What Is A Vegetarian Diet?
In the most general sense, vegetarians are people who don’t eat meat. However, there are several types of vegetarianism.
The most common vegetarian diet is lacto-ovo vegetarianism. This diet includes milk-products and eggs, but forbids the consumption of meat, seafood, poultry, and fish.
Next up, we have lacto vegetarians, who consume milk products, but don’t consume eggs, seafood, meat, fish, and poultry.
Finally, veganism represents the most extreme form of a vegetarian diet. Vegans are often described as total vegetarians, since their diet relies solely on plant foods. They don’t consume any animal products or byproducts.
There are several reasons why someone chooses to become a vegetarian. One of the most common reasons is because a vegetarian diet can be much healthier than those that include meat.
However, it’s important to note that just because someone decides to become a vegetarian doesn’t ensure that they will immediately start living healthier. There are many ways to find yourself following an unhealthy vegetarian diet. For example, not including a variety of foods into your diet is guaranteed to cause health issues. By sticking only to the same foods every week, you probably won’t consume all the nutrients that are essential for proper health.
Another common problem among vegetarians is that many of them consume a lot of junk food. However, if you want to improve your health, then you should steer clear of unhealthy foods. Just because they’re suitable for vegetarians doesn’t mean they’re healthy. If the main reason why you started following a vegetarian diet was in order to start living healthier, then you should stick to eating whole clean healthy meals.
75 Benefits Of Eating A Vegetarian Diet
Vegetarians live longer: According to a study conducted by the Loma Linda University in California in 2013, vegetarians have a 12% lower risk of death compared to people who don’t follow a vegetarian diet(ref.). It’s worth noting that this wasn’t a small study, but actually involved over 70,000 people. By focusing on fresh fruit, vegetables, and vegetarian protein sources, vegetarians can avoid a number of deadly diseases that meat eaters are often exposed to, such as heart disease.
Improved mood: People who eat a healthy vegetarian diet filled with whole clean food experience positive mood. Consuming the right amounts of essential nutrients will have a positive impact on your mental and emotional health.
Reduced risk of obesity: If you avoid junk food and follow a vegetarian diet, you’ll be less likely to be overweight. It’s pretty hard to gain weight on this diet, since vegetarian dishes contain less calories and saturated fats.
Reduced risk of blood clots: Many plant-based foods contain compounds known as isoflavones, which greatly decreases the risk of blood clots. Isoflavones are especially present in soy.
Lower risk of bone loss: Vegetarianism will encourage you to consume more foods that contain nutrients responsible for keeping your bones strong, such as calcium, phosphorus, and vitamin K.
Lower cholesterol levels: By eating nuts, seeds, and fresh vegetables, you’ll effectively lower your bad cholesterol and raise your good cholesterol. Vegetarians are known for having lower cholesterol levels than meat eaters.
Improved heart health: According to the American Heart Association, vegetarians are less likely to suffer from heart disease and high blood pressure.
It’s cheaper: This isn’t a health benefit, but it’s worth a mention. Becoming a vegetarian will save you a lot of money. The next time you go to the grocery store, just check how much plant-based foods cost as opposed to meat.
Reduced risk of diabetes: A vegetarian diet may not be able to cure the disease, but it can greatly lower your risk of suffering from it. Vegetarianism will protect you from diabetes by improving your blood sugar control and helping you maintain a healthy weight.
Low blood pressure: Not only do people who are on a vegetarian diet have lower blood pressure than meat eaters do, but this type of diet can be used to effectively lower your blood pressure as well.
Your skin will start to glow: Thanks to the pigments in fresh fruits and vegetables, your skin will start glowing if you follow a vegetarian diet. This will undoubtedly make you more attractive to others.
Lower risk of depression: According to a Spanish study conducted in 2015, diets that are rich in vegetables can significantly reduce the risk of depression. (ref.)
