It's Vegetarian Week

The vegetarian diet, like the vegan diet, excludes red meat, poultry, and fish.  Unlike the vegan diet however, vegetarians may eat dairy products, that is milk, cheese, yogurt and butter (lacto-vegetarians) and some vegetarians also include eggs (ovo-lacto vegetarians).  Eggs and milk are good sources of protein and you probably need less than you think to meet your nutritional needs.  Eggs are also a good source of B12, which vegan diets may lack.  However vegetarians may still have difficulty getting enough iron from vegetable sources (peas, beans, lentils, dark green leafy vegetables).  You can increase your ability to absorb iron by having a rich source of vitamin C (for example a glass of orange juice, peppers, kiwi fruit etc) at the same time as the iron containing food).  Milk is a good source of calcium and vitamin D, essential for healthy bones. It is also easily absorbed.  

The vegetarian diet is a very healthy diet provided you plan your meals to meet all your nutritional requirements.  

Other sources of protein for vegetarians include soy products, beans, lentils, peas, tofu, nuts and seeds.  Make sure you get your omega 3 by including nuts and seeds in your diet. Flaxseed and hemp oil are good sources.  Cheese is a good source of zinc and recent research indicates that, because of the presence of calcium in cheese, much of the saturated fat is not absorbed.  Also include plenty of fruit and vegetables, and wholegrains.

In the article  'Diet focus - the vegan diet' we talked about a meat free diet being good for your health and for the planet.  Other benefits of the vegetarian and vegan diet you might be interested in are that it slows ageing, results in better gut health and more youthful skin. The good vegan or vegetarian diet is bursting with antioxidants. The incidence of degenerative diseases such as heart disease is much lower in vegans and vegetarians.  This means that your blood circulation remains youthful, bringing nutrients to all parts your body.  Your brain is well supplied with nutrients including oxygen, increasing mental clarity and reducing fatigue.  Your skin is well supplied with nutrients giving it a youthful glow.  The vegan and vegetarian diet also includes plenty of fibre resulting in a healthy digestion.  As a yogini, I believe that the basis of good health is a healthy gut.

There are many vegan recipes on this blog that would also be suitable for vegetarians, so why not try a few?

Eat well, stay young
Janet x

Article Copyright © 2015 40plusandalliswell

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