Following a good and nutritious diet is an important step towards maintaining a healthy lifestyle. An estimated 75% of all the diseases are related to the kind of diet one follows. One good way to decide the type of diet to follow is to look at the studies and researches that are being done regarding the nutrient contents of the food items. After rigorous studies and researches, a plant-based vegetarian diet has been recommended for a healthy living.
First of all, let us examine what exactly is a vegetarian diet? There are basically four types of vegetarian diet: Lacto-Ovo (eat both dairy products and egg), Lacto(eat dairy products but avoid eggs), Ovo (eat eggs but not dairy products) And vegans( eat neither dairy products nor the egg).
Inspired by celebrities or morale a lot if people are adopting a vegetarian diet. There is a growth of vegetarian restaurant chains and menus in the world culinary market. The virtue of eating a plant based diet has become a buzz.
So, without further ado, let’s talk about the 15 reasons why you should consider giving up those juicy chicken and become a vegetarian.
A vegetarian diet helps keeps your blood pressure and diabetes in check, thereby keeping you healthy. Apart from that, according to an Oxford study, vegetarians tends to live a longer life. This is because a plant-based diet is rich in fiber, phytonutrients, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. These nutrients help to strengthen the immune system and slow down the aging process. Meat products tend to clog arteries and zap your energy, leading to a slower immune system and a greater risk of shorter life and disabilities in old age.
2. Reduces risk of heart diseases
Heart disease claims around 35% live every year. A proper vegetarian diet that is high in fiber and has high potassium content, helps in lowering blood pressure. Many studies show that consuming plant protein as opposed to animal protein lowers blood cholesterol levels—even if the amount and type of fat in the diet remains the same. Thus it reduces the chances of heart diseases. The risk of having heart attack drops by 15%, if a person lets go of eating meat products, it reduces further by 4% if a person goes all vegan and even drops of animal by-products (dairy products like eggs & yogurt).
3.Reduces risk of cancer
After heart diseases, cancer is the second most evil enemy of human life. In a study of 61,000 men and women of age 21-89, it was determined that risk of cancer decreases by 12% by switching to a vegetarian diet. This is because the vegetarian diet is low in fats and has high fiber contents (broccoli, kale, cabbage, sweet potato, carrots etc). Plants also contain phytochemicals, that are cancer-fighting substances.
4. Help you be slim and trim
Who does not want to be slim and trim? A proper BMI does not only make you more confident, it also reduces the risk of various diseases like diabetes. But losing weight and maintaining it, can be a Herculean task. In such situation, a vegetarian diet can turn out to be a proper ally. According to studies, obesity is usually rare among vegetarians, (ranging between 0-6%). This is because of the fibrous content of vegetarian food. But this does not mean that you can get away with eating pizza with vegetarian toppings!
5.A bit of compassion never hurts
Over 50 million animals are mercilessly slaughtered to provide for the food of meat loving humans. Moreover, these figures do not even include fishes and other sea creatures! The “inhumane” condition in which these animals are kept in factories and farms is an ugly view. They suffer from various diseases, neglect, and have no legal protection against cruelty exploitation that they endure. This includes painful surgical mutilations without pain relief, extreme overcrowding, and confinement. They don’t get to live in their natural habitat, raise a family, or hunt freely. The farm animal experience the same feelings of pain and sufferings like the humans do.
6. For stronger and healthier bones
A high intake of animal proteins tends to absorb calcium from our bloodstream. When there is insufficient calcium in the bloodstream, it is leached from existing bones, resulting in porous and weaker bones. Vegetarian food such as dairy products, kale, spinach broccoli, dry beans, tofu, soymilk etc. provides a healthy dose of calcium. They also provide other nutrients such as phosphorus, magnesium and vitamin D that helps to retain and absorb calcium.
7. Increased energy and endurance
According to a study athletes who follow a vegetarian diet have experienced 3 fold energy and endurance than the once who are non-vegetarian. This is owing to the fact that a vegetarian diet is high in fiber and carbohydrates, providing improved stamina and concentration.
8.Free yourself of harmful antibiotics
Animals suffer from various diseases due to the filthy environment of factories and farms. For this, a lot of antibiotics are fed to them resulting in hormonal imbalances. Now when we eat this meat, the antibiotics mix with our bloodstream and damage naturally occurring bacteria in our body.
9 Good for financial health
A vegetarian diet is healthy for our pockets as well. Maybe because vegetables cost way less the meat. Substituting meat, chicken, and fish with vegetables and fruits cut our food bills by an estimated $4,000 a year!Also, you can save tons of money spend on heath care as vegetarian foods are healthy.
10.Avoid toxic food contaminants
Meat foods harbor a lot of contaminants such as pesticides. These toxins are all fat soluble and thus dissolve in fatty flesh of animals. These toxins when entering human body via meat product, cause various diseases. Moreover, meat-eating people are also more prone to bird and animal flu.
11.Save the planet from global warming
According to a 2006 report by United Nation, livestock release more greenhouse gasses than all the cars and trucks combined. Most of the gasses are the carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide from manure. Adopting a vegetarian diet thus also help reduce global warning.
12.Saves tons of water
According to a study, it takes 168L, 60L, 108L and 229L to grow maize, potato, wheat and rice respectively. But just a pound of beef requires 9000L of water for drinking and cleaning the meat. Moreover, an average pig farm requires 75m gallons of water every year. In a world where safe drinking water is still a luxury for some people, it makes sense to give up these meat products and save a lot of water.
13. Spoiling the Ocean
Fishing does not kill fishes, it is one step closer to killing the ocean as well. Due to industrial fishing, growing demands, and improved technology, some species have been fished to the point of extinction. This causes alteration of the food web and is harmful to the ecosystem. Moreover, harmful fishing practices also disrupt aquatic habitat.
14.Healthy and glowing skin.
Apart from providing a healthy inner body, vegetarian diet also provides us with glowing external beauty. The proteins, minerals, and antioxidants present in fruits and vegetables give us healthy hair, nails and skin.
15.For the diverse and colorful vegetarian dishes
A vegetarian menu provides a colorful, easy, fast and tasty meal. Also, it is fairly easy to make a non-vegetarian meal with a vegetarian substitute. For instance, you can use potato patty in place of meat patty in your cheeseburger or use paneer or cauliflower balls instead of meatballs.
All said and done, eating vegetarian is not a sure shot way of a healthy living. The important thing is to eat fresh and healthy food. A pizza with a vegetarian topping or a cheese sandwich is as unhealthy as a hamburger or a steak.