Nutrients You Need As A Vegetarian or Vegan

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If you chose to become vegetarian or vegan for a short term or long-term period of time, there are two things you need to make sure you focus on. First, make it delicious, because if the food isn’t enjoyable then you won’t stick to it. Secondly, if you arent hiring a meal delivery/prep service like Fran's Kitchen, it’s really important that you read up on how to replace the nutrients that you were getting previously from meat, fish and dairy products. 

Below, we have complied a list of the key nutrient ingredients that are substitutes to meat, fish and dairy. 

PROTEIN
Although plant based foods contain protein, they’re ‘incomplete’ as they don’t contain all of the essential amino acids found in meat. It’s important that you combine your non-meat proteins together so the amino acid profiles complement each other (a lack of essential amino acids could impact on your body’s ability to build certain proteins and affect many aspect of your health as they are vital for the growth and repair of cells and tissues). 

This is simple way to making meals that contain two or more of the non-meat protein sources (below). 

Protein Sources:
Chickpeas
Lentils
Black-eyes beans
Split peas
Tofu
Miso
Edamame
Nuts
Seeds
For vegetarians only: Eggs

MICRONUTRIENTS
Vitamin B12, Omega Fatty Acids, Iron and Calcium are four essential micronutrients that are commonly found in food of animal origin. 

Iron Sources
Tofu
Dried fruit
Dark leafy vegetables (except spinach which can inhibit mineral absorption)
Wholegrains (oats and brown rice)
Nuts
Spices

Calcium Sources
Fortified rice milk
Tofu
Almonds
Sunflower seeds
Tahini
Dark leafy vegetable

Vitamin B12 Sources
Most nutitioists would recommend vegans or vegetarians taking a B12 supplement as is it difficult to get enough from non-meat sources and lack of this important vitamin can cause anemia, tiredness and extreme fatigue. 

Omega Fatty Acids Sources
Chia seeds and oil
Flax seeds and oil
Walnuts

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