In recent years there has been an increase in people who choose to follow a vegetarian (and in many cases even vegan) diet, both for moral reasons and for reasons more related to health. Just think that, according to the Italian Association for Cancer Research , Italy is the European country with the largest number of vegetarians.
In fact, as many know, eating too much meat is not good for our body, especially the fats that clog the veins and can be the basis of many cardiovascular problems
In recent years, an ethical debate has opened up on whether to eat meat or not: many, including scientists and activists, argue that excessive meat consumption as well as being a health problem is also a problem for the environment . Intensive farms consume energy and produce waste much more than large industries, not to mention the exploitation of the land.
And finally there is the eternal debate on right and wrong: is it right to eat other animals? Is it okay to kill animals for our survival? Whatever your answer, choosing a diet that involves replacing meat with other foods can definitely help you stay fitter and healthier . Today we will show you how to replace meat with other foods, food supplements, and how to eat a balanced diet .
Tofu, seitan and tempeh
Before we start talking about legumes , traditionally considered the perfect substitute for meat, we present three foods that have finally reached our tables and are a great help when trying to reduce meat to prepare for vegetarian diets.
Tofu , like tempeh , are not animal derivatives but are made from soy , while seitan is made from wheat gluten or spelled. All three of these foods are high in protein and can be eaten both cooked and raw
Try the tofu with miso and leek soups , or grilled. Tempeh and seitan, on the other hand, can be used to prepare nuggets, burgers reminiscent of fish (in the case of tempeh) or meat (in the case of seitan). Easy to cook, they are healthy, protein foods and suitable for preparing delicious recipes.
Cut some slices of aubergine, cook it on the griddle and you will get an excellent veggie burger. But not only that, you can use this vegetable to prepare meatballs, fry them, stuff them and cook them in the oven. Eggplants are a vegetable rich in vegetable proteins and are very versatile : you can really invent many innovative recipes, going well beyond parmigiana and pasta alla norma.
If you switch to a vegetarian diet, do not reduce yourself to eating only rice and pasta: there are many other cereals that can help you recover fiber and vitamins . Among these cereals there are common ones such as spelled, oats, barley, millet, but also less known cereals such as quinoa and amaranth. Alternate them often and eat them fresh to get the most out of these grains. If you do not have the opportunity to introduce them in your diet, know that you can find food supplements that contain the fibers and vitamins of exotic cereals.
Spirulina algae is the perfect dietary supplement for vegetarians. In addition to containing a high percentage of Omega 3 , algae also contain a lot of proteins. According to the Secrets of Wellness portal specializing in food supplements and in particular in algae supplements, spirulina is also rich in vitamins of groups B, E, as well as minerals such as calcium, iron, manganese, chromium, copper, zinc and selenium. Spirulina is able to stimulate the flora in our digestive system, normalize intestinal function, and naturally cleanse our body. Spirulina algae can be purchased in either powder or leavesand very suitable for preparing soups and broths. In order to fully benefit from its beneficial effects for health, however, Secrets of Wellness recommends taking spirulina algae in the form of organic capsules , in order to know exactly the concentration of active ingredient that you are taking and to precisely control the daily dosage. For more information on spirulina algae, I refer you to the site segretidelbenessere.it .
Obviously, legumes cannot be missing. Cheap , in a thousand varieties and usable in the kitchen in all possible ways, legumes are the food with the highest concentration of proteins . They can be taken as a main dish, make burgers or legume sausages, soups. Legumes are truly a versatile food, but the important thing is to always alternate them with other foods to get the right amount of proteins and vitamins.
Nuts are famous for their antioxidant properties and for being a source of Omega 3. But they are also a great way to get vegetable protein . Add dried fruit to your savory dishes, such as a walnut and pear risotto or add chopped hazelnuts in the preparation of your veggie burgers, or eat some almonds for breakfast or snack and with a minimum quantity (100 grams of almonds contain 20 grams of protein ) you will have taken the right protein and calorie intake .
The seeds in the kitchen are essential: you can use them to dress salads but also combine them with the dough of bread and pasta. And not only that, you can take them as a snack. The recommended seeds are those of chia (very rich in protein), sunflower, pumpkin and hemp.
It may not be well known, but the Jackfruit, called Jackfruit in English , is a very protein food , which can replace meat in your savory dishes, and be used as a filling for sandwiches or grilled with a vegetable garnish.
You can choose from an almost infinite variety of mushrooms and you can use them in the kitchen as you prefer: as a sauce for risotto and pasta, cook them in a pan and accompany them with polenta or if you choose large mushrooms you can also bread them and eat them instead of cutlets. There are also exotic mushrooms, such as shitake, reishi and maitake, more or less good to be taken during meals, but which are found in the form of food supplements. For more information on exotic mushrooms, I always refer you to the site segretidelbenessere.it.
The advice is always to start small, reducing meat and fish gradually and of course ask for the advice of a nutritionist to know the most suitable diet for your body.