The health benefits of vegetables are unparalleled. Not only do they contain vitamins and minerals, they also have dietary fiber that works wonders for the heart and the gastrointestinal system. In an increasingly health-conscious world, those who have made the switch to consuming more vegetables laud the increased feelings of health and wellness that they experience. These are not just subjective emotions, by the way. Studies which have repeatedly been done on vegetarians in various populations of the world have conclusively revealed lower levels of obesity, lesser risk of heart disease and reduced incidences of cancers and other degenerative diseases. Vegetarians also report feeling full after every meal without feeling tired and bloated-- something commonly felt among meat eaters.

If you are planning to switch to vegetarianism as a lifestyle, you need to learn the basics of vegetarian cooking. If you have practically been cooking meat all your life, cooking veggies might be a little bit different. However, it doesn't necessarily mean that it is difficult. You just have to plan beforehand so you can stock your ref and pantry with a variety of vegetables to meet all your nutrient requirements. It also means learning how to substitute so you can enjoy the goodness of vegetables without sacrificing taste.

For starters, stock your pantry with beans, lentils, whole grains, nuts, fruits, broccoli, leafy greens, celery, carrots, potatoes and olive oil or canola oil. These are good sources of protein, calcium, carbohydrates, healthy fats, vitamins and minerals that will meet your daily nutritional requirements. Where substitution is concerned, there are many alternatives in vegetarian cooking. For instance, instead of using cow's milk, you can use soy milk-- it's delicious and equally nutritious. Instead of meats, you can use tofu. At this point, it should be clear that educating yourself on vegetarianism is necessary before you begin your foray into vegetarian cooking. There are many cookbooks and online sites dedicated to vegetarian meals. It would be good for you to browse through them so you go into your lifestyle change fully informed.

Another important thing that you must know is that going vegetarian does not necessarily mean automatic health benefits. You have to choose a variety of foods from your vegetarian menu so that you can meet your nutritional requirements. Mayo Clinic says that on a daily basis, a nutritious vegetarian diet has six servings of grains, five servings of nuts and legumes for protein, four servings of vegetables, two servings of fruits and two servings of fat. Now, a cold turkey approach towards vegetarianism is not necessarily the most effective method of going vegetarian. This is because the different tastes and textures might turn you off to vegetarianism completely.

Start with vegetarian dishes that you already love eating. If you love sautéed vegetables and corn chowder, then you can prepare these often. Then look at recipes that you eat often and try to see if you can substitute these with vegetables. For example, you can make tacos with beans instead of meat. There are also vegetarian pizza recipes that you can find online or in cookbooks.

If you are serious about being healthy, make sure that you have a look at this Vita Mix review, there are a lot of incredible Vitamix recipes that are ultra healthy.

Author's Bio: 

Proud mother of 2 lovely girls, world traveler, and natural health advocate.