I AM VEGETARIAN! AND I AM VEGAN!
Even in the world we live in today – well, we are in 2016 now… – it can still be a challenge to be vegetarian or vegan.
Avoiding meat or products coming from animals, depending on the country we live in, it can be sometimes tricky.
And what about those weird looks of people around us saying: “And now, you are going to eat …what??!!? Won’t you become anaemic?!!” In Italy, it can often be the case 😉
Kitchen-wise, some recipes are easy to adapt and become vegetarian like lasagne for example.
But what really matters is to examine the nutritional aspect of the food we eat when we change our lifestyle and habits.
A vegetarian or a vegan diet can often imply a lack of protein, calcium, iron, vitamin B12 and D.
Vitamin B12 can be found only in food coming from animals. If we turn vegetarian and we still eat cheese and eggs for example, that won’t be the case but if we are vegan and we don’t vary our diet enough, that’s one important thing to take care of.
Iron also needs to be kept under control. The reason why is that the one coming from animals is easier to absorb than that the one coming from pulses or beans for example. In order to help our body to stock more iron, it is important to combine it with food rich in vitamin C. Fruit and vegetables are a great source of it. Just to make an example: meat has 2,5 mg/100gr of iron; lentils almost 9 mg/100gr.
Let’s talk about calcium too: we all know how important it is, especially for us women, so if we are vegetarian let’s not forget to eat vegetables that are a good source of it like cabbage, broccoli, beans and pulses, dried fruits and nuts like almonds, milk and some water that is rich of it. To improve its absorption, we need to get Vitamin D. More than suggesting taking supplements, we would recommend, when the sun kicks in, to expose ourselves to it for about 15 minutes a day.
Our only advise, as always, is that no matter the diet we chose or are obliged to follow, let’s vary what we eat as much as we can. Let’s be creative and have fun with the food we eat and love to cook every day.