Many people all over the globe and particularly in western world are turning towards vegetarianism. Confusion still persists whether eating vegetables will provide all the nutrients required by the body. A well balanced vegetarian diet is as effective in providing energy and other essential nutrients as eating non vegetarian food.
A balanced vegetarian diet is low in fat, especially saturated fats. Vegetarian diet is rich in fibers. Eating vegetarian food reduces the risk of heart disease, hypertension, obesity etc. A well balanced vegetarian diet comprises of proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, minerals and other vital nutrients.
Balanced Vegetarian Diet Meal Plan
A balanced vegetarian diet plan should include foods such as:
- Grains and cereals: Wholegrain bread, brown rice, pasta prepared from whole wheat, muesli, oats, etc. They are rich source of proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals.
- Nuts, seeds, and legumes: Soy, cashew nuts, almonds, groundnuts, brown beans, kidney beans, lentils, pistachio, walnuts, flax seeds, hemp seeds etc. They are rich in vitamins and minerals. Besides providing fiber, carbohydrate, proteins, certain seeds such as flax seeds provide important omega 3 fatty acids.
- Vegetables and fruits: Spinach, broccoli, cabbage, orange, strawberry, apple, papaya, banana, etc are good source of vitamins and minerals. Besides they are also rich source of fibers, which as helpful in digestion.
- Dairy and dairy products: Yogurts, milk, cheese, cottage cheese, butter, peanut butter, are rich source of calcium, vitamins, fats and carbohydrates.
Vitamin B12 is lacking in vegetarian diet. Therefore a person eating vegetarian diet should eat fortified food with this vitamin, or he should take supplementary vitamins.
Healthy Vegetarian Breakfast And Lunch Menu
A balanced vegetarian breakfast includes required amount of energy similar to a non vegetarian breakfast. You can select from so many variety of foods for a healthy balanced breakfast that fills your stomach as well as provides you with all the required healthy nutrients.
- Green tea, two brown bread toast with peanut butter applied on it, 1 cup of milk, banana berry smoothie, and an apple.
- Green tea, milk, pancake, strawberry 1 cup, ½ apple, whole wheat toast with butter, or cheese.
- Green tea, skim milk, oats with 1 teaspoon of honey, a mixture of cottage cheese and banana sprinkled with ground flax seeds (omega 3). You can make a sandwich of this mixture and fill it between two whole cereal breads or split English muffin.
- Tofu, lettuce, leek or asparagus, herb soup, grilled tomato sandwich, vegetable fried rice.
- Spinach, black beans with wild mushrooms, parmesan cheese slice, 1 banana, chilly cheese toast.
- Yogurt mixed with fresh fruit pieces, sprinkled with chopped nuts and whole grain crackers or toasted bread slice.
- A dish full of boiled vegetables with a dash of olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper, vegetable hot dogs served on whole grain bread. The topping of your choice include tomato ketchup, mustard, cheese or tomato slice.