What nutrients are provided by which fruits and vegetables and how are they of help to our body?

On the basis of the nutrients supplied to our body, Food may be divided into four categories. these categories are carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins and minarals and fat.

Carabohydrates produces energy which can be had from rice, sugar and honey whereas proteins are for building blocks and these could be had from pulses, milk, nuts. vitamins and minerals could be had from fruits and vegetables.

The seeds of leguminosae family or pulses are the main sources of protein.they are consumed after being dehusked and decorticated. These are consumed even after being Soaked and sprouted too.Various grains, beans are also sprouted to give a boost to vitamins and enzymes in the human body.They have energy, protein, carbohydrate, fat, minerals and vitamins.

Milk is a perfect food by itself and it too has protein, fat, minerals and a number of vitamins.Seeds of fruits are called nuts and these are rich in proteins, fats and carbohydrates. These are good source of vitamin B comlex too. Nuts may also be soaked and could be consumed in various forms.

Proteins are important to keep healthy skin, bones, muscles and organs. Soy products are also great sources of proteins.Vitamin B-12 is necessary for the production of red blood cells which abounds in Animals products but you can have it in milk, cheese, cereals, soy products and in vitamin supplements.

Calcium is important for strong teeth and bones.Low fat dairy products and dark green vegetables are high in calcium. In ths same way, Iron is important for building red blood cells which could be had from dark green leafy greens, dried fruits, beans, peas, lentils and cereals.

Vitamin c rich foods help you obtain non-Animal sources of calcium.

Zinc is a mineral which forms protein and has a role in cell division and this can be had from whole grains, soy products, nuts and wheat germ.

Why Turn to Fruit and Vegetable Diet

Eating fruits and vegetables involves the vitamins that they contain. Most of the vitamins and minerals found are vitamin A, B, C and E, magnesium, zinc and folic acid. Most of the fruits and vegetables that we eat are low in both salt and sugar compared to meat dishes. They also contain fibre which makes our digestive system better.

Fruits and vegetables also carry phytochemicals. These chemicals can help you protect against diseases like diabetes, stroke, heart disease and cancer. 

Legumes or puls are foods that also contain valuable nutrients. All legumes need to be cooked, unlike fruits and vegetables which could be eaten raw. It also aids digestion and removes toxins in our body. Some examples of legumes are soy products, legume flours,  fresh and dried beans and peas 

Planning your vegetarian diet

Starting a vegetarian diet doesn’t necessarily mean cutting off all the products you used to take. You can start gradually by cutting off meat or poultry of small quantities per day. Adding nuts, and grains to your diet will give you other nutrients that green leafy vegetables might not give you. 

At the same time, don’t cheat on your diet by indulging and filling yourself with sweets and sugar-based products. If you don’t know how to plan your initial diet, you could consult a dietitian for your healthy vegetarian diet. 

In Indian vegetarian restaurants, strict vegetarianism is applied to every meal served, that’s why the menus usually have the ingredients and nutritional content of the dish. Some Indians go to lengths like avoiding creamy or deep-fried vegetarian dishes. If you’re planning to reduce fats in your meal, try choosing tomato-based dishes like jalfrezi and madras with plain rice and lentil side dishes.

What to eat

The RI (Reference Intakes) is the standard for the amount of protein, sugar, fats, carbohydrates and other nutrients an average adult consumes every day. Always remember that every person requires a little bit more compared to other adults so use this as a guide only.

RI for an average adult man

  • Energy – 2500kcal
  • Protein – 55g
  • Carbohydrates – 300g
  • Sugar – 120g at most
  • Fat – 95g at most
  • Saturated fat – 30g at most
  • Fibre-30g at most
  • Salt – 6g at most

RI for an average adult woman

  • Energy – 2000kcal
  • Protein – 50g
  • Carbohydrates- 260g
  • Sugar 90g at most
  • Fat – 70g at most
  • Saturated fat – 20g at most
  • Salt – 6g at most
  • Fibre-30g at most

Vegetarian diet: Daily amounts based on 2,000 calorie diet

(Source: 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans)

Vegetables320 grams a day
Fruits256 grams a day
Whole Grains185 grams a day
Dairy384 grams a day
Protein food100 grams a day
Oil27 grams a day

*All foods are assumed to be in nutrient-dense form, lean or low-fat, and prepared without added fats, sugars, refined starches or salt.