This is a health guide for vegetarians; we list out vegetarian products that are rich sources of vitamins D and B 12, and protein. We churn out the most interesting recipes you should try. And for fitness, we dish out pre and post-workout snacks that are great for vegetarians.
Importance of Protein
Fish, chicken, and pork are good sources of protein, but does that limit vegetarians in their search for protein? Perhaps one of the most neglected meal components – protein is the reason behind muscle regeneration, performance, and upkeep. Without it, you will find it impossible to get fitter.
Recommended Daily Allowance for Protein (minimum)
Women need 46 grams of protein. Men need 56 grams of protein Remember that these are minimum numbers calculated as per . 8 gram per kilo body weight. If you workout at a decent intensity, you will need to increase this as per your requirements.
Whole grains – At approximately 18gms of protein per cup of cooked quinoa, this wonder grain is one of the best vegetarian sources of protein. However, it is difficult to come by in India. Barley or jowar are also good options.
Soy – One cup of tofu contains approx. 18-20gms of protein.
Nuts and seeds – Nuts like almonds, peanuts, walnuts and seeds like flax, sesame, sunflower, and pumpkin.
Sprouts – You can sprout already healthy ingredients like alfalfa, mung beans, chickpeas, peas, and soybeans. These sprouts are highly nutritious and rich in protein.
Beans and lentils – One cup of beans (kidney, black, red) contains approximately 15gms of protein.
Yogurt is easier to digest than milk, and is a great protein source for vegetarians.
Importance of Vitamin D
Weak muscles and poor bone density are some of the symptoms of vitamin D deficiency. But there are chances that lack of this vitamin can cause asthma in children, cognitive impairment at an older age, intolerance to glucose and multiple sclerosis. Quite serious, but they can be prevented.
Recommended Daily Allowance for Vitamin D
For those between 1 – 70 years, the daily allowance is 15 micrograms, that is, 600 International Unit (IU). For those older than 70 years, it is recommended to have 800 IU daily that equals to 20 micrograms.
Vitamin D Sources
Soy products – Soy products like tofu and soy chunks are a healthy source of vitamin D.
Fortified cereals – Oatmeals and breakfast cereals are fortified with different vitamins.
Mushrooms – It may be bland but a good source of vitamin D for vegetarians.
Sunlight – But remember to bask in the sun for 10 -15 minutes before 8 am and at dusk.
Orange juice – A glass of orange juice is rich in calcium and vitamin D.
Fortified margarine –
Before purchase, check if the margarine is fortified with vitamin D. Alternative milk like soy, rice, and coconut.
Importance of Vitamin B12
Lack of vitamin B12 causes anemia, nerve damage, fatigue and poor memory. B12 is responsible for blood formation and division of cells. It is also vital for the complete functioning of the brain and nervous system.
How much vitamin B12 do you need?
According to international recommendations, specifically from WHO, the Recommended Daily Allowance is as follows:
Adults over 19 – 2.4mcg
Pregnant – 2.6mcg
Lactating – 2.8mcg
Vitamin B12 Sources
Cheese – Bacteria are known to produce vitamin B12.
Egg – Most of us consume chicken eggs that contain 1.95mcg per 100gms.
Milk – Milk is a great source of calcium, but it is also a source for vegetarians with B12 deficiency.
Yogurt – Yogurt is rich in bacteria which in turn is rich in B12.
Whey Powder – Whey powder is a health supplement for those who workout to boost their fitness.
Fortified cereals – Some food products like cereals and dairy have added nutrients to them.
Pre-workout snack ideas for vegetarians
Peanut butter and whole wheat bread, Milk and banana smoothie, Black coffee or coffee with skimmed milk, Dry Fruits, and Nuts, Crackers, Energy bars, Post workout snack suggestions for vegetarians, Low-fat probiotic, yogurt and seasonal fruit, Cheese in salad, Cheese over toast
Vegetarian power snacks
Power snacks are the foods, which are not only tight in their calorie content but are also full of nutrients, minerals and sufficient proteins, fats and carbohydrates content. These snacks are often seen as an ideal choice for gym-goers as a pre or post-gym snack.