India boasts the largest number of vegetarians in the entire world. About 30 to 40 percent of our country’s population is vegetarian. Vegetarians and the concept of vegetarianism were born in India. While a lot many people changed to being non-vegetarians, lots of people stuck to the vegetarian diet, realizing the vegetarian benefits.
Most of us have lately been told that being a vegetarian is not exactly healthy. People say that a vegetarian diet does not meet all our nutritional requirements. But a number of research studies that have been conducted totally deny it and clearly prove the benefits of being vegetarian. It is amazing to know that being a vegetarian has more perks to offer than people think. If you are particularly health conscious, the below-given reasons will definitely make you rethink your lifestyle and provide you answers for “what are the benefits of going vegetarian”.
Vegetarianism prevents High Cholesterol Levels
We all know there are two types of cholesterol- good cholesterol and bad cholesterol. Most of the non-vegetarian foods have bad cholesterol that gets accumulated in our arteries. This, in turn, increases our blood pressure. Once our blood pressure increases, it brings so many health complications along with it. Animal foods contain a huge amount of saturated fat which is bad for you. With so much of saturated fats in it, frying it adds more to it and the amounts of cholesterol you are supplying to your body are unimaginable. On the other hand, most vegetable and vegetarian food products have high amounts of fiber and anti-oxidants which prevent you from developing high cholesterol. If you are already suffering from a high cholesterol level, it is an amazing idea to go vegetarian. If you follow a vegetarian diet over an extended period of time and be patient, you will notice a change in your cholesterol levels.
Vegetarians Have Lesser Chances Of Cancer
There are certain types of meat that are directly linked with the proneness to cancer. If you love hitting the Mc Donald’s quite frequently and picking your favorite non-vegetarian burger, you might be inviting chances of getting cancer. Processed meats, like bacon, hot-dogs, deli meat etc. can increase the chances of oesophageal and colon cancer. They contain preservatives that combine with meat and might make them carcinogenic. Besides processed meat, meat types, like beef, pork, and lamb- which are types of red meat also increase chances of cancer. Sure barbecued and pan-fried meat tastes amazing, but you should know eat cooked at high temperatures might have the potential to cause kidney cancer. Vegetarian food is rich in fiber which makes it an amazing diet for the heart.
A Vegetarian Diet Prevents Cardiovascular Diseases
Saying no to meat and saying yes to vegetables is a great way to keep away from cardiovascular diseases. The more starch, saturated fats, and sugars you have in your diet, the more are the chances of you developing different kinds of cardiovascular diseases. And as we have already discussed, non-vegetarian foods are responsible for causing and promoting a high blood pressure because of cholesterol. Once you have a high blood pressure, it is an open invitation to all sorts of cardiovascular diseases. The most recent research that was conducted by Dr. Caldwell B. Esselstyn, Jr. suggests that a plant-based diet significantly reduces chances of cardiovascular diseases. This has been proven using scientific experiments done. So, in simpler words, it can be concluded that if you cut down on red meat and processed meat, you have lower chances of developing cardiovascular diseases.
You Can Control And Regulate Your Diabetes
Different surveys prove that the rate of diabetes has increased enormously. Diabetes affects our overall health and causes delays in being cured of other diseases. This is why a number of researches have been conducted to find out how to regulate diabetes and stay healthy. In a research, it was found out that over a period of 22 weeks, people who followed a vegan diet had a drop in blood sugar level as opposed to non-vegetarians. This quite evidently proves that a vegetarian diet helps you ward off diabetes. Eating vegetables and fruits help you bring down your blood sugar levels and makes you more responsive to insulin. This is how you can avoid all the complications that are a result of diabetes and reap the advantages of vegetarianism. While there are a number of vegetarian elements that can also cause high blood sugar level, most animal foods are directly linked to high blood sugar levels and hence should be avoided.
Avoiding Food-Borne Illnesses With A Vegetarian Diet
When it comes to eating non-vegetarian food, there are a lot of precautions you have to take in order to make sure the food you have is free of bacteria. In all the causes of food-borne illnesses, you have to consume the bacteria directly with food. Bacteria that cause food-borne illnesses can’t enter your body any other way. A lot of people might be thinking at this point that cook meat properly is the solution to this problem. The truth is, it is a two-way problem- where if you don’t cook properly, you might suffer from the food-borne illness and if cooked too much, you are at a risk of developing cancer. Beef, pork, and other kinds of red meat have most chances of causing food-borne illnesses.