You’ll be saving the planet: If you want to do something good for the planet, then you need to start eating more plant-based foods. A study published by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that even semi-vegetarian diets could be accounted for 22% less greenhouse gas emissions. (ref.)
Reduced symptoms of asthma: By following a diet that consists mostly of fresh fruits and vegetables, you can reduce certain asthma symptoms.
Increased presence of antioxidants: Fruits and vegetables contain many antioxidants, which are compounds responsible for fighting off free radicals, thus effectively improving your overall health and protecting you from numerous diseases.
Increased energy levels: By consuming all the essential nutrients, not only will you experience improved emotional health, but also significantly increase your energy levels.
Improved digestion: Vegetarian diets are generally high in fiber, which is a nutrient known for regulating bowel movements.
Self-Control: If you follow a true vegetarian diet and stop eating processed foods, then you’ll encourage self-control.
The fiber content: A popular myth regarding vegetarianism is that vegetarians can never satisfy their hunger. Not only is this not true, but it’s the complete opposite from the truth. Thanks to the high fiber content in a vegetarian diet, you’ll feel full for an extended time period after every meal, just as you do after eating meat but with a lower calorie consumption.
Lower risk of Parkinson’s disease: Foods high in fat and cholesterol are known for increasing the risk of Parkinson’s disease, which is why a vegetarian diet will lower it.
Lower risk of stroke: By eating more fruits and veggies, you will consume more magnesium, potassium, fiber, and other components that reduce the risk of stroke.
Treating constipation: Constipation is a common problem, especially in the United States. However, thanks to the high fiber content in a vegetarian diet, you won’t have to worry about this problem anymore.
The taste: Unfortunately, many people simply can’t picture a meal without meat, poultry, or seafood. Most have never even tried a real vegetarian meal. A common misconception is that vegetarians eat only salads. However, you’d be surprised to find out how delicious vegetarian dishes can be. Besides vegetables, you can choose from many different types of seeds, nuts, and beans along with tofu, tempeh, and the unlimited recipes that are available that mimic meat dishes.
Reduced risk of colds and flu: Many vegetarian foods are rich in vitamin C, which is essential when it comes to the prevention of minor infections, such as colds and flu.
Reduced risk of breast cancer: Women can greatly benefit from a vegetarian diet. Consuming the recommended dose of fiber on a daily basis can reduce the risk of breast cancer. Fiber is a nutrient found in almost all vegetables and fruit.
Improved memory: Some vegetarian foods are excellent at improving your memory. These foods include berries, quinoa, apples, onions, and walnuts. Berries are probably the most efficient at improving memory, since they actually stimulate the growth of new brain cells.
Lower risk of cataracts: Cataracts are currently one of the most major causes of blindness in the world. One of the reasons why they form is due to low consumption of fruits and vegetables. Eating fresh fruits and veggies will provide you with all the nutrients you need to battle cataracts.
Eat until you’re satisfied: Sometimes, you just want to eat until you’re completely full without having to worry about how many calories you’ve consumed. By following a vegetarian diet, this will be much easier to do.
Lower Stress Levels: By focusing on fruits and vegetables, you’ll consume an abundance of minerals and vitamins that can protect you from stress. Vitamin C and magnesium are two nutrients that are depleted very quickly when you’re stressed. By consuming them often, you’ll be equipped to fight off stress.
You’ll be able to ‘detox’ daily: The trend of so-called “detox” diets has become quite popular over the last several years. However, these diets aren’t always so healthy. However, you don’t actually need them, since a vegetarian diet will help you detox on a daily basis. The nutrients found in vegetables will do a good job of eliminating foreign compounds from your body. They will also stimulate liver function.
Kick starting other healthy habits: By eating healthier, you’ll be encouraged to take part in other healthy habits, such as exercising.
As many snacks as you want: As long as you don’t consider snacks to be store-bought processed foods, you’ll be able to eat as many as you want. Snacks that are made from plant-based foods can be both extremely healthy and delicious.
