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Vegetarianism is a special nutritional system that allows you to get rid of almost all diseases and become truly happy. Its adherents, treatises with a long history, and even scientists and physicians assert this. True, they all clarify that you can only feel its magical power on yourself if you properly plan your diet.
Why is it important to pay special attention to your diet?
It is a balanced diet that allows a person to meet their needs for essential nutrients. Refusal of this or that product that enriches the body with these nutrients is fraught with consequences if their deficiency is not replenished.
You don’t have to go far for examples. , like the ailments that are associated with them, most often are nothing more than the result of improper planning of your diet. Of course, this does not apply to contraindications to vegetarianism itself, which for some reason were not identified in time.
Diet planning mistakes
- The most common mistake made by beginner vegetarians is to eat the same foods, with the exception of meat. This is fundamentally wrong and the body will remind you of this very quickly. Attacks of headaches, loss of strength, depression and other “delights” that are observed. To prevent this from happening, you just need to replace animal proteins with vegetable ones. After all, it is they that provide the growth of muscle tissue, the synthesis of enzymes and the normal functioning of all organs and systems.
- In addition to protein, vegetarians may lack iron, zinc, vitamin B12, omega-3 fatty acids and calcium. The latter is especially important as it is responsible for dental health. A vegetarian diet with a huge amount of fruits and, accordingly, organic acids that they contain, involuntarily leaves its mark on the tooth enamel. And sometimes it even leads to its disappearance. Not only foods with calcium content will help to avoid this, but also walking in the sun (it promotes production). In the case when they are also powerless, you need to contact an endocrinologist and examine the thyroid gland.
- The thyroid gland can be damaged as a result of salt refusal. The fact is that not all beginning vegetarians know that its deficiency in the body also needs to be replenished. For example, consuming seafood, a variety of food additives. Moreover, they also contain iodine, which is necessary for the production of hormones. But not only the general state of health depends on the latter, but also the health of the teeth.
Essential substances for vegetarianism
- 1 … It comes to the body from soy products, nuts, legumes, cereals or dairy products, if they are not excluded from the diet. There is an opinion that the daily protein intake for a person should not be less than his weight in kilograms. In other words, the body needs 1 gram of protein for every kilogram.
- 2 … It plays an essential role in the body – it is responsible for blood formation, immunity and general well-being. Iron is best absorbed from buckwheat porridge, dark green leafy vegetables, nuts, seeds, wholemeal bread, oatmeal, dried fruits and eggs.
- 3 … It provides normal blood formation and metabolism and is found in soy products, seaweed, pine nuts, fermented milk products and eggs, but in small quantities. That is why it is not uncommon for vegetarians to use nutritional supplements to fill the lack of this vitamin. By the way, in a healthy intestine, it can be synthesized on its own. Only some medications, including hormonal ones, can interfere with its absorption.
- 4 – the health of teeth and bones depends on it. Dairy products are traditionally considered to be the source of this micronutrient, but vegetarians can substitute fruits, tofu, dark green leafy vegetables, or soy milk for them.
- 5 – he takes part in biochemical reactions and is responsible for immunity. Vegetarians can fill its lack by including legumes, pumpkin seeds, and grain sprouts in their diet.
- 6 … The heart, brain, skin and joints especially need them. In addition to fish, these substances are found in seeds, nuts and grain sprouts.
Assimilation of protein and iron
They say that finding beneficial substances in foods is not the most important thing. It is more important to provide optimal conditions for their maximum digestibility.
- Protein is best absorbed from dairy products – almost 100%. True, the degree of their fat content also plays a role. An excessively high percentage, as well as an excessively low one, impede high-quality assimilation. By the way, the cheese needs to be warmed up a little before use. In a warm, slightly softened form, 98% of protein is absorbed from it. In addition, you can get the most of the benefits of nuts, in particular from. Protein from them is assimilated by 80 – 87%. However, we must not forget that they are high in calories, are slowly digested and slowly release energy. Therefore, it is advisable to use them in the morning. Also, legumes and even vegetables and fruits will help fill the lack of protein. True, the latter contain too much fiber and coarse fibers that impair the absorption process. You can correct the situation by adding a few drops of vegetable oil to the vegetable dish. Moreover, together with fats, not only protein, but also vitamins and microelements will be better absorbed. That is why nutritionists advise adding butter to cereals or simply boiling them in milk.
- Absorption of iron. Phytic acid, calcium and caffeine can interfere with this process. Phytic acid is found in grains, legumes, and even some vegetables. Forming insoluble compounds with minerals, it prevents them from being absorbed by the intestines. But it remains absolutely safe, provided that a balanced diet is followed. Avoiding foods with calcium or caffeinated beverages is also not a good idea. It is much wiser to simply consume them half an hour after eating an iron-rich meal. But citrus fruits can be consumed in parallel. Vitamin C promotes the absorption of iron.
What else a vegetarian needs to know about protein
Want to get the most out of your plant-based protein intake? Then combine herbal products. The fact is that animal protein, which vegetarians have to give up, is called complete, since it contains all the essential amino acids in the right proportion, which cannot be said about plant protein. That is why, when drawing up your menu, you need to combine different types of products. In this case, we are talking about legumes and grains. Simply put, with rice or lentil soup with whole grain bread, you will surely enrich your body with all the essential amino acids.
Secrets of making the right diet
What is the main thing in drawing up a diet, including a vegetarian one? Balance between consumption of major food groups. In order to achieve it, nutritionists advise:
- Eat as many fruits and vegetables as possible. During main meals and as snacks. In total, there should be at least 6 to 7 servings of these foods per day.
- Remember cereals. These are sources of amino acids, so they must be included in the daily menu at least twice.
- Include legumes in the diet. Together with cereals, they will enrich the diet with all essential amino acids. You can use them at one time or on your own. The main thing is that it should be at least 1 – 2 times a day.
- Use protein powders and other nutritional supplements as needed. They are low in calories and absolutely harmless, but at the same time they can significantly increase the amount of proteins and trace elements in any dish. A nutritionist or nutritionist will help you choose the right ones.
- Eat superfoods more often. These are ordinary food products, which contain a maximum of nutrients. These include acai, spirulina, vanilla pods, raw cashews, live cocoa, guarana.
Nutritionists say that a vegetarian’s menu should be rich, and the dishes themselves should be varied and deliciously prepared. Then there will be no feeling of hunger and desire to return to meat.
A few simple tips will help strengthen your confidence in your choice:
- 1 You need to plan your diet in such a way that it contains at least three main meals and several snacks. Plant foods are best eaten in small portions, but more often. Simply because it is digested faster, which cannot be said about legumes.
- 2 To preserve the maximum vitamins and trace elements, all dishes must be given a minimum of culinary processing. It is better to refuse altogether.
- 3 In the presence of chronic diseases of the gastrointestinal tract or cardiovascular system, it is possible to adhere to the principles of a vegetarian diet. However, it is better to limit the consumption of foods that are contraindicated for these ailments. Otherwise, they will constantly provoke exacerbations.
- 4 In order to feel the fullness of tastes when preparing vegetarian dishes, you need to consider the compatibility and compatibility of products.
- 5 And in order to get the most out of your new diet, you need to cook everything with love!
According to ancient sources, the goal of vegetarianism is not limited to losing weight or getting rid of all diseases. This nutritional system is designed to help a person find harmony and true happiness. But this can be done only by strictly following its principles.
Remember this, carefully plan your diet, look for new tastes and experiment – and you will see this very soon!