A vegetarian is someone who eats plant based food and does not make animal flesh part of his/her diet. There are different types of vegetarians:
- Vegan vegetarians- avoid (totally discard) all animal products
- Lacto vegetarians- include dairy products in their diet
- Lacto-ovo-vegetarians- include dairy products and eggs in their diet
Scientific research proves that a vegan diet is lower in calories, that's why vegans are generally slimmer than lacto & ovo vegetarians as well as non-vegetarians. A vegan diet has often been characterized in the “rabbit food” section, just a portion of carrots, peas and lots of leaves, however; this diet is nothing but boring! following a plant-based diet requires more than just having a whole lot of fruits, grains, nuts and vegetables. A healthy diet requires balance and variety. It is then only that vegetarianism becomes a “path to beauty, vigour, and well-being.”
Since animal products pose a potential threat to health, particularly with the view of modern animal husbandry, it is logical and advisable to adopt a plant-based diet. This diet needs proper planning and guidance. Proper knowledge must be acquired in terms of the nutrients that are needed and from which food types one can get them, since a lack of consideration on this point will lead to definite deficiencies however; “if due consideration is given, a total plant-based diet can supply all our dietary needs.”
Minerals are among the most important sources of building the body as well as the various structures. Iron is important for the formation of red blood cells and is particularly important for women. With every cycle, blood loss is sustained and blood loss also means iron loss. It is thus important that women eat mostly of foods with this mineral. Iron can be found in plant foods like spinach, lima beans, navy beans, lentils, peas, beets, black-strap molasses etc. which should be consumed daily. In order for iron to be absorbed, there needs to be enough Vitamin C which can be obtained from, grapefruit, lemons, lime, strawberries, pineapples, broccoli, green pepper, sprouts, cabbage, potatoes etc.
Zinc is important in making up the number of different enzymes in the body and a deficiency can result in slow wound healing, reduced fertility and night blindness. Rich zinc sources include, black-eyed peas, kidney beans, pinto beans, wheat germ, green leafy vegetables, asparagus, peanuts, mushrooms, parsley, tofu, pumpkin seeds.
Nutritionists prove that a balanced vegetarian diet is particularly rich in most vitamins, like Vitamin A, C, and B1. Some people have paid particular attention to the Vitamin B12 'crisis' in as much as B12, is among the most important Vitamins that help with maintaining bodily systems, a deficiency of which could lead to a type of anemia (the inability of the body to supply healthy red blood cells), degeneration and smoothing of the surface of the tongue, hypersensitivity of the skin, nerve damage, and fatigue. The physical requirement of Vitamin B12 is quite small and can also be obtained from fortified soy milk products as well as other cereals, yeast extracts like Marmite and through supplementation (subject to personal choice).
|Soy Milk, Soy Beans, Bean Curd (Tofu)|
Pregnant and lactating (nursing) mothers, infants and growing children need extra attention in these regards. It would be beneficial for any wife or mother to know and provide a variety of fruits veggies, legumes, nuts, seeds and grains for the benefit of her growing children as well as her husband (visit woman to woman for more detailed information on pregnancy and children). In a selection of food, extra attention needs to be given to the quality and the quantity thereof. This information is not meant to scare anyone off, however; the vegetarian who keeps alert to the possible problems discussed here can readily avoid them, thus gaining the benefits of a plant-based diet with none of the potential drawbacks.
A plant-based diet provides a platform to explore different types of food and makes a generally lazy cook, excited about being in the kitchen.
"The kitchen is a jungle, explore it!"
Did you know?: “a total vegetarian diet can prevent up to 97% of heart attacks?”
People who do not eat animal products have:
- greater longevity (longer life span)
- lower heart attack rates
- lower cholesterol levels
- lower blood pressure levels
- lower diabetes
- fewer haemorrhoids
- less diverticular disease
- good regular bowel movements
- lower rates of cancer (breast, colon, prostate)
- stronger bones
- less osteoporosis
- fewer kidney stones and gallstones
Such a diet is fun, rewarding and cost-effective!