Flexitarian Diet Series - Flexitarian Food Groups
The basic idea of eating healthy is to include a variety of dietary products from the main food groups. These food groups are combined because they have same ratios of the fundamental nutrients needed by the body. For example, the essential nutritive components of yogurt, milk, and cheese food group include protein, calcium, and carbohydrates. On the other hand, the fruit group is valuable for vitamin consumption, particularly vitamin C.
In order to have sufficient amount of energy and fulfill the health requirements, you need to take a variety of food products daily. As per the recommended quantities, it is not necessary to follow each group at every meal. In some cases, you can combine the food groups or leave some out.
Possible nutrient deficiencies to be aware on the Flexitarian Diet include:
Omega-3 fatty acids
Let’s get into the important food groups which the flexitarian diet plan follows. You will discover the unbelievable variability and the abundance of selection there is when taking foods from these groups.
1. Fruits and Vegetables
When you are following the flexitarian diet, try taking at least five portions of vegetables and fruits daily. They have essential minerals and vitamins which will not only keep your energy levels up to the mark but also prevent diseases. Fruits and vegetables can be altered between breakfast and lunch. With the flexitarian diet components, they will keep the cholesterol level low and improve digestion significantly.
Fruits and vegetables have low fat content, so they are great to start off with the diet. You can make a bowl of chopped bananas, apples, pears, and grapes for breakfast and still feel full without adding calories. You can also enjoy these treats as a mid-night or mid-morning snack.
If you are wondering what counts as a meal for fruits and vegetables, here are some suitable options:
2 plums or fruits of similar size
1 apple, banana, orange, or pear with any other fruit of similar size
Half portion of avocado or grapefruit
3 stacked tablespoons of vegetables
3 stacked tablespoons of stewed fruit or salad
A dessert bowl of cherries with other smaller fruits
200ml of fruit smoothie or juice
2. Meat and Protein
For proteins reach for soybean, tofu, tempeh, legumes, lentils, and when incorporating animal products, choose eggs, poultry (organic, free-range, or pasture raised), fish (wild-caught), Meats (Grass-fed or pasture-raised), organic dairy from grass-fed or pastured animals.
3. Whole Grains
Be sure to include Quinoa, Teff, buckwheat, and farro.
4. Nuts, Seeds and Other Healthy Fats
Almonds, flaxseeds, chia seeds, walnuts, cashews, pistachios, peanuts, avocados, olives, coconut.
5. Herbs, Spices, and Seasonings
Basil, oregano, mint, thyme, cumin, turmeric, and ginger to name a few.
6. Plant-based Milk Alternative
Unsweetened almond, coconut, hemp, and soy milk.
Sparkling water, tea, or my favorite Coffee.