by Annamma Philipose


Vegetarians are those who do not consume meat, fish, and poultry. There are many reasons for being a vegetarian. Some of them are born in vegetarian families and naturally they become vegetarians.

Some took to vegetarianism due to health, ecological, and religious concerns, dislike of meat, compassion for animals, belief in non-violence, and economics. Researches have proved that even a vegetarian diet can meet all known nutrient needs.

Vegetarians can depend on a wide variety of foods, including fruits, vegetables, plenty of leafy greens, whole grain products, nuts, seeds, and legumes for their nutrient needs.

Some of the major vegetarian categories include:
• Ovo-Vegetarian  - Eats eggs but no meat
• Lacto-Ovo Vegetarian - Eats dairy and egg products but no meat
• Lacto-Vegetarian - Eats dairy products but no eggs or meat
• Vegan - Eats only food from plant sources

Various nutrients which can be found in vegetarian food categories are given below.
Vitamin B12
o Dairy products
o Eggs
o Vitamin-fortified products, such as cereals, breads, and soy and rice drinks

Vitamin D
o Dairy products
o Calcium-fortified orange juice
o Vitamin-fortified products

o Dairy products
o Dark green leafy vegetables
o Broccoli
o Chickpeas
o Calcium-fortified products, including orange juice, soy and rice drinks, and cereals
o Collard greens
o Turnip greens
o Tofu prepared with calcium

o Dairy products
o Eggs
o Tofu
o Beans
o Nuts
o Lentils
o Seeds
o Chickpeas
o Whole grain bread
o Greens
o Potatoes
o Corns

o Eggs
o Beans
o Dry fruits
o Whole grains
o Leafy green vegetables
o Iron-fortified cereals
o Bread
o Baked potatoes
o Mushrooms
o Cashews
o Spinach
o Chard
o Tofu
o Bulgur

o Wheat germ
o Nuts
o Fortified cereal
o Legumes


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