Planning a diet is very important. A diet is not just for loosing weight but it is also something that one has to follow when being a vegetarian. One has to pay attention and plan ahead on what really needs to be consumed if they need a balanced diet which includes all the required protein, minerals and vitamins.
I have been reading up a lot on how to plan an ideal Vegetarian diet. From various sources and research off internet, below are the notes I dotted down.
Below are few things that impress one right away. This will be a series of notes on various aspects. For starters, I will be talking only about these for now.
To get required Proteins, an Indian Vegetarian's diet is predominantly based on Dals (pulses). So in this case, it is again recommended to have a variety in the dals used so as to include all types of dals in one's diet. Individually, dals are supposed to have only 30% proteins content and some missing amino acids. So to compensate this one can add tofu as it is partially fermented and therefore has better digestibility. Besides Tofu is a complete protein.
Then comes the Calcium. Vegetarian and in particular women should follow a diet that has food rich in calcium. If you are Lactose intolerant then food such as soya, turnip, broccoli, ragi etc will be ideal, for rest they can consume milk, curd, cheese and paneer are sufficient
When I looked upon Iron, lot of information came up from which I took only what was applicable to my diet.
Do refer this article
for more details on specific food that is rich in Iron.
The following are iron rich foods :Cereals & Grains: barley (Bajra), Rice flakes, rice bran , corn flakes, oats , ragi .
Pulses & Beans: Cow pea, Lobia (black-eye beans), Lentils, Soybean, peas.
Vegetables: Beetroot greens, Mint, Parsley, Turnip greens, all green leafy vegetables coriander leaves.
Vegetables like broccoli are rich in iron. These vegetables are high iron and also high in vitamin C
Fruits: Dried dates, Watermelon, Raisins,almonds , walnuts, watermelon, papaya, pomegranate.
In case of lemon , orange , amla , sweet lime Vitamin C increases absorption of their iron content.
So based on this information we need to plan for menu to include these requirement.
Do share your thoughts on how and what you do to plan your healthy menu. I will be writing menu based on what I plan.