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Eating Green

Updated on April 19, 2016

Green eating is not just a diet; it's a way of life. Green eating is about including more and more vegetables and fruits in your daily diet.

Around the world, vegetarianism is viewed in different lights. Vegetarianism can be adopted for different reasons in different parts of the world. Many object to meat eating due to cultural reasons. Others are motivations include health-related, environmental, personal preference, economic and even political.

Pure vegetarian diets includes only vegetatbles and their extracts. An ovo-vegetarian diet includes eggs but no dairy products, a lacto-vegetarian diet includes dairy products but no eggs whereas an ovo-lacto vegetarian diet includes both eggs and dairy products.

Fruits and Vegetables are excellent source of carbohydrate, proteins and all the nutrients that you need to keep yourself healthy. While including the quantity of the vegetables & fruits in the diet, it’s also important to maintain variety in them as no single vegetable or fruit can provide all the required morticians for the human body. Try to include every vegetable of the vegetable rainbow starting from white, dark green leafy to bright colored red, yellow, orange etc.

Recent Surveys shows that there is rise in the number of people shifting towards Green Eating. Please refer table 1 for Percentage of Vegetarians around the world.


Studies have showed that a diet rich with vegetables and fruits controls blood pressure & sugar levels, reduces the risk of heart diseases, can prevent some types of cancers, lowers the risk of eye and digestive problem.

By shifting our lifestyle to eating green as often as possible, we're saving our environment (and waistline) in more ways than one.

When someone decides to go vegetarian the first query that comes to his mind is - whether a vegetarian diet that includes only plant foods can be nutritionally adequate , and provide adequate sources of vitamins and minerals?

However, there is increasing evidence that suggests that not only is a whole-food vegetarian diet nutritionally adequate, but eliminating the animal-based foods from the diet can actually reduce one’s risk of disease.

To keep oneself healthy with vegetarian diet and to be sure about obtaining adequate amounts of specific nutrients, it’s important to know which foods contain what. Our Body requires many vitamins and minerals to be healthy and well. Minerals like Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosporous, Potassium, Zinc, Selenium, Manganese, Pantothenic Acid, Chromium, Biotin, Copper, Folic Acid, etc are very much needed by the body. Simultaneously the Body also needs Vitamin A, Vitamin B1, B2, B3, B6, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Vitamin E, Vitamin K.

Please refer Below Table 2. Nutritional Table for the Importance and Sources of these Vitamins and Minerals.

How much percent Green Eater are you?

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Table 1. Percentage of Vegetarians

Country
% Vegetarians
Australia
2 %
Brazil
7.6 %
Canada
4 %
China
4 - 5 %
France
3 - 5 %
Germany
6 - 8.7 %
India
40 %
Newzealand
2.3 %
Portugal
1.8 %
Russia
3 - 4 %
Swden
10 %
United Kingdom
2 - 12 %
United States
1.9 - 3.4 %

Table2. Nutritional Table

Vitamin / Minerals
Importance
Green Sources
Remarks
Calcium
Most abundant mineral in body. Required to develop and maintain skeletal structure. 99% deposited in bones and teeth. It is constantly withdrawn and re deposited at controlled rates. It is also necessary for cell membranes, enzyme activity and influences muscle contraction, blood clotting and nerve transmission
Green Leafy Vegetables - Broccoli, Kale, Bokchou, Turnip, Tofu, Beans, Sesame & Sunflower Seeds, Amlonds, Brazil Nuts, Dried Figs & Fruits, Milk and Dairy Products-cheese and yougurt, Bread, Pulses
 
Iron
Required for production of haemoglobin in blood, for maintenance of the muscle protein and is required in many metabolic processes
Green leafy vegetables, Sea vegetables, Legumes, Beans, Nuts & Seeds, Watermelon, Spinach, Cereals, whole Grains, Bread from Fortified White Flour, Soyabeans, Dried Fruits
 
