Getting All Essential Nutrients While Doing a Juice Fast or Beginning a Vegetarian Diet

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Doing a juice fast or deciding to eat a plant based diet can have a lot of health benefits. There are a lot of nutrients that people just starting on one of these diets may be lacking if they are not diligent, however. While all of the nutrients that are present in meat can be found from a plant-based source, several different fruits or vegetables may be required to get all of the nutrients present in one type of meat.

Protein is the most well known nutrient that is present in meat. The recommended dietary allowance of protein is 1/3 of a gram for each pound that we weigh. Thus, a 150 pound individual would want to consume around 50 grams of protein per day. This equates to around 10 percent of total calories that are consumed. Non vegetarians typically consume more than that, around 15-18 percent. This is not necessarily better. While meeting the daily requirement of protein is necessary for energy and immune health, exceeding the daily requirement can increase the risk of certain health conditions, such as osteoporosis.

While this may seem like a lot of protein for someone that has just begun a juice fast or started to eat a vegan or vegetarian diet, there are many plant sources that are rich in protein.

Protein-rich fruits and veggies include:
•Broccoli- 4.6 grams of protein per cup
•Cauliflower-3 grams of protein per cup
•Peas-8 grams per cup
•Spinach-1 gram per cup fresh, 1 cup cooked spinach is usually 13 grams
•Kale-3 grams of protein per cup fresh

Besides Protein, What Else Can Be Lacking?

Vegetarians are most vulnerable to deficiencies of iron, calcium, vitamin B12 and omega-3 fatty acids. Supplements can be helpful in getting adequate amounts of these vitamins. Spinach, iron, apricots, and parsley are good sources of iron. Kale, broccoli, collard greens, and cabbage are rich in calcium. B12 does not come from plant sources. People that do not eat any animal products are encouraged to take a B-12 Supplement or get their B-12 from fortified cereals or nutritional yeast. Flax seeds and chia seeds are high in omega-3 fatty acids. These can be ground up and added to juices or foods.

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