Did you know that 70% of all diseases you encounter in your life are related to your diet? It is no surprise that good food yields good health but there is a question of what is that ‘good food’? The benefits of a vegetarian diet have been a flaring topic for some time now. You would have heard buzz over the years that following a vegetarian diet is better for your health, it helps you lose weight and the benefits of a vegetarian diet is ‘magical’
But ever wondered why people adopt a vegetarian diet? What exactly is a vegetarian diet and how is it better than the normal diet that we all are accustomed to? Here are a few benefits of a vegetarian diet.
What is a Vegetarian Diet?
Vegetarian, vegan, plant-based diet, all are similar terms with some distinct differences. Technically, the vegetarian diet that we are speaking of here usually includes fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds. However, all of these vegetarian diets exclude all kinds of meats. Here are some of the vegetarian diets or subsets of vegetarian diets as one would see.
- Lacto-Ovo-vegetarian diet: Includes eggs and dairy products
- Lacto-vegetarian diet: Includes dairy products
- Ovo-vegetarian: Includes eggs
- Pescatarian diet: Includes fish
- Vegan: This does not include any animal products including milk.
Benefits of a Vegetarian Diet
1. Promotes Healthy Food Intake
Going vegetarian means, you’ll eat more vegetables, whole fruits, whole grains, and nuts instead of meat. This group of edibles at an appropriate calorie level usually leads to an adequate intake of dietary fiber and a low intake of saturated fat and hydrogenated vegetable oils. This way, vegetarians also avoid preservatives in processed meats, such as sodium, nitrates, and nitrites. Hence, vegetarians tend to have lower bad cholesterol levels in the body, normal blood pressure, and overall, a healthy body.
2. Helps in Weight Loss
This is one of the well-known benefits of a vegetarian diet. An increasing number of people are turning towards vegetarian diets in the hope of shedding excess weight. This is a proven benefit of a vegetarian diet. Several pieces of research by various reputed medical organizations has shown that people who follow a vegetarian diet tend to be thinner and have lower Body Mass Indexes (BMIs) than non-vegans. So, in fact, vegetarian diets are more effective for weight loss than the diets they are compared to.
3. Reduces Depression
A vegetarian diet promotes eating patterns that are rich in health-promoting phytochemicals and vitamins such as vitamin C and E, which are known antioxidants. These antioxidants protect us against oxidative stress. Moreover, there is an element of freshness to most vegetarian foods that give us a pure and cleansing feel to our minds. Thus, following a vegetarian diet reduces depression and boosts a good mood.
4. You’ll Live Longer
Following a vegetarian diet is closely associated with increased lifespan. There are many reasons why a vegetarian diet supports this purpose. One of the reasons is that people who consume saturated fat and chemicals used in meats for preservation have a shorter lifespan and more disability at the end of their lives. Animal products tend to clog your arteries and slow down the immune system. So, the more fruits and vegetables you eat instead of processed meats, the lesser is the toxin and chemical build up in your body. This way you’ll add a few more years to your lifetime.
Going vegetarian and reaping the benefits of a vegetarian diet is not as difficult as you may feel. All you need to keep in mind is that consuming adequate amounts of vegetables and fruits will certainly reduce major health risks and by all means promotes a healthier lifestyle. So, the real question here is, why not consider becoming a vegetarian?