A Brief Guide to Proper Vegetarian Nutrition & Vegetarian Diet Plan

A brief guide to healty vegetarian diet and vegetarian diet plan - What are Legumes, Lentils & Grains?

Here is some general information on vegetarian nutrition which I hope will help you understand the importance of beans, seeds, nuts and sprouts in the vegetarian diet.

Grains and Legumes For years I didn't really know how to pronounce "legumes" or the exact definition of the word. So I had to look it up:

(From Wikipedia , the free encyclopedia)
A legume [pronounced le-gyume] is a plant in the family Fabaceae (or Leguminosae), - a simple dry fruit that develops from a simple carpel and usually opens along a seam on two sides. A common name for this type of fruit is a pod. We all have heard of alfalfa, clover, peas, beans, lentils, lupins, mesquite, carob, soy, and peanuts.
image: Simon Howden

So what's a "lentil"?
(From Wikipedia , the free encyclopedia)
The lentil (Lens culinaris), considered a type of pulse, grows from lens-shaped seeds. It is about 15 inches (38 cm) tall and the seeds grow in pods, usually with two seeds in each.
A variety of pulses exist with colours that range from yellow to red-orange to green, brown and black. There are large and small varieties of pulses sold in many forms, with or without the skins, whole or split.

Lentils contain high levels of proteins, including the essential amino acids isoleucine and lysine, and are an essential source of inexpensive protein in many parts of the world.

Apart from a high level of proteins, pusles also contain dietary fiber, folate, vitamin B1, and minerals and are often mixed with grains, such as rice, which results in a complete protein dish.

Lentils are a key source of nutrition in the vegetarian diet plan.

Now let's get the definition of "grain"
(From Wikipedia , the free encyclopedia)
Cereals or grains , are grasses cultivated for the edible components of their fruit seeds (botanically, a type of fruit called a caryopsis) - the endocarp, germ and bran. In their natural form (as in whole meal), they are a rich source of vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, fats and oils, and protein. However, when refined by the removal of the bran and germ, the remaining endocarp is mostly carbohydrate and lacks the majority of the other nutrients. In some developing nations, rice, wheat, or maize (corn) constitute a majority of daily sustenance. In developed nations, cereal consumption is more moderate and varied but still substantial.

A combination of legumes with grains forms a well-balanced, healthy high protein vegetarian diet. Common examples of such combinations needed for vegetarian nutrition are the Indian dahl with rice, Mexican beans with corn tortillas, Asian tofu with rice, Middle-Eastern Beans and Rice and the American classic - peanut butter on wheat bread (PB&J sandwiches).
Want more ideas for protein combinations, vegetarian diet plan and meal planning? Check out More Vegetarian Nutrition & Menu Ideas.

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Welcome to Simply-Vegetarian.com where you'll find simple, nutritious and delicious meatless recipes.

Mimi Avishai

I'm Mimi (that's me on the Nile River!) and this is my recipe collection. I love to be creative, love to cook and love to entertain. I'm also veggie which means that all of the above gets a bit more complicated – and a lot more fun!

On simply-vegetarian.com I share some of my family's favourite recipes, from soups and starters to holiday main dishes and desserts as well as some really good tips and suggestions for healthy eating!

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