The way non-vegetarians see it, going green isn’t a cake walk. No, we aren’t implying that there’s a lack of delish options when it comes to veggie food, but the question is whether a purely vegetarian diet is capable of providing your body with all of the necessary nutrients – vitamin B 12 and protein in particular. We asked our in-house fitness expert of The Transformation to clear things out.
First off, what is vitamin B12 and why is it so important? Says Rohan, “It’s one of the essential vitamins your body requires for for the brain and nervous system to function normally. Because your body doesn’t manufacture it, and it’s a water soluble vitamin that is excreted, it needs to be constantly replenished.”
And are vegetarians at a risk of a vitamin B 12 deficiency? “That is quite true, because while meats are a great source for it, the same cannot be said of all green foods. That’s why some people don’t seem to be able to sustain on a vegetarian diet,” he says. But nothing to worry about; a good supply of dairy should do the trick, he says, “Alternatives like dairy products – paneer and milk and soy products work well.”
As for protein, there are a variety of sources. “Different vegetables contain different essential proteins that we require .Examples of good vegetable proteins include lentils, soy, tofu, black beans, quinoa, green peas, oatmeal, spinach,” he suggests. .According to Rohan “If you’re a vegetarian trying to gain muscle, then you could supplement your diet with protein shake but make sure it isn’t loaded with carbohydrates. Only when your diet does not provide for adequate protein intake, should you think about supplementing,” he advises.
So there it is – the options are many and there’s always an alternative. If going green is what you want, there’s no compromise necessary!