So hey, maybe you’ve recently decided to go veg, whether that be vegetarian, vegan, or anything in between. That’s awesome! Now, there are a few essential pointers every new veg should be aware of (oh, and even the veg veterans would benefit from refreshing their memory and diets every now and again).
Animal friendly diets can have numerous health benefits if executed with some proper basic knowledge of nutrition. Just like with any other way of eating, veg diets can be either very healthy, or very unhealthy. Think: deficiencies or too much processed crap. But obviously these problems are not restricted to green diets. A veg diet neither necessarily means it’s healthier than a diet that includes animal-based products, but neither does it mean you will end up looking and feeling like a ghost because you’re getting too little protein/iron/insert any random nutrient here.
Here’s a handy compressed guide to make your honeymoon phase with the veg lifestyle last forever. I made a small list of things that you would benefit from including into your diet on a regular basis if you choose to forgo (some) animal products.
Newly Veg: A Guide To A Healthy Green Diet
|Selenium||Mushrooms, Brazil nuts, oats, wheat products, oat products|
|Lysine (amino acid)||Legumes, quinoa, split pea protein powder, tofu/tempeh/soy milk, pistachios|
(Men pay extra attention here!)
|Wheatgerm, cashews, pine nuts, adzuki beans, sesame seeds/tahini, hemp seeds, green peas|
|Omega-3||Hemp seeds, chia seeds, flaxseeds (& flax oil), walnuts (greens only in very large quantities)|
|B12||Supplement if vegan, any animal-based food if vegetarian|
|Vitamin A||Greens, pumpkin, carrots, sweet potato, red paprika|
(Women pay extra attention here!)
|Greens, chlorella/spirulina (powdered sea vegetable, recommended), lentils/legumes, tempeh, hemp seeds, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds. Also (to a lesser extend) cherries, beets.|
|Calcium||Greens, quinoa, almonds, sesame seeds/tahini, chia seeds, dried spices (dill, basil, thyme, cinnamon), broccoli, soy products (tempeh/tofu, etc), oranges|
|Vitamin D||Sunlight (15mins/day), fortified margarine and soymilk. Non vegans: full fat dairy products|
A Word On Green Smoothies & Juices
Green smoothies and juices are the best thing you can add to any diet, they really pump in a ton of nutrients. I get more iron, calcium, omega-3 (and tons of other goodness) on my veg diet than most people do consuming meat/dairy/eggs, simply because I load up on greens! Fresh greens are best (kale, chard, beet greens, carrot greens, Romaine lettuce, spinach, collard, basically any green leaf and the darker the better!), and do be shy with the amounts you use. If fresh greens are too much work or too expensive try a blend of powdered greens, available at health food stores/raw resellers/online.
With this guide it’ll be easy being green!