If you’re a vegetarian, getting all the nutrients you need can be easily achieved by eating a mix of vegetables, nuts, seeds, pulses and grains, plus fruit (in moderation). Eggs, and/or whichever dairy products you choose to include can also be added.
A protein-based breakfast is ideal because it's digested slowly; you’ll also want to include healthy fats in every meal from foods like avocado, nuts and seeds, plus olive, coconut and rapeseed oils. Not only are fats required for health, but they don’t cause blood glucose levels to fluctuate, which lends to a more stable appetite.
Pumpkin and sunflower seeds, for example, are a great source of healthy fats, plus other vitamins and minerals, to include iron. Eating these with vitamin C-rich veggies like yellow peppers and kale will optimise your body’s iron uptake.
Top your porridge or cereal with nuts and seeds, plus even berries and natural yogurt, for a nutrient-dense meal that will see you through until lunch.
Your midday meal should be based on veggies/salad, and include protein from beans, peas, nuts, grains or dairy products. Adding a small serving of high-fibre whole grains will help produce a steady rise in blood sugar to avoid those hunger pangs and mid-afternoon slumps.
At dinner time, combine fibre-rich complex carbohydrates with healthy essential fats and at least half a plate of vegetables, so that your body can regenerate and repair overnight without weighing you down.
We’ve made some handy mix and match guides below to help you pick out a balanced vegetarian meal the next time you’re out shopping!