This is World Vegetarian Month, something everyone can celebrate. A vegetarian diet emphasizes plant-based foods and excludes animal products to different degrees:
- Lacto-ovo vegetarians avoid meat, poultry and fish.
- Lacto vegetarians avoid meat, poultry, fish and eggs.
- Ovo vegetarians avoid animal products except eggs and honey.
- Vegans avoid all animal products, including honey.
Enjoy vegetables not just for their taste, but also because they’re high in vitamins and minerals and low in fat. Vegetables are also good sources of antioxidants (which help the body to guard against cellular damage inside you) and fiber. There are a lot of creative ways to incorporate more vegetables at mealtime:
- Layer some chopped spinach, cooked carrots or zucchini into your lasagna instead of meat.
- Add tomatoes, spinach, mushrooms, onions and peppers into an omelet or quesadilla.
- Add some extra vegetables and beans to soup.
- Cut vegetables into small cubes and add them to spaghetti sauce.
- Top pizza with fresh tomato, peppers, mushrooms, spinach or zucchini.
- Boost sandwich flavor with roasted red peppers, roasted or sun-dried tomatoes or grilled eggplant.
- Add grated carrots, baby spinach, shredded cabbage or sliced tomato to wraps or pita sandwiches.
Check back next week to learn about healthy, tasty and inexpensive plant-based nutrition.
This post was written by Nina Eng, RD, nutrition coordinator at Plainview Hospital.
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