It can introduce you to interesting hobbies: A vegetarian diet can make you a more complete person by introducing you to interesting hobbies, such as cooking and gardening.
Metabolism boost: A lot of fruits and vegetables are known for boosting your metabolism. Some of these foods include broccoli, apples, peppers, and pears.
Improved endurance: Whether you’re in the habit of exercising regularly or just starting out, you’ll need a lot of endurance to make it through a challenging workout. Thankfully, a lot of nutritionally dense veggies and fruits can help you by noticeably improving your endurance.
Reduced risk of diverticulosis: As you grow older, you’ll have an increased risk of suffering from diverticulosis, a condition that you develop when pouches form in the wall of your large intestine. Eating foods high in fiber can greatly reduce the risk of this condition.
You will influence others around you: Not only will you experience numerous benefits by becoming a vegetarian, but you will also influence others around you to start living healthier.
Lower risk of kidney stones: Vegetables that are high in potassium can greatly reduce the risk of kidney stones.
Improved eyesight: Many of the different nutrients found in many fruits and vegetables can improve your eyesight. Some of the best foods for improving eyesight include oranges, kale, carrots, spinach, broccoli, and eggs.
Always good: Veggies won’t lose almost any of their nutritional value when frozen, so you can always stock up on your favorite ones and enjoy them year-round.
The water content: Most fruits are made up of mainly water, just as the human body mostly consists of water. Regular hydration is essential for good health.
Say goodbye to bad breath and body odor: Of course, onions, garlic, and dairy products are known for causing really bad breath. However, most other fruits and vegetables won’t cause bad breath or body odor. On the other, meat is known for increasing the acidity in your body, which can leave you with stinky breath and body odor.
Lower risk of allergies: Certain compounds in animal foods are known for increasing the chances of allergies. Thankfully, consuming a lot of fruits and vegetables can greatly reduce the intensity of your allergies or even make them disappear.
Reduced risk of arthritis: Note that this health benefit is only for vegans, since eliminating dairy consumption is what actually reduces the risk of rheumatoid arthritis.
Treatment for migraines: If you suffer from frequent migraines, then you can benefit from becoming a vegetarian. When you convert to a vegetarian diet, you’ll notice that you’ll start experiencing migraines less frequently.
You’ll be avoiding mercury: By following a vegetarian diet, you’ll be less exposed to mercury, a very dangerous chemical element frequently found in fish.
You’ll avoid E. coli infections: You can suffer from E. coli infections by consuming contaminated red meat. By becoming a vegetarian, you won’t have to worry about these types of infections.
Hormone consumption: A common practice in the meat industry is to give animals hormones in order to speed up the growth process. By consuming these hormones, you can disrupt the natural balance of your hormones.
The antibiotics: One of the main causes of bacterial resistance is the fact that antibiotics are often given to feed animals and make them resistant to infections. Animals are usually held in extremely poor conditions before they are slaughtered, which is why they are fed antibiotics.
Healthier hair and nails: Due to a higher intake of vitamins A and E, vegetarians experience better hair and nail health.
Delicious juices and smoothies: You can make numerous varieties of delicious juices and smoothies by experimenting with different fruits and vegetables.
Balanced taste: By consuming a lot of fruits and veggies, you’ll balance your taste. This means that you won’t become dependent on certain tastes. Many people who consume excessive salty or sweet foods become incredibly dependent on them. By eating a variety of healthy foods, you will learn to balance your taste.
Convenience: Bringing a smoothie or some fresh fruits and nuts to work is a very convenient way to carry a snack with you that you can enjoy whenever you want.
Improved concentration: By consuming all of the different nutrients found in various fruits and vegetables, you’ll improve your mental health. Foods that are packed with essential nutrients will keep your mind sharp and help you concentrate.
You will heal better: By following a vegetarian diet, you’ll be able to heal from a scar faster than meat eaters will. You’ll notice this especially if you consume fruits and veggies high in zinc.
