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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The Pumpkin in the Vegetarian Diet

Pumpkins are native to the Americas, with seeds going back 9,000 years discovered in Mexico. They were a versatile item, used not only for food and medicine, but as containers when hollowed out and dried. They were one of the foods that the early European settlers, thanks to the natives who showed them the way, were able to survive on, given their nutrient content and the fact that they kept well, without rotting, for many months (having grown them myself, I can attest to this fact!). This is the main reason the pumpkin is so closely identified with the Fall harvest and with Thanksgiving.

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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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Summer Squash in the Vegetarian Diet

When I was a kid, the mere mention of the word squash sent me screaming for the hills. It had no flavor, and I couldn’t stand the soft, mushy texture.

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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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Minerals in the Vegetarian Diet: Trace

Trace minerals are present in very small amounts in the body; however they are vital to your health no matter how small the needed amount. Fortunately, they are widespread throughout many foods.

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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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Nuts in the Vegetarian Diet

Nuts and seeds are a major source of protein in the vegetarian diet, as well as a very good source of most of the B vitamins, the antioxidant vitamin E, and many of the major and trace minerals, such as copper, iron, manganese, and zinc.

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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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Winter Squash in the Vegetarian Diet

Winter squash is called such due to the fact that it is harvested later on in the year, into the fall, when the skins are thick and hard – as is the flesh. Winter squash does not make for good raw eating. It is, however, very flavorful when cooked – much more so than the summer varieties. The seeds are an excellent source of protein and quite delicious when toasted with a few choice seasonings.

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