World Vegetarian Day, observed on October 1st, aims to raise awareness of the benefits of a vegetarian diet. The goal of World Vegetarian Day is to raise awareness of the joy, compassion, and life-enhancing benefits of vegetarianism. The health benefits of a vegetarian diet have recently become more apparent, and many people are exploring and adopting this as a lifestyle choice. As a result, we consulted with top Indian nutritionists and health experts to learn about the most nutrient-dense ingredients to incorporate into a healthy vegetarian diet. Here’s what they had to say about it.
6 vegetarian nutrient-dense foods to include in your diet :
1. Nuts and Seeds:
Nuts and seeds such as almonds, peanuts, cashews, walnuts, chia seeds, sesame seeds, and sunflower seeds should be included in your diet. “If you’re a vegetarian, include flaxseeds, walnuts, chia seeds, and hemp seeds in your diet to get enough omega-3 fatty acids.” “Omega-3 fatty acids improve heart health and brain function,” says Aman Puri, founder of Steadfast Nutrition.
2. Pulses and Legumes:
Pulses and legumes are high in protein and have a slew of other health advantages. “Pulses like beans contain amino acids, which aid in the formation of protein blocks that the body uses to create new tissues.” Beans have also been shown to help lower cholesterol and blood sugar levels,” says Dr. Rohini Patil, founder of Nutracy Lifestyle.
“Chickpeas stand out as one of the most important sources of protein in a vegetarian diet for me.” It’s simple to consume and available in a variety of forms. Fresh fruits, vegetables, and nuts, on the other hand, are essential for a wholesome and nutritious diet,” adds Seema Jindal Jajodia, founder of Nourish Organics.
3. Sattu Powder:
Two tablespoons of sattu powder contain the same amount of protein as one egg white. “Sattu contains about 20% protein and is a good source of iron and calcium.” Sattu contains a lot of fibre and is good for people who have digestive problems. It contains a lot of energy. Furthermore, when mixed with water, Sattu creates an excellent cooling drink that protects people from summer strokes. “Sattu parathas are excellent winter foods that keep the body warm,” says Vidhi Chawla, a dietitian.
4. Whole Grains:
“Both amaranth and quinoa are whole grains, not true cereal grains.” These seeds are cooked and consumed with rice and oats. Although amaranth has slightly more protein than quinoa, both provide twice the protein of brown rice, oats, or whole wheat. Amaranth has 9 gm of protein in a 1-cup serving, while quinoa has 8 gm. Aside from higher protein content, another advantage of amaranth and quinoa is superior protein quality when compared to vegetarian alternatives,” says nutritionist Neha Sahaya.
5. Seasonal Fruits and Vegetables:
“Seasonal fruits like mangoes, chikoos, custard apples, and bananas are high in antioxidants and prebiotics,” says Jhanvi Kanakia, a sports and clinical nutritionist.
“We are fortunate to have access to seasonal vegetables and fruits that provide so much nutrition.” For example, the monsoon season is ideal for eating litchis, which are high in Vitamin C. “The upcoming winter season is ideal for eating strawberries, root vegetables, and red carrots,” says chef Raveena Taurani, founder of Yogisattva, a plant-based cafe.
Tempeh is an excellent source of plant-based protein for vegetarians, containing approximately 19 gm of protein per 100 gm of tempeh. “Tempeh is a good source of fiber and has a very low GI, making it beneficial for gut health and diabetes. It is made by naturally fermenting soybeans with water and culture.” It is naturally cholesterol-free and low in saturated fat, making it beneficial for weight loss and heart health. Furthermore, because of its flavor absorption quality and versatility, it allows you to prepare delicious meals at home,” says Dr. Nikita Suresh, a weight management expert.
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