By Delia Quigley for Care2.com
“Nothing will benefit human health and increase chances for survival of life on Earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet.” ~Albert Einstein
As people strive to improve their health and evolve their food choices to a more plant-based diet, it is easy to get lost along the way. You can happily end up living on chocolate whole-wheat croissants for breakfast, cheese pizza for lunch and a large bowl of fettuccine alfredo for dinner, but the pounds will eventually stack up as your energy declines. When you transition to a more vegetarian way of eating it is important to educate yourself about the nutrients your body will need on a daily basis.
Learn how to create a balance of vegetable protein, carbohydrates and quality fats with each meal. You must also replace the six essential nutrients provided by animal proteins with plant-based foods containing the protein, iron, zinc, calcium, B12, and Essential Fatty Acids that are reduced with the elimination of meat, poultry, pork and fish. The fun part is putting them together into delicious recipes and then chewing slowly for the full satisfying experience.
Last week the vitamin guide series kicked off with vitamin A. This week I focus on Vitamin B12 an essential vitamin needed for healthy nerve and blood cells as well as the production of DNA. A lack of B12 in the diet can cause anemia, which prevents the body from making normal red blood cells that carry oxygen in the blood. Anemia can leave you feeling tired and weak, if you have been feeling this way you should visit your doctor and have your B12 sections checked.
Vitamin B12 is a water–soluble vitamin, so you don’t have to worry about having too much in your system or risk of toxicity. Any amount of the vitamin your body does not need will be rid of through urine, unlike vitamin A as reviewed last week. The recommended daily allowance (RDA) for the average adult is 2.4 micrograms per day. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should increase their daily allowance to 2.6-2.8 micrograms. (more…)