
So, not only non-veg. food but veg foods are full of nutrients and easily digestible and free of fats. It helps to prevent many heart diseases. More over if non-veg food is not properly and hygenicly cooked it led to many diseases. So its better to shift to veg food for good health.
What should be included in your daily diet if you are vegetarian;
- four whole-grain foods a day;
- three vegetables, two fruits every day;
- snack on fruits, vegetables and nuts;
- keep healthy and tasty crackers/chips available for snacking once a day;
- eat sweets at the end of a meal, not in between;
- exercise regularly.