11 October 2009

Some Information on Nutrition for Vegetarians

Some Information on Nutrition for Vegetarians

Ahamindra Jain

Our body needs the following nutrients: proteins, fats, carbohydrates, minerals and vitamins.

Fats and carbohydrates serve as direct sources of energy. Also, fats help the body absorb and use vitamins a, d, e, and k.

Carbohydrates are broken into simpler substances which are stored as glycogen. These also provide energy for body cells, particularly brain cells.

Proteins are essential for growth and maintenance. For the most part, blood, bone, brain tissue, muscles, etc., are made from proteins. The amounts of carbohydrates, proteins, fats, etc., needed by a person depend on the age, height, build of the body, type of work, etc.

However, in general, a balanced diet should have about 12% protein, 48% carbohydrate, 10% sugar and 30% fat.

A compliment of eight amino acids-nine for kids- enables our body to build body proteins from the proteins in our food. No single plant protein has a compliment of all essential amino acids.

Thus we should consume complimentary proteins, where one food supplies the amino acid deficient in the other.

Some of the combinations are:Milk with peanut butter sandwich.Yogurt, grated cheese and cooked rice.Eggplant, mushrooms and tomato.Zucchini, broccoli and carrot.Spinach, cauliflower and red bell pepper.

Vegetarian Sources of Nutrients:
Protein: milk, cheese, beans, bean curd (tofu).

Fat: whole milk, cheese, butter, yogurt, vegetable oils.

Carbohydrates: whole grains, vegetables, fruits, milk.

Calcium - milk and milk products, dark green and leafy vegetables, asparagus, soybeans, and tofu.

Chloride - salt, milk.

Copper - cherries, mushrooms, whole grains, nuts.

Iodine - Iodized salt.

Magnesium - whole grains, peanuts, parsley, beet greens, yeast.

Phosphorus - milk, cheddar and cottage cheese, peas, lima beans.

Sulfur - fruits, vegetables.

Zinc - whole wheat cereal, maple syrup, peas.


A - while milk, butter, yellow and dark green leafy vegetables, cantaloupe, apricots.

B1,B2, B3, B6 - proteins listed above, grains,nuts, legumes, green and leafy vegetarians.

B12 - milk and milk products.

C - citrus fruits,green peppers.

D - fortified milk.

E - vegetable oils.

K - dark green and leafy vegetables, cabbage.


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