Vitamins in the Vegetarian Diet, Part 2: the Water-Soluble Vitamins

Water soluble vitamins do not require protein carriers and travel more freely in the bloodstream and the lymph system than do the fat-soluble vitamins. They are discharged through the urine and rarely become toxic. It’s easier to become deficient in the water soluble vitamins, as the body stores them in smaller amounts.

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Whole Grain Alternatives

Most whole grains that are otherwise considered healthy for the majority of the population are actually extremely toxic to those individuals with the very real problem of gluten sensitivity. Here are five grain alternatives, four of which are considered to be complete proteins:

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Whole Grain Choices

It is a good idea to stock your kitchen with a variety of whole grains and whole grain alternatives. Most supermarkets carry a small variety in bulk in the ‘organic’ section, and of course your local health food store will have a great deal more. Here is an overview of the grains you can find:

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Mushrooms in the Vegetarian Diet

It’s a rare occasion when my salad doesn’t contain mushrooms, and I usually toss them in the cooking pot with pasta to blanch for the last couple of minutes, making them a part of my pasta primavera. They make a mean gravy, too.

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Supplements – Do Vegetarians Need Them?

If you are a reasonably healthy person and you eat a well-balanced, healthy diet full of whole grains, lean protein, and a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, there really is no reason to take vitamin/mineral supplements.

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Pasta in the Vegetarian Diet

Pasta gets a lot of mixed reviews. The low-carb diet proponents will tell you that pasta is the worst thing you could ever put in your mouth and will cause huge sugar cravings that will make you not only fat but diabetic. The high-carb diet proponents will tell you that pasta is a wonderful source of energy and helps maintain a healthy weight. The pasta companies will defend their product, of course, so they are hardly a source of unbiased, scientific information. Then there are those sources of unbiased, scientific information that couldn’t explain anything in layman’s terms if they tried.

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The Mediterranean Diet for Vegetarians

The Mediterranean Diet evolved from the research of a University of Minnesota professor named Ancel Keys, Ph.D. Beginning in 1958, Dr. Keys and colleagues studied how the diets and lifestyles of roughly 12,000 men from diverse cultural and ethnic backgrounds influenced their incidences of heart disease.

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Minerals in the Vegetarian Diet: Major

Minerals account for about 4% of the human body, and most of them are found in the bone structure. The major minerals are present in a higher percentage than the trace minerals; however they are all equally important in the body.

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Legumes – The Beans

Beans are an excellent source of carbohydrates, fiber and protein, as well as other vitamins and minerals necessary for a healthy diet. Paired with grains, they provide all of the essential amino acids necessary for complete protein in the vegetarian diet. There are many bean varieties to choose from:

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Legumes – The Peas

In addition to carbohydrates and fiber, peas generally provide Vitamins A, B (most of the complex), and C, as well as lutein, a nutrient necessary for good eyesight. There are several varieties of peas to choose from:

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