Magnesium
Plays an essential role in skeletal development, protein syntheses, muscle contraction and neurotransmission
Brown rice, Cooked Spinach, Beans, Legumes, almonds, dried gigs, cooked oatmeal, whole grains, green leafy vegetables, Bananas, Peanuts, Nuts, bread, cereals, Milk, cheese, Potatoes
 
Phosphorus
Is present in cells in the body and is essential for bone health and in conjunction with vitamin B helps the metabolism of fats, proteins and carbohydrates
Pinto Beans, Cereals Grains, Almonds, Nuts, Dreid Beans, lentils, Peanuts, Brown rice, Spinach, Yeast extract, Milk, Daity Products, Eggs, Bread, vegetables
 
Potassium
Plays an important role in acid-base regulation, fluid balance, muscle contraction and nerve conduction.
Bananas, Spinach, Potatoes, Raw Cauliflower, Kiwi, Dried Fruits, Tomotoes, Oranges, grape Juice, Strawberries, Honeydew Melon, Dried Apricots, Citric Fruits, Beetroot, Mushrooms, Pulses, Milk, Dairy Product, Eggs, Nuts, yeast Extract, Whole grains, cereals
 
Zinc
Plays important role in enzyme and protein sunthesis, cell division and growth
Pumkin seeds, Whole Grains, Cereals, Legumes, Lentil,Peas, Nuts, Sunflower seeds, Yeast extract, Spinach, Corn, Milk, dairy Products, Eggs, Green Lefy vegetables, Pulses
People should be very aware of their zince intake
Selenium
Has key role in antioxidant defense, immunity and thyorid harmone metabolism
Brazil nuts, Whole grains, Kidney beans, yeast extract, Milk, Nuts, Eggs, Bread
 
Manganese
Is required for enzyme activity and forms bones and cartilage
Brown Rice, Whole grains/Cereals,cooked Oatmeal, Nuts, cooked Spinach, beans, Almonds, Pineapple, Strawberries, Bread, Green vegetables, Potatoes, Nuts, Fruits, Spices and Tea
 
Molybdenum
Is required for enzyme activity involved in DNA and sulphite metabolism
Beans, Breads, cereals, Cooked Spinach, Strawberries, Nuts, Legumes, leafy Vegetables, Peas, Oats
 
Pantothenic acid
Has an central role in energy metabolism
Whole grain cereals, Legumesh, Mushrooms, Peanuts, Soyabeans, Sunflower Seeds, Bananas, Oranges, Baked Potatoes, Broccoli, eggs,Yeast extracts
Lost during cooking
Chromium
For maintianing of blood glucose levels and influences metabolism
whole grains / cereals, Broccoli, Apples, Peanuts, Cooked Spinach, Mushroom, Nuts, Potaotes, Pulses, yeast Extract
 
Biotin
Is involved in fat metabolism and enery production. Is produced by bacteria in our gut
whole grains / cereals, Bread, yeast Extract, Almonds, Peanuts, Legumes, Egg Yolk, Nuts, Pulses, Dried fruits
Absorption of biotin can be impaired by avidin, a substance in raw egg ehite if taken in large quantity
Copper
Plays an important role in enzyme activity, iron metabolism, defence against infextion and red blood cells formation
nuts & seeds, Whole Grains, Dried Beans, Mushrooms, Cereals, Potatoes, green vegetables, Wheat germ, Nuts, Coccoa
 
Folic Acid
Supports red blood cell formation, DNA syntheses and together with B12 is essential for cell division
Legumes, Lentils, Ornages, Whole grains, Asparagus, Spinach, Romaine Lettuce, Cereal, Potatoes, Pulses-Chickpeas,Black-eyed beans, Leafy vegetables, Nuts, yeast Extrac,bananas
 
Iodine
Forms part of thyroid harmones necessary for maintianing matabolic rate, thermoregulation, protein suthesis and connectiive tissue integrety
iodine rich sea vegetables, Kelp, vegetables grown in iodine rich soil, Milk, Salt, Edible sea weeds - Nori & Kombu
 