Strong teeth: By eating dairy products, nuts, seeds, legumes, and leafy green vegetables, you will improve your teeth health. Foods rich in calcium are especially known for promoting good teeth health.
Phytochemicals: One of the best reasons to eat more fruit and veggies is because these foods contain certain compounds known as phytochemicals. These compounds can protect you from numerous illnesses.
Growth and development: Eating plant-based foods is essential to growth and development. Your body requires many different nutrients commonly found in fruit and veggies when during rapid periods of growth. Some of the main nutrients to keep an eye out for when it comes to healthy growth and development include folate and iron.
Chewing more: Eating vegetables will require you to chew more. Chewing is associated with numerous benefits such as increased attentiveness and improved digestion.
Alkalizing: By consuming a lot of veggies, you’ll easily alkalize your body. This will keep your blood healthy.
Probiotics: Probiotics are often referred to as good bacteria, since they are known for keeping the gut healthy. Green vegetables contain quite a lot of chlorophyll, a chemical known for aiding in proliferation of good intestinal bacteria.
Fight inflammation: Consuming plant-based foods will help you fight inflammation. Fruits and veggies are particularly known for their high antioxidant content. Antioxidants are compounds that fight oxidative stress, the main cause of inflammation.
Quick and easy: If you don’t have a lot of time to prepare a meal, then you shouldn’t worry. Many vegetarian recipes take very little time to prepare.
There’s something for everyone: With all the variety in the colors, forms, tastes, and textures in numerous fruits and vegetables, there’s truly something for everyone. Many people have no idea about the various fruits and veggies that exist until they become vegetarians and actually start exploring.
Mad cow disease: There is a human version of mad cow disease known as variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, a condition caused the consumption of contaminated beef products. Thankfully, plant-based foods can’t be infected with this disease.
Treatment for eczema: It’s worth noting that this only applies to vegans. By avoiding all animal products and byproducts, you can reduce the intensity of your eczema.
Becoming more conscientious: If you want to become vegetarian in order to protect animals, as many people do, you will become a more conscientious person that respects life.
You’ll stop worrying about acne: Again, this applies only to vegans. Dairy products are known for triggering acne. If you stick only to plant-based foods, then you won’t have to worry about acne anymore. However, even vegetarians can see a difference in the intensity of their acne, since it can also be aggravated by animal food.
Excess protein: A common misconception is that vegetarians don’t consume enough protein. However, a vegetarian diet will encourage you to consume just the right amount. Most meat eaters get much more protein that they actually need. This can cause the nitrogen presence in your blood to reach extreme levels, which can cause numerous health problems.
Shelf life: Plant foods last much longer than animal foods.
Lower risk of Multiple Sclerosis: Red meat is known for greatly increasing the risk of multiple sclerosis. Vegans have an even lower risk of suffering from this condition, since cow’s milk is also known to increase the risk of MS.
Transit time: Fruits and vegetables travel quickly through your gastrointestinal tract, which make them unlikely to spoil and incite disease within your body.
Magnesium: Magnesium is without a doubt one of the most overlooked nutrients in most diets. However, since a healthy vegetarian diet will help your focus on eating more seeds, nuts, and dark leafy green vegetables, you won’t have to worry about your magnesium levels being too low.
Reduced risk of colon cancer: Although we previously mentioned that a vegetarian diet could reduce the risk of numerous types of cancer, it’s worth noting that it can especially lower your risk of suffering from colon cancer. If your diet consists of fresh fruits and veggies, along with whole grains, you won’t have to worry about colon cancer.
Body mass index: Vegetarians have a much lower Body mass index than meat eaters do. The body mass index is a measure of body fat based on the height and weight of an individual.
Vegetarianism can be an excellent way to improve your health. As long as you choose a wide variety from the many wonderful and healthy plant foods available, you’ll experience many fantastic health benefits!
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