The jump from the consumption of meat in every meal to eliminating meat from your diet completely is a big one, especially given the cultural environment in the United States. Becoming a vegetarian for the benefit of the planet is a great lifestyle change, however you also need to make sure you are getting the nutrients, vitamins, and minerals you need to remain a healthy human being. There are many examples of things that we get naturally from animal products that are not found in all plants. I like to advocate against eating processed foods as much of possible, but if you are, check the back of the package for the nutrition information. Please take a look at the list below of the things you need to make sure you are incorporating into your diet!
Protein: This is an obvious one. Adults need some intake of protein every day (depending on your weight). To make sure you are incorporating protein into your vegetarian diet, choose tofu, edamame, tempeh, beans and legumes, nuts, nut butters, eggs, quinoa, amaranth, and kamut.
Iron: This is an important one for us ladies. If you aren’t inclined to take iron supplements, choose eggs, fortified cereals, soy-based foods, dried prunes, dried apricots, nuts, beans and legumes, whole wheat bread.
Calcium: You can find this in milk, cheese, edamame, tofu, almonds, tahini, calcium fortified beverages, yogurt, dark leafy green vegetables (spinach, boy chop, collard greens)
Zinc: It boosts your immune system! Super important right now. Find this in soybeans, soy milk, eggs, cheese, yogurt, mushrooms, lentils, split peas, black eyed peas, and seeds.
Vitamin B-12: This vitamin is the hardest to find in plant-based foods. Depending on what you prefer to eat, you may have to take a supplement. But you can find it in some soy-based beverages, some breakfast cereals, and some fortified veggie “meats”.
Riboflavin: You can find this in almonds, fortified cereals, milk, yogurt, mushrooms, and soy milk.
Alpha-Linolenic Acid: AKA Omega-3. You can find this in canola oil, ground flaxseeds, walnuts, soybeans, and tofu.
It’s not so bad! As you can see there’s a lot of overlap. Certain foods really got the goods. So don’t stress, yo! You’re not going to be malnourished if you just remain mindful!
This list of foods to incorporate into a vegetarian diet was gotten off of webmd.com