Being a vegetarian or vegan definitely has its benefits, such as a lowered risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, and some cancers. In many instances, a balanced diet is challenged as it is difficult to obtain certain key nutrients on a vegetarian diet alone. Here are some top tips for a healthy vegetarian, vegan or flexitarian diet.
Being vegan or vegetarian does not always equal healthy or thin - chips are vegan. So are certain chocolate bars, peanut butters, biscuits and more. If a majority of your diet is processed food and sugar, you aren’t going to be any healthier or thinner. In fact, you could possibly gain weight. Instead, aim to eat a plant-based diet that’s high in fibre, protein, and a variety of whole foods.
Make it colourful - it’s important to make sure that you eat a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, since they all contain different nutrients. A simple way to do this is to make sure that you’re eating fruits and vegetables that are all different colours. Think red tomatoes, green kale, purple aubergine.
Drink a lot of water - because vegans and vegetarians consume more plant-based foods, they have a high fibre intake. It’s even more important that you drink enough water to help promote healthy digestion of that fibre.
You’re Sweet Enough - watch your sugar intake when following a vegan or vegetarian diet. If you want to satisfy your sweet tooth, grab a piece of low-sugar impact fruit like berries.
Get Fat - it’s important that you get healthy fat in your diet to maintain a healthy hormonal balance. Try avocados, nuts, and oils from red palm fruit, olive, walnut, avocado, and coconut.
Work with a dietitian - if you feel like you could be missing out on nutrients or if you feel at all conflicted, consider talking things out with a registered dietitian.
Break Monotony - make sure you are not eating the same foods day after day. Doing this can cause you to develop food sensitivities. Instead, keep lots of options on hand.
Supplements Are Your Friend - vegetarians and vegans ALWAYS need to supplement vitamin B12 because it’s generally not found in plant foods, but in animal products. Iron deficiency can also be a problem for those on plant based diets. Iron deficiency can lead to tiredness and fatigue and anaemia. Irish company, Beeline Healthcare, have just launched a new multivitamin to supplement a vegetarian, vegan or flexitarian diet with 25 key nutrients. They are available in easy to swallow vegetarian multivitamins tablets or vegetarian multivitamin effervescent tablets which provide a great tasting sparkling citrus drink.