Getting all your nutrients as a vegetarian

It is easy to get all your nutrients as a vegetarian if you plan your meals properly. To ensure you get all the nutrients you must include food from each of the main four food groups each day:
  • Fruits and vegetables Have it any form, whole, cut, juices or smoothies. Try and have 5 portions each day. A glass of juice/ smoothie is considered one portion.
  • Starchy foods For your fill of carbohydrates plan your meals around whole grain bread, pasta, rice and potatoes. They will fill you up and ease constipation too.
  • Protein-rich food For your daily fill of iron have food such as legumes (kidney beans, black beans, chickpeas and lentils) and nuts.
  • Dairy foods Food such as milk, cheese and yoghurt are rich sources of calcium. Try and include three servings of dairy foods each day. You can also get calcium from dark green leafy vegetables, sesame seeds, nuts, dried fruits, tofu and calcium fortified soy products. Dairy products will also give you Vitamins and iodine.
Carbohydrates, proteins, iron and calcium are all essential to your daily diet.For iron sources have fortified breakfast cereals, green vegetables, beans and bread. While having iron rich food avoid having tea and coffee as they have tannins and polyphenols which make the absorption of iron in the body difficult. Having citrus juices or food rich in Vitamin C (broccoli) helps the body absorb iron.For essential Omega-3 fats the closest vegetarian options are walnuts and flax seeds. You could opt for fish oil supplements for your daily dose after consultation with the gynaecologist.
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