Vegetarian diets provide many health benefits, especially considering the absence of animal fats and high levels of dietary fiber. Animal foods bring protein, however. A person planning a vegetarian diet that does not include eggs or dairy needs to pay some attention to the protein source, since essential amino acids cannot be synthesized in the human body.
Beans (many varieties) and brown rice are good protein sources, as are soybeans, soybean products like tofu, pumpkin seeds (good snacks), quinoa, oatmeal, lentils, nuts, and buckwheat. Leafy greens add important quantities of B vitamins and calcium.