What does it mean to be a vegetarian?
Simply put, a vegetarian is a person who excludes meat and other animal products from their diet. There are many reasons for wanting to embrace a vegetarian diet. Often this choice relates to environmental issues, personal beliefs, ethics, health, or religion.
For many people, it means adapting not only your diet but your lifestyle around vegetarianism. Luckily, this is a lot easier now than years ago when there were very few resources to support making the move to becoming a vegetarian.
Nowadays, there are endless recipes and nutritional articles at our fingertips dedicated to leading a plant-based lifestyle. Here are some of our favourite vegetarian-friendly food options which can help in leading a happy, healthy lifestyle.
Healthy food options to eat on a vegetarian diet
A vegetarian diet should include various types of fruits, vegetables, healthy fats, grains and proteins as they provide a range of important vitamins and minerals.
Here are some healthy food suggestions to include on a vegetarian diet :
Proteins – Seitan (a product made from wheat gluten), Edamame beans, tofu, nutritional yeast
Healthy Fats – Avocados, olive oil and coconut oil
Vegetables – Carrots, asparagus, broccoli, green leafy vegetables
Seeds – Hempseed, chia seeds and flaxseeds
Whole Grains – Buckwheat, oats, rice, barley, quinoa, whole-wheat pasta
Nuts – Cashew nuts, chestnuts, walnuts, and almonds
Legumes – Lentils, beans, chickpeas, peas
These options are not only healthy and delicious, but they also help to ensure variety in a diet which is another important factor in ensuring good nutrition.
Vegetarian-friendly meat alternatives to include in your diet
If you have switched to a plant-based diet or are looking for some meat alternatives, here are a few great options:
Tofu – a classic meat alternative; enjoy this low-calorie source of protein in countless variations, including smoked and flavourful marinated varieties bursting with a mix of herbs and spices!
Soya Protein – Soya chunks and soya mince are inexpensive and easy to prepare. Ideal for vegetarian burgers, meatballs, and cutlets, to name a few.
Tempeh – This traditional Indonesian food has a high content of protein and fibre, making it ideal for a balanced diet.
Black Beans – are rich in fibre, protein and have fantastic antioxidant properties. They are perfect for a healthy yet delicious meal!
Chickpeas – These should be an integral part of any diet due to their beneficial nutrient content. They are a good source of protein, are rich in fibre and are also extremely versatile – who doesn’t love a good hummus or chickpea curry with rice?
Ideas to lead an easy vegetarian lifestyle
For those who lead a busy life or need some guidance in the kitchen, here are some ways to make your life easier:
There are so many plant-based recipes out there, why not try one of these delicious vegetarian recipes which are sure to inspire you!
Better still, why not take the pressure off in the kitchen and order some of our handmade vegetarian meals. Or even better, get your hands on our versatile vegetarian meal box which is delicious, nutritious and offers lots of choices!
The Bottom Line
A well-balanced vegetarian diet with nutritious foods like whole grains, healthy fats, and plant-based protein offers a multitude of benefits.
It is important to be mindful of a few key nutrients and round out your diet with a variety of healthy whole foods to ensure your body is getting all the essential vitamins and minerals it needs to lead a happy, healthy vegetarian lifestyle.
Looking for delicious and healthy vegetarian meals on your plate? Check out our vegetarian collection for some tasty inspirations here.