Overcome Menopause Effects By Being A Vegetarian
If you are a woman over 45 or 50 or have women around you who are over 50, you know those hard to deal with mood swings and everything that accompanies along with it from menopause. Menopause affects both the person who is undergoing menopause and people around that person. Luckily, there are a number of vegetarian benefits you get in terms of menopause. These changes stem from the inability of ovaries to produce needed amounts of estrogen after an average age of 50 years. This causes various symptoms, like depression, anxiety, hot flashes, and irritability.
The effects don’t just get minimized when you start having a vegetarian diet soon after menopause hits. When you have a plant-based diet for a long time of your life, the fibers are associated with lesser estrogen levels as compared to fats- that produce great amounts of estrogen in your body. Now, when you have menopause, your body suddenly stops producing much estrogen which causes a sudden drop in estrogen levels and extreme menopause-related consequences. So, if you have a vegetarian diet, you are maintaining a certain level of estrogen that won’t face a sudden drop soon after menopause. This helps you deal with very mild after-effects of menopause.
Vegetarian Diet Keeps You Away From Mood-Swings
Get your brain cells in gear for this part of the article- it has a lot of complicated chemical names. But it all makes sense and isn’t that complicated after all. There are a number of acids that mess up with your good moods. They have certain effects on the brain that causes bad moods in people. These are acids called in Arachidonic acid (AA), Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), and Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) which are found in non-vegetarian foods. The conclusion is- if you stop eating meat and animal-derived foods, there are more chances of you being able to combat those everyday tinny-tiny mood swings messing with your productivity. This is all a lot more scientific than can be expressed. The conclusion is based on a research that was conducted to find out what’s the difference in the overall mood levels of vegetarians and non-vegetarians.
You Can Have That Body You Dream Of By Being Vegetarian
Can you lose weight by being vegetarian? YES. Obesity has become one of the biggest problems in the developed nation. Developing countries, like India, are making their way to obesity as well. This raises concern since obesity gives rise to a number of health-related problems. You might have already figured out the connection between obesity, cholesterol, and various cardiovascular diseases. Animal products have more fats as compared to plant-based foods. Plant-based diet mostly contains high amounts of fibers with exceptions, like potatoes and rice. But, having potatoes and rice meets your ideal fats and carbohydrate requirements and balances it out. For a person who plans to reduce weight, adopting a vegetarian diet is the ideal thing to do.
Vegetarianism Helps Reduce Pollution
The meat industry has become really commercial. Pretty much like any large scale factory, they operate on a large scale and likewise produce a lot of waste. All of these waste products, including bacteria, pesticides, and fecal matter of animals are disposed of in water bodies. This, in turn, pollutes water bodies. Animals that are being raised on farms also produce harmful gases, like ammonia and methane that are causing climate change. When the fishnets catch fishes, they end up catching a number of unneeded animals and killing them. This is causing a great stress on our marine system and depleting them of marine animals. We are stripping forests and clearing lands to create more and more space to raise meat producing industries. This is causing deforestation and increasing air pollution. Also, because of soil erosion, we are losing lands that can be used to grow plants instead.
You Can Lend A Hand In Preventing Famine
When we talk about raising animals in the meat industry on a large-scale basis, there are so much of resources involved. For each animal to grow and provide enough flesh for people to eat, they are fed large amounts of food. So, obviously, a large portion of plant-based food that is grown goes to the meat industry. While there are people dying from starvation, we are sending off the food cultivated in farms to these meat industries to feed animals. And once these animals are butchered, only to feed the richer ones in the society because poor ones can’t afford meat. All the resources are going to the rich ones and are causing poor ones to die of starvation. If these meat producing industries stop existing, the food that is cultivated can be distributed evenly among all people irrespective of the stratification.
While so many parts of different nations are hit by drought at least once a year, we are diverting plenty of fresh waters to these poultry and meat producing industries. While it takes about 503 liters of water for producing one kilogram of wheat, 1 kilogram of meat demands 20,940 liters of water approximately. So, we can conserve a lot of water if we choose to only grow plants instead of raising animals for meat.
The vegetarian benefits are really clear and apparent. If you or anyone close to you has been suffering from any of heart-related problems or obesity, it is a great thing to go vegetarian. If cooked properly, there’s nothing as delicious and scrumptious as a vegetarian meal. Besides all the vegetarian benefits, it is also fighting for a noble cause. By going vegetarian, you are helping save lives of so many animals and developing a sense of empathy. So, to conclude, the biggest of vegetarian benefits is that you learn selflessness and feel really noble. Start the act of kindness right from your plate!