Many people think that vegetarian diets do not include all needed nutrients. That is completely false. You can be a vegetarian and still eat a well balanced diet. If you are a vegetarian, you simply need to keep a close eye on the amount of protein, iron and vitamin B-12 that you are consuming on a daily basis. For more vegetarian diet tips and to purchase vegetarian food, check out NutriSystem and eDiets.

1. Protein

Many people make the mistake of thinking they can only obtain protein by eating meat. While meat is a great source of protein, there are plenty of other foods that are rich in protein. Generally speaking, meat eaters obtain all of the protein they need from meat sources. As a vegetarian, you need to ensure that you consume other foods that are rich in protein.

Great sources of protein that you should include in your vegetarian diet include nuts, seeds, legumes, vegetables and whole grains. If you like whole wheat products, you can obtain a good amount of protein from foods such as whole wheat bread and whole wheat pasta. Almonds and quinoa are great nuts and seeds to consume because not only are they rich in protein, but they are also rich in healthy fat and amino acids.

2. Iron

Many vegetarians are iron deficient. It is uncommon for meat eaters to be iron deficient because they generally obtain all of the iron that they need from red meat and liver. You can obtain iron from egg yolks, but you have to be careful because egg yolks are high in cholesterol. Luckily, there are plenty of plant sources that can be eaten that will satisfy your daily iron intake. Being a vegetarian, you should try to work dried fruits, spinach, dried beans and brewer's yeast into your diet. If you do not like the taste of brewer's yeast, you can purchase brewer's yeast tablets. You can also obtain iron by eating enriched foods.

3. Vitamin B-12

Like iron, many vegetarians are also deficient in vitamin B-12 because they are not consuming meats. Vitamin B-12 is only available naturally in animal sources. You will likely experience issues with your muscles if you are not consuming products that contain vitamin B-12, so you will need to eat foods that do not naturally have vitamin B-12. Foods that you can eat that contain vitamin B-12 include fortified soy beverages and some fortified cereals. When it comes to vitamin B-12, be sure that you are not mistaking enriched cereals for fortified cereals. If you are incorporating brewer's yeast into your diet, it is possible that your brewer's yeast contains vitamin B-12. There are also some vitamins out there that contain vitamin B-12.