There are many reasons to follow vegetarianism, for instance, due to health factors or animal welfare. Meats can be consist of six important nutrients, that is, Vitamin D, Vitamin B12, zinc, iron, calcium and protein. Vegetarian diets tend to be naturally lower in saturated fat and cholesterol and have a higher intake of plant nutrients than most non veg diets. But you need not to be worry as we are here to tell you ten top vegetarian foods and all of them are loaded with the above “hard to get” nutrients.
1. LEAFY GREENS
Leafy greens which can include collards, spinach, swiss chard, kale and broccoli, are great sources of healthful iron. These leafy greens can also help you in preventing cancer as they contain cancer fighting antioxidants. They even hold calcium and Vitamin A, however, calcium are not easily absorbed there, but if you cook them and scatter vinegar or lemon juice, then this will help in making calcium available in your body more.
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I am glad to tell you that some whole grains cereal contains Vitamin B12, which is one of the “hard to get” nutrients. You will have to keep this point in mind that people who do not eat dairy products or egg, they will have to consume this nutrient in order to make sure that they are getting enough. Also, cereals along with other whole grain products are great sources of zinc, Vitamins and most importantly, insoluble fiber, that helps in reducing the chances of having colon cancer and also helps in cholesterol level balanced.
If you start eating beans then you will get half of fiber and 1/3 of protein and iron. They contain soluble fiber too, which helps in lowering down the cholesterol level. Other than these, beans contain calcium, B vitamins, zinc and potassium.
Plain tofu is a terrific source of iron, zinc, protein and omega 3 fatty acids which helps in lowering down cholesterol level. If you take half a cup of tofu, then you will get 100 mg of calcium and 350 mg of vitamin D. You can substitute this food in almost any recipe for fish, poultry or meat.
Lentils are part of the legume family, like beans, and they are great sources of soluble fiber and protein. They are also higher in folic acid which is very important nutrient for pregnant women as this can reduce the risk of any child birth defects. They even contain iron and B vitamins.
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6. GREEN PEAS
Well, green peas are also a part of legume family along with beans and lentils. So, green peas are, too, great sources of protein. If you do not like this as a side dish then you can also mix them into a pesto.
Brazil nuts, macadamias, walnuts, pecans, cashews and almonds contains vitamin E, zinc and omega 3 fatty acids. According to some reports, it states that nuts do not lead in gaining weight even though they are high in calories.
8. DRIED FRUITS
They are good sources of iron and if you mix them with nuts then you have got a packet of protein and iron, which, you can take anywhere and anytime. Dried fruits which includes cranberries, apricots, cherries, raisins, dates, prunes, figs, pineapple and fruit – gives us a wide collection of fibers, vitamins and minerals.
These legumes are also known as garbanzo beans. You can pureed into a hummus or can be tossed into salads, salted and fried as a crispy snack. They are low in calories and high in fiber, you can find more than 7 grams of protein in a half cup of chickpeas.
10. CHIA SEEDS
These seeds come from the plant, which is used to make the chia products. You can easily get 4.7 grams of protein in two tablespoons of chia seeds. You can mix these seeds into oatmeal or yogurt or sprinkle it over the salads.