Viva La Vegetarian!


Celebrate National Vegetarian Week with Healthy Foods Online

Veteran vegetarians may be so used to their daily regime, that they haven’t stopped to realise that there is a whole new generation of veggie newbies ready and waiting to officially celebrate their new animal-friendly diet. This Monday marks the start of national celebrations of National Vegetarian Week and we are teaming up with Healthy Foods Online to embrace the wonderful world of vegetarianism.

What is Vegetarianism?
Vegetarianism, like many other diets, is often misunderstood. Many people perceive this diet to be full of fruits, vegetables and all things green and good; although many vegetarians will lead a healthy diet, being a veggie doesn’t automatically make you the healthy type – unfortunately!

The core aspect of being vegetarian is not eating meat, however, unlike veganism, where followers cannot consume or wear anything that has been derived from an animal, vegetarians have the option to consume these products as long as the animal has not been slaughtered. The Vegetarian Society has defined a vegetarian as the following:
“A vegetarian is someone who lives on a diet of grains, pulses, legumes, nuts, seeds, vegetables, fruits, fungi, algae, yeast and/or some other non-animal-based foods (e.g. salt) with, or without, dairy products, honey and/or eggs. A vegetarian does not eat foods that consist of, or have been produced with the aid of products consisting of or created from, any part of the body of a living or dead animal. This includes meat, poultry, fish, shellfish*, insects, by-products of slaughter** or any food made with processing aids created from these.”

Being a vegetarian opens up a world of exciting recipes and twists on the traditional classics! With a complete ban on meat, vegetarians can enjoy exploring the world of meat-free alternatives such as tofu and tempeh. However, the absence of meat in a vegetarian’s diet can mean that they suffer from a deficiency in certain vitamins and minerals, that are essential to maintaining good health and wellbeing.

What do Vegetarians Need?
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One of the most common deficiencies for vegetarians is a Vitamin B12 deficiency, which can result in anaemia. This is most commonly experienced by vegans, who, by eliminating meat, dairy and eggs, also eliminate the major sources for getting Vitamin B12 into their bodies.

There are other ways of adding Vitamin B12 into your diet via other forms of foods such as fortified cereals, fortified soy and yoghurt. To ensure a regular intake of Vitamin B12, vegetarians can choose to take B12 vitamins, like these from Nature’s Aid 

Iron
Some of the most well-known foods that contain iron are meat dishes, including red meats such as beef and pork.

Similarly, to Vitamin B12, veggies can also suffer from a lack of iron in their diets. However, for iron, there is a list of rich and delicious foods that are super healthy, animal-friendly and will boost your iron intake right up.

One of the easiest ways to increase your intake of iron is with a delicious pasta salad, filled with iron-rich foods. Start by cooking some pasta, and then add some dark leafy greens, such as spinach which has 15% of your recommended daily allowance of iron in just 100g. Scatter with some red kidney beans and finish with tomatoes, which are high in Vitamin C and will help to absorb the iron.

Iron & Vitamin B12-Rich Recipe Inspiration
Create a dish rich in Vitamin B12 and iron with a classic Vegetable Pie, add in shavings of your favourite vegetables and leafy greens, top with tomatoes and add a spoonful of Healthy Foods Online Vegan and Vegetarian Savoury Yeast Flakes from Marigold, which can be added to a range of dishes to boost your Vitamin B12 intake. 

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Protein
No matter whether you are a vehement vegetarian or a craving carnivore, for most of us mornings are a struggle!

Protein is usually found in products that are derived from animals, including meat, milk, eggs and yoghurts. However, there are other ways that you can get your protein punch without harming or using animals. One way is through the delicious Peanut Butter craze that has swept the nation.

Picture3This quick and delightful breakfast inspiration is the perfect pick-me-up for your morning routine. A boost of energy with the delicious Organic Peanut Butter from Meridian, perfect for both vegetarians and vegans! Offering around 29.3g of protein per 100g, you can enjoy a delicious and healthy boost of natural energy. Top with Thursday Cottage’s Homemade Organic Jams, made in Trewlands Farm in Essex, for true Instagram-worthy pics.