How to be a healthy vegetarian

Filed in: Health.

Looking back around a dozen years ago, vegetarianism was not as widespread as it is today. Those who refused to eat meat were considered strange and impractical, which prompted vegetarians to form groups and movements to sustain their ideology. Given that, as of today, there are approximately 375 million vegetarians around the world, there is no way to ignore the drastic spread of something that was considered almost unacceptable in the last century.

Many become vegetarians for ideological reasons such as environmentalism, ethics or religion. Some, however, change their eating habits because they believe that vegetarianism is beneficial to their health. The latter reason has recently become especially powerful, particularly in Western countries. It is no secret that animal proteins and saturated fats, as studies confirm, have a high risk of overloading the human body and causing a wide range of diseases. Since doing anything in excess can be potentially harmful, let us break down some facts and tips to practice your diet without sacrificing your health.

The good news is that the vast majority of respected medical organizations believe that a well-composed vegetarian or vegan diet can be nutritious and healthy. This puts the shadow in all the arguments in favor of the meat affirming that the animal products are essential for the organism.

However, there is more to the discussion. The abrupt change to a vegetarian diet can cause a shortage of many vitamins, macro and microelements. Therefore, even a diet well thought out and written by a nutritionist, while satisfying all nutritional needs, may not be suitable for certain people. This is due to a gradual digestion of the nutrients of the new products, which means that if your body is not used to consuming certain foods, it is likely that you need some time to adapt to them before you can efficiently assimilate all of them. the nutrients. Therefore, many nutritionists reasonably recommend taking complementary vitamins in the early stages of conversion to vegetarianism.

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"So, where do you get your protein as a vegetarian / vegan?" It is probably the most common question that meat lovers ask those who abstain from eating meat. Ironically, they also tend to be the ones who have no idea where they get their fiber, vitamin C, etc. In the following paragraphs, let's look at all the elements that vegetarians tend to be short and discuss alternative sources of them.


The little-known fact about proteins is that most of us eat too much. So, how much protein does your body need?

When it comes to proteins for a vegetarian, the most important thing is that it is healthy. Healthy proteins are those in which the proportions of essential amino acids are similar to the proportions of amino acids in a human protein. These are the animals and the soy protein. It is necessary for a vegetarian to ensure that his food contains all the essential amino acids. Soybeans, tofu, beans, pistachios and quinoa are the best protein sources. In general, lacto-ovo-vegetarians and vegans receive a more than sufficient amount of protein.


As a vegetarian, you do not have to worry about iron whenever you do. eat healthily. As with proteins, it is crucial to maintain a balanced diet and follow some rules:

Do not drink coffee or tea while eating, just before or after, because in combination with these drinks the iron is not digesting well, due to the tannins in tea and coffee. Herbal tea, however, does not have this effect since it has zero caffeine. Conversely, vitamin C increases iron digestion, therefore, if you are taking iron supplements or if you are eating iron-filled foods, try drinking orange juice. Include strawberries, green leafy vegetables (broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts), peppers (yellow, red and green) and cauliflower in your diet. Tofu, lentils, spinach, peanuts, pumpkin seeds, dried apricots, raisins, peas, soybeans, chickpeas, hummus, oatmeal and other grains are vital sources of iron for vegetarians Some of the beans mentioned above also contain lysine, which is an amino acid that helps the body assimilate iron.

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B12 vitamin

B12 is an essential vitamin for the human body. It is a key participant in the process of hematopoiesis and the nervous system depends to a large extent on this vitamin, since it maintains the correct growth of the cells, reproduces its genetic information and participates in the secretion of essential hormones.

There are some things that Vegetarians need to know about B12:

There is not a single vegetable product (that is not artificially enriched) that contains a sufficient amount of this vitamin. Lacto-ovo-vegetarians usually consume enough eggs and dairy products; if they consume them, vegans can get a certain amount of B12 from products that are artificially fortified with it, such as soy and rice drinks, special yeast for food and breakfast cereals.

Our body can store B12 for a few years, so if it has recently become vegan, you probably have enough reserves of it. However, there is no way to verify their levels accurately, since hematological symptoms with a shortage of vitamin B12 are masked by folic acid (which the vegetarian diet has many). The insidious aspect of this deficit lies in the fact that it is only detected when the nervous system has already begun to develop developmental disorders. That is why it is highly recommended that vegetarians and vegans take vitamin B12 supplements regularly.

Remember not to go to any extreme, maintain a healthy diet and educate yourself on how to get the best out of vegetarianism. Before drastically changing your diet, we recommend that you go to For more information on all types of meatless diets, consult your doctor for recommendations and consider visiting a dietitian.

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