Hi, I'm Kerri-Ann, a nutrition editor at EatingWell. And I'm Jessie. I'm the food editor here at EatingWell. And today we're going to talk about how you stay healthy if you're eating meatless, and the foods you need to make sure you're getting into your diet. So to start with, Kerri-Ann, let's talk about what you get from meat. So meat has a lot of protein, which your body needs to build tissues. It also gives you iron and vitamin B12, which you need for energy. And vitamin B12 is only found in animal foods. And also meat gives you zinc, which you need for healthy immunity. And then what about fish and seafood, Kerri-Ann? Good, so fish has omega-3s, which you need for brain function, and it also gives you iodine. And there was a study that came out that found that 25 percent of vegetarians and 80 percent of vegans weren't getting enough iodine in their diets. And that's because they weren't having seafood, but also they were choosing sea salt rather than iodized salt. Well, that's amazing. So you can get all of these nutrients from plant-based foods, so we'll show you that today. But the other thing we should mention here is, no matter how you're eating, whether you're an omnivore, vegan, vegetarian, you need to eat a healthy diet. So you need to get plenty of fruits and vegetables, legumes, lean protein, healthy oils, all that stuff in your diet. So to start, let's talk about the three biggest sources of vegetarian protein. So we have beans and legumes. They also are packed with fiber, which you need for healthy digestion, and they also give you some iron. And you can get them in the form of hummus, for instance, which you might not have thought about. Put them in a chili, throw them in your salad or think about them for a snack. So this is just refried beans, canned refried beans, right here. I put a little salsa in there, a little scallions and cilantro. I like it kind of spicy, so you can add hot sauce if you want. Mix it all together. And you have a perfect dip for corn chips. Great. So moving on to soy, we have tofu, which is a great source of protein but also delivers some iron. If you check your ingredients label on it, you want to look for calcium sulfate. That means you'll also be getting some calcium in your tofu. Soymilk is also a great replacement for regular milk if you're not doing dairy. In addition to having calcium and vitamin D, it's often fortified with vitamin B12. So you can look for that as well. And the thing about tofu is that it's so versatile and it's easy and you can marinate it, throw it on the grill or you can make a smoothie with it. So I have silken tofu right here. You're not even going to taste it. I'm making a Banana-Cocoa Soy Smoothie. So this is soy milk in here. Then we have frozen banana slices. I just pop them in the freezer before I make my smoothie. Now we have a little cocoa powder to give it a rich chocolaty flavor and then a little bit of honey for sweetness. And you just blend that all up together and you have an amazing rich, protein-packed smoothie. So then, moving on to nuts and seeds. They are packed with fiber again. And each nut and seed has a different nutrient profile, so aim for a variety. Okay, a handful of almonds is a great snack. Throw them on your salad or for breakfast have peanut butter. Both Kerri-Ann and I love peanut butter on our toast or on a whole-grain English muffin, for instance. And if you need to entice your kids, my trick is to just put a little bit of cinnamon sugar on top. So walnuts and flaxseed both have omega-3s, but that's a different type of omega-3s than you get in fish. Fish delivers DHA and EPA but you can get a vegetarian DHA. It's from algae. You might want to consider taking that as well as a multivitamin to cover your bases. Right, and then what about fortified cereal? So that's also a great choice. It gives you a lot of those vitamins and minerals we talked about earlier. And if you're not sure if your cereal is fortified, just check the label and look for all those nutrients. Great, thanks, Kerri-Ann. For more healthy eating tips and great vegetarian recipes, come to eatingwell.com.
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