Food Sources of Important Nutrients for Vegetarians

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Offline Sharifur Rahman

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Food Sources of Important Nutrients for Vegetarians
« on: December 20, 2014, 12:08:16 PM »
No matter which category of vegetarian you fall into, it is important to choose a variety of foods, including whole grains, fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts and seeds. Using the MyPlate tips for vegetarians can help you make sure you are meeting your nutritional needs each day.


Vegetarians should consume a variety of calcium sources in order to meet daily requirements. Studies have shown vegetarians absorb and retain more calcium from foods than do non-vegetarians.
Dairy products are a rich source of calcium. If dairy products are not included in your diet, adequate amounts of calcium can be obtained from plant foods. Here is a list of vegetarian-friendly sources of calcium:
•   Low-fat or fat-free milk, yogurt and cheese
•   Fortified soymilk or rice milk
•   Fortified ready-to-eat cereals
•   Calcium-fortified juice
•   Calcium-set tofu
•   Leafy green vegetables
•   Broccoli
•   Beans
•   Almonds and almond butter
•   Sesame seeds and sesame butter (tahini)
•   Soybean nuts


Vegetarians should consume a variety of iron sources to meet daily requirements. Consuming a good source of vitamin C (citrus fruits, orange juice, tomatoes) at each meal increases iron absorption.
Sources include:
•   Fortified breakfast cereals
•   Soybean nuts
•   Dark green, leafy greens
•   Beans
•   Enriched breads, rice and pasta
•   Eggs


Protein is found in most plant foods as well as animal foods. Your body will make its own complete protein if a variety of foods and enough calories are eaten during the day.
Vegetarian sources of protein include:
•   Beans
•   Whole grains
•   Soy products
•   Nuts and nut butters
•   Dairy products
•   Eggs

Vitamin B12:

B12 is found in all foods of animal origin, including eggs and dairy products. An adequate intake of vitamin B12 is generally not a concern for vegetarians who eat some dairy products or eggs. Strict vegetarians or vegans, however, may need to supplement their diet by choosing a fortified breakfast cereal or by taking a vitamin B12 (cobalamin) supplement of no more than 100 percent of the Daily Value.
Vegetarian sources of B12 include:
•   Vitamin B12-fortified foods including nutritional yeast, soymilk, meat analogs and ready-to-eat cereals. Be sure to check the label.
•   Dairy products
•   Eggs

Vitamin D:

Few foods are naturally high in vitamin D, but dairy products are fortified with vitamin D in the United States. People who choose not to eat dairy products and who do not receive exposure to sunlight on a regular basis may wish to consider taking a vitamin D supplement of no more than 100 percent of the Daily Value.
Vegetarian ources of vitamin D include:
•   Eggs
•   Vitamin D-fortified soymilk, cow's milk, orange juice, and ready-to-eat cereals

Information provided by Vegetarian Nutrition, a dietetic practice group of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

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