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Q&A 150. Practising vegetarianism

Q: Dear Master Lu, I am now almost a full-time vegetarian, but I am concerned that I am not getting enough nutrients. What can I do?

A:

  • Vegetarian food can be very healthy and nutritious.
  • We should ensure that we have a balanced diet, as we need to take care of our bodies. Buddhas and Bodhisattvas would also like us to have a healthy body so that we can practise Buddhism better.
  • Vegetarians can consume eggs. Eggs are nutritious, and the consumption of eggs is accepted by Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. The eggs we consume are usually not fertilised and cannot hatch. However, avoid consuming quail eggs or other bird eggs as they are already fertilised.
  • Vegetarians can also consume milk and other dairy products to replenish the calcium and other essential nutrients in the body.
  • It is recommended that you consume more soy products, as they are high in protein. Soy products include soybeans, bean curd (tofu), tofu sheets, and soy milk.
  • You can also choose other soy products such as soy ham, soy sausage, soy meat, and soy duck. These soy products contain lecithin and are high in protein. They are also very tasty.
  • Vegetarians need to be creative and have a wide variety of foods in their diets. You can steam, boil, or stir-fry your dishes. If the taste is too plain and you have the same dishes over a long period of time, you may lack certain important nutritional elements.
  • It is also recommended that you consume more fruits, vegetables, and have a balanced diet rich in various kinds of essential vitamins and minerals.
  • Mushrooms and fungus are also very nutritious and tasty.
  • In addition, you can consume a variety of grains and nuts including peanuts, walnuts, and chestnuts, as they are all very nutritious.
  • You can also take health supplements including soy lecithin and calcium if necessary. Lecithin is particularly beneficial for the brain. Every day we lose large numbers of brain cells, and the regeneration of new cells is relatively slow. Taking soy lecithin supplements will help with the regeneration of your brain cells and enhance your memory.
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