I've been vegetarian since I was 7 or 8, and about four months ago I decided to go vegan for ethical reasons. I've remained the same weight and I feel fine, but I'm worried that I'm not getting enough nutrients. I don't want to discover later on in life that I have a calcium-related problem caused by going vegan and not getting enough calcium/any other nutrient. I do really want to be vegan, but I don't want to put my health on the line. Could you recommend different foods and how many servings of them I should eat in a week to get enough calcium/iron/vitamins A+D? Thanks so much!
You did not state the type of vegetarian you are. Protein is the main ingredient that needs attention. You get protein by using dairy products which can come from animal or plant sources, such as, milk, soy milk, rice milk, yogurt, soy yogurt, cheese, soy cheese, soy ice cream, and rice ice cream. If you are a vegan you need to combine grains and nuts / seeds for essential protein have to be used daily such as rice and beans, pasta and beans, nuts to oatmeal, peanut butter and bread, and salad and nuts. You can also eat the soy and rice products mention above. Eat more raw fruits and vegetables for vitamins and minerals. Eat them as snacks or add them to your salads with additional nuts. Vitamin B12 needs to be supplemented if you are a vegan vegetarian. From the weight and height you wrote, you are presently about 20lbs underweight for your height. Suggest you go to your MD to get a check up with blood work just to be sure your entire nutrient, vitamin, and mineral levels are normal. Look at www.vrg.org for more information on vegetarian eating. Hope this helped you.
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