Sodium
Regulates fluid balance, blood pressure and cell membrane transport. Chloride is imp for fluid balance. Sodium and chloride maintian fluid around cells
Salts, Yeast Extracts, Bread, Biscuits, cereals
But kidneys of adults and infants cannot tolerate high sodium intakes
Fluoride
Helps form strong bones and teeth.
Tap Water
 
Vitamin A
Healthy skin, tissue development and has an important role in reproduction, embrouonic developemnt, grown, infection resistance and vision in dim lights
Carrots, squash, pumpkin, sweet potato, dark green leafy vegetable - spinach & broccoli, red peppers, tomotoes, yellow fruits - apricots, mangoes, peaches, Turnip, Kale, Sweet Potato, Apricots, Butter nut
Vitamin A gets destroyed when it is heated in presence of air. ( when fried)
Vitamin B1 (Thiamin)
Necessary to breakdown and using energy from foods and also to maintain normal functioning of nervous system.
Brown rice, whole meal bread, fortified flour, fortified breakfast cereals, pulses, nuts, potatoes, yeast extracts, pasta, Oats, Legumes, Sunflower seeds, Nuts, Watermelon, raw wheat germ
Alcohole impairs the absorption of thiamin.Thiamin is unstable and easily lost if sodium bi carbonate is used in baking or if So2 is used as a preservative
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)
Necessary fro growth, tissue respiration and maintiang the integrity of mucous menbranes, skin, eyes and nervous system
milk nad dairy products, eggs, cereals, wholeleal bread, rice, yeast extract, green leafy vegetables-broccoli, spinach, mushrooms, tea,Beans, Whole grains, Spinach, wheat Germ
Vit B2 in milk is reduced when exposed to light.
Vitamin B3(Niacin)
Niacin is needed for energy production, fatty acid metabolism, tissue respiration and other metabolic pathways
wholegrain and fortified cereals, maize, fortified flour, yeast extract, coffee beans, Legumesh, Brown rice, Green vegetables, Potatoes, Tomotoes, Broccoli
Is a Stable Vitamin
Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)
For protein metabolism, conversion of tryptophan to niacin
whole grains - brown rice, oatmeal, wholemeal bread, fortified cereal products, potatoes, bananas, soya beans, nuts, pulses, yeast extract, Peanuts, Legumes, Water Melon
Vitamin B6 reduces if orange Juice or Wheat Barn is consumed along with its sources.
Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid)
For production of collagen and in turn the structure and maintenance of blood vessels, connecting tissues and cartilage. It provides resistance to infection and is an important antioxidant
Bell peppers, Broccoli, Tomotoes, Strawberries, Oranges, grapes, Brussels, cabbage, Turnip, Spinach, Potatoes, Melons, Berries, Papayas, Cauliflower, Kale, green pepper, Citric Fruits, Potatoes, Nuts
Large amount of Vitamin C is lost during storage, preparation and cooking of vegetables.
Vitamin D
Influences calcium absorption and ensures continuous mineralization of bones and teeth by supporting blood levels. It is produced by action of sunlight
Sunlight, Milk Cereals
Excessive intake of Vit D can cause excessive absorption of calcium which can damage kidneys
Vitamin E
An important antioxidant which protects cells, in particular DNA and poly unsaturated fatty acids, from effects of free radicals,
Vegetable oils, Sunflower Seeds, Raw Wheat Germ, Nuts, Peanuts, green leafy Vegetables, whole Whear Flour, Whole Grains, Spinach
 
Vitamin K
is stroed in lever and plays essential role in blood cloting. Also imp in productio n of some proteins which are required for bone formation, renal function and connective tissues
Dark Green Leafy Vegetables - Spinach, Trunip, kale, Paesley, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Soyabeans, Cabbage, Green Tea, Tomotoes,
 
Vitamin B12 Cobalamin
Is essential for red blood cells formation, growth and healthy nervous system, low vit B12 can cause anaemia
milk, dairy products and eggs
 
Nutritional Table

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      Dr Smita Betgeri 20 months ago

      Very informative article.it should be followed by each person for a healthy life & to prevent the diseases