TOP 10 BENEFITS OF BEING OR BECOMING A VEGETARIAN
A vegetarian diet has several benefits when properly balanced and nutrient dense. However, just because a diet is “meat-free” does not necessarily mean it is healthy. Benefits can be negated when a healthy lifestyle does not follow suit. In contrast, a diet containing meat is not always unhealthy. For example, eating a salad isn’t enough if you are sedentary, frequently enjoying high-fat junk foods, or smoking cigarettes! Consuming an adequate amount of calories and eating a variety of healthy food is just as important.
Note: Vegetarian diets may not be for everyone, it’s all about bio-individuality.
Below is a list of 10 health benefits one can obtain from a properly balanced vegetarian diet:
1. BETTER MOOD
In this study by the Nutrition Journal (where the randomly selected and split participants into three categories/segments: all meat allowed, fish only, and vegetarian no-meat including fish. After two weeks researchers found that the vegetarian diet reported mood improvements compared to those on the other two diets. So, vegetarians may be happier than their meat-eating counterparts.
2. DISEASE FIGHTING
Lacto vegetarian, lacto-ovo-vegetarian, or vegan diets are naturally low in fat, cholesterol, and have been shown to reduce heart disease risk. Epidemiologic data have shown vegetarians suffer less disease caused by a modern Western diet (e.g. coronary heart disease, hypertension, obesity, type 2 diabetes, diet-related cancers, diverticulitis, constipation, and gallstones, among several others). This can be attributed to a higher intake of fiber, phytonutrients, antioxidants, flavonoids, and carotenoids.
3. LEANER FIGURES
Vegetarians typically weigh less as a result of a diet comprised of fewer calories in the form of grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, fruits, and vegetables.
4. LESS TOXICITY
Foodborne illnesses, antibiotics, bacteria, parasites, and chemical toxins are more common in commercial meat, poultry, and seafood when compared with plant foods, (particularly organic fruit and vegetables) and vegetarian diets.
5. SAVING THE PLANET
A plant-based diet is better for the planet as it requires less energy and farmland to feed a vegetarian.
Vegetarians tend to have better vision and less macular degeneration. (4)
7. MONEY SAVING
Plant foods tend to be less expensive, except for a few delicacies, saving on overall costs.
8. BETTER ATHLETIC PERFORMANCE
While most active individuals focus on protein intake, they should be advised that, when done right, a high-carbohydrate, low-fat, and vitamin and mineral-rich vegetarian diet may be optimal for sports performance. Conflicting studies exist, but the number of world-class vegetarian athletes continues to rise.
9. SUPPORTING ANIMAL RIGHTS
Ethical reasons can be a consideration when choosing a vegetarian diet.
Vegetarians have been found to enjoy longer and healthier lives when compared to meat-eaters.
If you're a vegetarian like me keep up the awesome work. If not, give it a go. If you need any help, advice or have/are in the process of trialing this decision please Email me let me know how you're getting on.