While eating vegetables and fruits are certainly preferable to meat, one also needs to eat smart. This is because certain essential nutrients can only be obtained from certain vegetables or fruits.
There is less of this concern with meat due to our position on the food chain. When a cow eats grass, its meat already contains all the nutrients from the grass. This is not the case when it comes to vegetables and fruits. Hence, vegetarians need to be sure to include some of the below to avoid a deficiency. Essential vitamins and minerals often lacking in vegetarian diets are:
- Protein. Beans, such as soy beans, lima beans and black beans, are a rich source of protein. Nuts, prunes and dates also contain some protein.
- B family vitamins. Fruits contain a lot of B vitamins but B12, an important vitamin in that family, comes from wheat germ and brewer yeast. You can get both in powder forms.
- Iron. Red vegetables like purple cabbage, red spinach and beetroots are high in iron. Spinach also contains high amounts of the mineral.
- Calcium. This mineral can be obtained from root plants like potatoes, Japanese sweet potatoes and carrots.