4 things vegetarians should remember to ensure better health

Taking a vegetarian diet means that the body is easily deficient in important vitamins, proteins and minerals from meat. So, how to do it healthily?

1. Don’t say no to fat

Add protein, fat and carbohydrate to your daily diet, especially fat. These 3 groups of nutrients are indispensable ingredients in daily meals that provide calories to help the body function normally. Fat helps to absorb fat-soluble vitamins - vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin E and vitamin K. Fat is essential for cell regeneration, which helps maintain normal heart rate, giving you the ability to fight inflammation and regulate cholesterol.

The amount of fat consumed daily should be between 30% and 33%. Try to eat unsaturated fats commonly found in nuts and fruits. Monounsaturated fat should account for about 1/3, which could be found in olive oil, coconut oil, grape seed oil, almond oil, and hemp seed oil. About one third of unsaturated fats comes from walnuts, oats, sunflower seeds, butter and oil.

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2. Supplement Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids

When your body is getting enough omega fatty acids, it can prevent and control certain diseases such as heart disease, arthritis, muscle degeneration, and autoimmune disorders such as arthritis, eczema or psoriasis. To supplement fatty acids, you should eat fish, lactose-rich foods and eggs regularly. However, if you are a pure vegetarian, to consume more fatty acids, add vegetables and nuts to your daily diet, especially green vegetables, walnuts, flax seeds, chia seeds and linseed oil.

If you forget or do not have much time for meals, take omega fatty acids in the form of daily tablets.

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3. Balance the protein intake of the body when eating vegetables and legumes

There is a common misconception that vegetarians do not have enough protein in their diet. Proteins made up of amino acids that can not be synthesized by the body and must be obtained from food. Amino acids are found in meat, dairy products and eggs, as well as many plant-based foods such as quinoa, tofu, broccoli, brown rice, and green beans.

In general, you should consume about 0.41 g of protein per each lb of your body weight.

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4. Get enough vitamin B12 and vitamin D for the body

Vitamin B12 is a soluble vitamin of the B vitamins, which plays an important role in the functioning of the brain and nervous system and also in the formation of blood and DNA. The addition of vitamin B12 may be a difficult problem for vegans as it is only found in animal products. Vitamin B12, however, some foods, such as soy milk, cereals, and yeast, contain certain amounts of vitamin B12 that you can eat in place of red meat.

Vitamin D, instead, plays an important role in bone and muscle. It’s essential for both the immune system and the normal nervous system. For people who eat lactose and animal products, vitamin D intake could be easily found in milk, cheese, eggs and yogurt. However, people who strictly adhere to vegetarianism should take vitamin D from other foods such as fungi, orange juice, soy milk, cereals, and any other food derived from plants.

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By: Olivia Mendoza

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