Amazing Benefits of a Vegetarian Lifestyle
Long gone are the days where vegetarians are the minority in society. Indeed, many meat eaters are now switching to the vegetarian lifestyle, not just because of an ethical value over the animals, but also because of the numerous health benefits this diet boasts. In fact, some people are even adopting the diet in order to lose a few pounds and alleviate some illnesses like diabetes.
Thinking of swapping your steak for tofu? Here’s your guide to the benefits and supplements you’ll need for your new meat-free lifestyle:
It’s not just your conscience that gets a happy boost by switching to vegetarian, there are also numerous health benefits from this lifestyle that will help you live a long and happy life. One of the most celebrated of these benefits is its help with heart disease and cholesterol due to the removal of animal fat from the diet, which is high in saturated fat. The risk of breast cancer is also thought to be increased by eating processed and red meats. Some studies even link it with other cancers such as pancreatic and colon cancer. Vegetarians eat lots of antioxidant foods that your heart loves as well as healthy fats from things like avocados and nuts.
The diet, with its boosted nutrients and less sugars (unless you decide to binge on things like chocolate) can also help with type 2 diabetes and obesity, which is one of the reasons it’s becoming a popular diet too. A study by London Imperial college in 2010 actually found that people who ate 250g of meat a day would gain more weight in 5 years than a vegetarian – even if they consumed the same amount of calories a day!
Of course, when you do cut meat from your diet you’ve got to remember to get your protein from elsewhere. Especially since protein is essential to your body to help repair and build muscle as well as giving our body essential amino acids. This might seem tricky at first, but with a well-planned vegetarian diet, it can actually be pretty simple to reach your protein goals (around 0.36g per lb of weight as per American guidelines) for the day.
Food like lentils, beans, eggs, tofu, nuts and nut butters are all great sources of proteins and easy to add to your diet. You can also make yourself a great protein smoothie to start your day by adding either artificial sources like vegetarian protein powder or adding something like flax seed oil or sunflower seeds to your fruit smoothie.
Try to add a little bit of protein to all your meals, whether it’s a poached egg in the morning or a bagel spread with almond butter in the afternoon – by adding a little and often you’ll be making sure your body is getting everything it needs.
Only a few years ago vegetarianism was pretty exclusive, which meant getting good, tasty meals from restaurants or your local supermarket was pretty impossible. These days, with a vegetarian lifestyle being far more common, you’ll find food stores are now stocking a great range of vegetarian food choices with everything from delicious veggie burgers to vegetarian versions of your favorite candy.
Even better, with vegetarianism now being so common, your local takeaways are now offering much more choice on their menus. So, when all your friends want a Friday night curry, you can safely order yourself a nutritious Indian dahl or chickpea curry as well as numerous vegetarian snacks and sides on offer. To browse your local vegetarian menu, click here – or here if you’re in the UK.