Animal Aid

VEGETARIAN NUTRITION - It's easier than you think!

Some people going vegetarian worry about getting enough protein, calcium, B vitamins and other essential nutrients. The best evidence indicates that a balanced non-animal diet is the healthiest there is - for children as well as for adults.

But the promotion of old-fashioned ideas, combined with the mind-bending power of the meat industry, still cause worries. Here we provide a simple guide to some non-animal sources of the main nutrients.

Protein: Tofu and rice; beans/pulses (peas, lentils) and wholegrains (e.g. beans on toast); tahini and pulse (e.g. houmous); soya milk and cereals; beansprouts and wholegrains. Protein needs are automatically met by a balanced, varied diet.

Fibre: Wholegrains, nuts, beans and pulses, wheatgerm, oats, many fruit and vegetables.

Calcium: Some soya milks, nuts, seeds, green leafy vegetables, tofu and dried fruit.

Vitamin A: Carrots, green leafy vegetables, peppers, margarine, dried apricots.

B Vitamins: Yeast extract (e.g. Marmite), nuts, wholemeal bread, rice, mushrooms, bananas, sunflower and sesame seeds.

Selenium: Wholegrains, beans and pulses, nuts.

B12: This vitamin is available in many fortified products (certain soya milks, breakfast cereals, yeast extract, margarine, soya mince and other convenience foods).

Zinc: Lentils, sesame and pumpkin seeds, brown rice and other wholegrains, green vegetables.

Vitamin C: Oranges and other citrus fruits, blackcurrants, broccoli, spinach, cabbage, potatoes.

Vitamin D: Most people obtain all the vitamin D they need from sunlight on their skin. Certain foods are fortified with it as well, like vegetable margarine.

Vitamin E: Vegetable oils, wheatgerm, avocados, hazelnuts, almonds.

Iron: Baked beans, dried fruit, wholegrains (including bread), molasses, pulses, spinach, cabbage and nuts.

Iodine: Green leafy vegetables, seaweeds, kelp.

Essential Fatty Acids: Vegetable oils (especially soya, corn, sunflower); avocados, margarine (animal-free); nuts, linseed (flax).

Go veggie - it's easier than you think.

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