If you compare your body to the analogy of a motor car, it needs fuel.
What you put into it will determine how it performs. Put poor quality “fuel” into it and it will clog up and stutter and perform poorly. If this situation continues it will eventually break down. Sports cars need high-octane fuel. If you want to perform at your best, the better quality food you consume, the healthier and more vibrant you will feel.
There is truth in the cliché you are what you eat. What then in the vegetarian spectrum can you consume to lead a healthy balanced life?
Vitamin B and Vitamin C & Vitamin E are essential for the immune system, the nervous system, the production of red blood cells and they also have many additional benefits such as the production of hair, skin regeneration and teeth. Fruit & veg are particularly high in these compounds. In fact you can have a deficiency in these vitamins if you don’t eat enough fruit & greens.
Over-nourished, overweight and obese Westerners are striving to cut down food rations in order to get rid of excess weight...
It’s true that meat, dairy products and poultry are essential sources of Vitamin B-12. B-12 plays a key role in the production of red blood cells and supporting the central nervous system. But non-vegetarian food can also have negative consequences. Red meat and processed meat according to The National Institute of Health has been linked to increased mortality rates.
Red meat has also been link to higher heart disease risks, weight gain, cancer, diabetes and kidney disorders. Some major benefits of consuming a vegetarian diet is that it tends to involve a healthy serving of fruits, nuts, vegetables, and whole grains. According to USDA whole grains provide lots of fiber, healthy based plant proteins, vitamins and minerals and a mixture of mineral phytochemicals can actually improve your health.
Oats, barley and bulgur are fiber rich foods. Fibre can contribute to controlling blood sugar and also lower LDL – which is effectively bad cholesterol. Fibre can also reduce the risk of colon cancer. Nuts are full of heart healthy fats. They are also packed full of protein, vitamins and minerals. These miniature superfoods are proof that good things come in small packages. Between meals they can also prevent you from getting hungry. But beware, eat too much and these high calorie foods can ruin your appetite.
If your diet is purely vegetarian it is important to eat as varied a diet as possible to sustain energy levels and ensure your vitamin and mineral intake is adequate. If you don’t consume dairy products and fish you need to provide enough energy to fuel your body through a wide range of fruit, vegetables and nuts. Potatoes and pastas, rice and oats can provide energy, starch and fibre. Eating
potatoes with the skin on will provide even more.
Remember to get plenty of exercise and fresh air as well. If you like to work out pea protein provides an alternative to dairy derived proteins. Pea protein powders are also gluten and soy free and are a good source of Lysine (helps with energy production) which cannot be produced by the body and must be consumed with the diet.
About The Author
Susan Horward is a Nutritionist and CrossFit instructor. She writes for the popular Treadmill Reviewers blog.