Hitting Your Nutritional Goals as a Vegetarian
Whether you want to keep up your weight loss, stay on track with your muscle gain plans, or just maintain a healthy lifestyle; keeping on top of your nutritional goals can be challenging for anyone on a vegetarian diet.
If you’re currently consuming a well-balanced vegetarian diet that consists of whole grains, fruits, and vegetables – then you have one of the healthiest diets around. However, you still need to make sure that you’re hitting your nutritional goals, especially if you want to see specific results. As well as getting enough protein into your vegetarian diet meal plan, you also need to include enough calcium, iron and other essential vitamins and minerals too.
You’re busy schedule may prevent you from preparing the nutrient rich food you need. But don’t worry, you can take advantage of our diet meal delivery service instead, and choose from our range of delicious vegetarian meals.
Perfecting your protein intake
Getting the recommended amount of protein into your vegetarian diet isn’t always easy, especially when you’re goal is to build stronger, lean muscle. Non-vegetarians often ask how anyone on a meat-free diet can get the protein they need.
Well, the good news is that you’re likely already consuming more than enough protein, as long as you’re eating a well-balanced diet. You just need to focus on consuming a variety of protein-rich foods, as this will allow you to get the full complement of essential amino acids.
Of course, you can get plenty of protein from eggs and dairy, but if you’re on a strict vegan diet then you’ll need to turn to other options. Thankfully there’s a lot of high protein vegan foods out there, including; tofu, seitan, veggie burgers, soy, lentils, chickpeas, nuts and seeds, brown rice and whole grains.
In order to ensure that your protein intake is on point, with essential amino acids, make sure you include plant proteins such as legumes, along with seeds and nuts too.
Getting that crucial calcium
Yes it’s true that children need calcium when their growing, but adults still need it too. Having and maintaining strong bones throughout your life is partly down to your calcium intake, as well as how much exercise you’re getting. So, always make sure that you’re getting plenty of both to keep your nutrition on track.
Of course milk is good source of calcium, but you certainly don’t need to have any in order to get enough of it in your diet. There’s an abundance of calcium-rich foods to suit any vegetarian or vegan diet; such as broccoli, almonds, carrots, spinach, collard greens, kale, soy milk and sesame seeds to name but a few.
You should aim for at least two to three servings of these foods per day to ensure your nutritional goals are being met.
Including some essential iron
Iron is hugely important for the body. It helps enhance your immune system, fights fatigue, and plays a vital role in boosting hemoglobin; the substance in red blood cells that carries oxygen throughout your body.
Hitting your recommended daily intake of iron is actually something you probably don’t need to worry about when sticking to a vegetarian or vegan diet. This is because, according to some nutritional studies, vegetarians and vegans in the UK have higher levels of iron in general than other people.
However if you’re worried about getting enough iron, then just like everything else, you just need to ensure you’re eating a well-balanced diet. Tofu, lentils, spinach, soy, chickpeas and hummus are all vegetarian friendly foods that can give you an iron boost. But avoid drinking coffee or tea just before a meal, as this can limit your iron absorption.
Developing a healthy eating pattern
Being consistent with your diet is the key to success, and avoiding junk food goes a long way as well. Developing healthy eating patterns isn’t necessarily easy, but if you’re eating a healthy vegetarian diet, you’re already doing one of the best things you can do to achieve better short-term and long-term health.
There’s a big difference between being a vegetarian with a poor diet and one with a well-balanced plant-based diet. If you’re still at the early stages of being a vegetarian, it’s likely that you don’t fully realise all of your body’s nutritional needs yet, therefore it’s a good idea to take a multivitamin at first.
If you need help when it comes to getting nutritional vegetarian and vegan meals, then Prep Perfect can deliver them for you, to fit with your schedule. Take a look at our new vegetarian meals, and choose the fresh, delicious dishes you need to start hitting all of your nutritional goals today.