A vegetarian is someone who doesn’t eat any meat, whether red meat or white meat. A vegetarian can also choose not to take any other animal products such as eggs, honey, gelatin, and milk depending on the kind of vegetarian he/she is. This brings us to the different types of vegetarians depending on what the vegetarian eats and what he/ she do not. For instance, Lacto-vegetarians. These are the kind of people who do not eat meat, fish or poultry but eats eggs and other dairy products. Hence, different people decide to be vegetarians for many reasons, i.e., religion, while others choose to be vegetarians for health purposes. In this case, a healthy vegetarian lifestyle is in order.
Lacto-vegetarian diets can meet all the recommendations for nutrients; therefore, herewith are various nutrients that Lacto-vegetarians may need to focus on for a better and healthy living.
Proteins play a significant role in our bodies since they do most of the work in the cells and are required for the structure, function, and regulation of the body’s tissue and organs. Therefore, Lacto-vegetarians specifically need to be sure to substitute protein-containing vegetarian foods to replace meat. There are different sources of proteins for Lacto-vegetarians, including nut butter, legumes, veggie burgers, soy foods such as soy milk, soy yogurt, and dairy foods such as milk and cheese.
Iron plays yet another critical role in all human bodies as a carrier of oxygen in the blood, and Lacto-vegetarians are no exception. There are different iron sources for Lacto-vegetarians, for instance, kidney beans, lentils, turnip greens, spinach, whole wheat bread, molasses, and iron-fortified breakfast cereals. However, being a Lacto-vegetarian, intake of only plant-based iron is not enough since plant-based iron is not absorbed the same as iron in the meat. Hence, you are required to maximize the amount of iron you can absorb, including foods rich in vitamin C.
Intake of calcium is vital to our bodies as it is essential in building strong bones and teeth. The primary source of calcium in our bodies is obtained in different dairy products such as milk. Therefore, for vegetarians who choose not to eat any dairy products, it is always important for such people to make sure that their intake of calcium is well taken cared off by eating calcium-fortified foods to substitute dairy products. The following are some of the sources of calcium for vegetarians; calcium-fortified soymilk, orange juice, tofu made with calcium sulfate and dark-green leafy vegetables.
4. Vitamin B12
Vitamin B12 in our bodies play an important role as it enables effective functioning of the brain and the nervous system. Vitamin B12 is mainly found in animal products such as meat, but for Lacto-vegetarians, sources of Vitamin B12 include milk, eggs and other Vitamin B12 fortified foods, such as nutritional yeast, veggie burgers, soy milk, and breakfast cereals.
Enough intake of Zinc in our bodies determines how the nervous system functions as well as necessary for many biochemical reactions in all human bodies. For vegetarians and vegans, however, there are several sources of Zinc that you need to take note of for a healthy vegetarian lifestyle. These include all kinds of beans varying from white beans, chick beans, and kidney beans. You also need to consider taking zinc-fortified breakfast cereals, pumpkin seeds, and wheat germ.
In conclusion, therefore, we can attest to the fact that vegetarian lifestyle meet all the recommendations for nutrients, and the above-discussed nutrients are essential for a healthy vegetarian lifestyle. All you need to do is consider taking the proper amounts of food and a variety of them.