All about fruitarianism with a long-term fruitarian, Lena

Tips for Vegetarians

Vegetarian diets can meet all the recommendations for nutrients. The key is to consume a variety of foods and the right amount of foods to meet your calorie needs. Follow the food group recommendations for your age, sex, and activity level to get the right amount of food and the variety of foods needed for nutrient adequacy. Nutrients that vegetarians may need to focus on include protein, iron, calcium, zinc, and vitamin B12

Nutrients to focus on for vegetarians

Protein has many important functions in the body and is essential for growth and maintenance. Protein needs can easily be met by eating a variety of plant-based foods. Combining different protein sources in the same meal is not necessary. Sources of protein for vegetarians and vegans include beans, nuts, nut butters, peas, and soy products (tofu, tempeh, veggie burgers). Milk products and eggs are also good protein sources for lacto-ovo vegetarians.

Iron functions primarily as a carrier of oxygen in the blood. Iron sources for vegetarians and vegans include iron-fortified breakfast cereals, spinach, kidney beans, black-eyed peas, lentils, turnip greens, molasses, whole wheat breads, peas, and some dried fruits (dried apricots, prunes, raisins).

Calcium is used for building bones and teeth and in maintaining bone strength. Sources of calcium for vegetarians and vegans include calcium-fortified soymilk, calcium-fortified breakfast cereals and orange juice, tofu made with calcium sulfate, and some dark-green leafy vegetables (collard greens, turnip greens, bok choy, mustard greens). The amount of calcium that can be absorbed from these foods varies. Consuming enough plant foods to meet calcium needs may be unrealistic for many. Milk products are excellent calcium sources for lacto vegetarians. Calcium supplements are another potential source.

Zinc is necessary for many biochemical reactions and also helps the immune system function properly. Sources of zinc for vegetarians and vegans include many types of beans (white beans, kidney beans, and chickpeas), zinc-fortified breakfast cereals, wheat germ, and pumpkin seeds. Milk products are a zinc source for lacto vegetarians.

Vitamin B12 is found in animal products and some fortified foods. Sources of vitamin B12 for vegetarians include milk products, eggs, and foods that have been fortified with vitamin B12. These include breakfast cereals, soymilk, veggie burgers, and nutritional yeast.

Percy Bysshe Shelley

They are called into existence by human artifice that they may drag out a short and miserable existence of slavery and disease, that their bodies may be mutilated, their social feelings outraged. It were much better that a sentient being should never have existed, than that it should have existed only to endure unmitigated misery.

Choline Recommended Intake from Seeds and Fruits

Choline is an essential vitamin-like (vitamin B4) nutrient, synthesized in human body, but not sufficiently.

The recommended adequate intake (AI) of choline is set at 425 milligrams (mg)/day for women and 550 mg/day for men.

Choline deficiency causes muscle damage and abnormal deposition of fat in the liver, which results in a condition called nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. Genetic predispositions and gender can influence individual variation in choline requirements.

Example Plant Fruitarian Sources of Choline

Seeds (including legumes and nuts), high in choline, milligrams per 100 g portion: 

  • Soybeans - 124 mg 
  • Lima beans - 97 mg 
  • Lentils - 96 mg
  • Peas (mature) - 96 mg
  • Flaxseeds - 79 mg 
  • Pistachio nuts - 71 mg 
  • Quinoa - 70 mg 
  • Pumpkin and squash seed kernels (pepitas) -  63 mg 
  • Cashew nuts - 61 mg 
  • Pine nuts - 56 mg 
  • Sunflower seed kernels - 55 mg 
  • Buckwheat - 54 mg 
  • Almonds - 52 mg 

Fruits, high in choline, milligrams per 100 g portion: 

  • Tomatoes, sun-dried - 105 mg 
  • Apples - 18 mg 
  • Figs - 16 mg 
  • Avocados - 14 mg 

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