I want to go vegetarian and I am not sure how I can get good vegetarian nutrition. I'm on a restricted diet as I have a problem of mouth ulcers that I've been getting for over 8 years.
I avoid salt, sugar and most fruits because they irritate them and cause new outbreaks. I can't eat apples, oranges, grapes, and tomatoes (among others) regularly and I try to stay away from them all together.
What sorts of fruits should I try that lack the acid and citrus? What should I substitute for fruit? - L. T.
Dear L. T.,
Not being a doctor or nutritionist, I couldn't say what causes your mouth ulcers, but pH balance, and minerals may be related. Also lysine is a possibility. Generally a plant based diet with abundant alkaline fresh veggies is good for balancing pH, and high in vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients.
Dried seaweeds such as dulse flakes or kombu are a good salt replacement and mineral source. Add to cooked grains and legumes or sprinkle on food. Get tested for iodine deficiency since you're not getting iodine in salt.
Spices such as coriander and fennel, and herbs like rose buds, camomile, and mint are considered cooling in Ayurveda. Try our Everyday Herbal Tonic Tea recipe.
If you drink RO or distilled water, add mineral drops such as Concentrace - do a search to find it online. Dark leafy greens are alkaline, lowering pH, and also are a great source of vitamins and minerals. Juiced green cabbage is a wonderful remedy for acidity, bursting with vitamins, and supposedly will kill all your parasites as well!
A varied, balanced vegetarian diet based on whole grains, legumes and vegetables can give you all the vitamins and minerals you need, even with dietary restrictions such as you've described. Most fruits are much more acidic than vegetables. Avoid the entire nightshade family - tomatoes, potatoes, peppers and eggplant - in Ayurveda they're considered inflammatory.
I wouldn't be too concerned about not eating fruit. Bananas are a possibility. But as long as you're eating a lot of fresh veggies, you'll get all the same nutrients. For instance, parsley is very high in Vit. C. Cucumbers, celery, carrot sticks, jicama, and avocados are good fruit substitutes. Make smoothies with them or juice them if they irritate your mouth ulcers. Yams are nice too, because they're sweet.
Judith Kingsbury, Savvy Vegetarian