Nutrition

An awful lot of nonsense is talked about the ‘dangers’ of vegetarian diets – lack of protein, iron and calcium being the usual cautions.

· Protein deficiency in western vegetarians is virtually unheard of.
· Vegetarians are no more at risk of iron deficiency than meat-eaters.
· Many plant foods contain calcium. Meat contains very little.

But it is important to eat sensibly and not swap one bad diet for another. So where do you obtain all the right nutrients your body needs?

Here are just some examples of rich sources of nutrients

Protein

Pulses – any type of peas, beans and lentils
Soya products eg tofu
Grains (wholemeal bread, brown rice, porridge oats etc)
Nuts and seeds

Calcium

Green leafy green veg (broccoli, cabbage, kale, bok choy, watercress etc)
Wholemeal bread
Potatoes, parsnips, swede, turnips
Pulses (eg soya – used to make tofu, soya burgers, soya milk etc - red kidney beans, chick peas, broad beans, baked beans)
Soya milk
Some nuts (almonds, Brazils, hazelnuts, pistachio)
Some fruits (dried figs, currants)
Olives
Exceptionally high are sesame seeds. (Hummus, that gorgeous Middle-Eastern dip, contains sesame paste).

 

Iron

Pulses (peas, beans , lentils of any type)
Wholemeal bread
Leafy green veg (broccoli, cabbage etc)
Dried fruits (apricots, prunes)
Cocoa (yes the stuff that goes into plain chocolate!)
Seeds

 

Good fats

Seeds
Nuts esp walnuts
Avocadoes
Pulses
Leafy green veg eg broccoli
Flax seed oil and hemp seed oil
Virgin olive oil

 

Vitamin B12

Fortified Yeast extract eg Marmite
Fortified breakfast cereals
Fortified soya products eg soya milk
Fortified margarines