I like to think of myself as a flexitarian as I eat mostly plant-based food, and have done for many years. This is what works for me and although I love eating mainly plant-based, consuming a vegetarian or, even more so, a vegan diet can make it more difficult to obtain certain nutrients.
If you are vegetarian or vegan it is really important to understand how to incorporate enough protein, iron, calcium and vitamin B12 into your diet. In my book The Food Pharmacy, I have a chapter dedicated to vegetarian and vegan health and how to incorporate the vitamins and minerals needed, while following a plant-based diet. This dal recipe is one of my staples which is quick and easy to make.
Serving up a whopping 12 plant-based foods, this lentil dal contains good amounts of fibre, B vitamins, iron and polyphenols. Soaking the lentils for roughly 30 minutes before cooking them enhances the body’s rate of mineral absorption and activates the enzyme phytase, which helps to break down phytic acid (which can cause gas and bloating), lectins and amylase, which makes complex starch easier to digest.
Recipe: Jess Redden’s lentil, spinach and coconut dal
Jess Redden is a pharmacist, food lover and fitness fan. Her book The Food Pharmacy is out now. You can follow her on Instagram
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