Benefits of Vegetarianism
Think fitness and the images that conjure alongside exercise regimens and yoga are those of fresh fruits, green vegetables, and fresh fruit juices. The term vegetarianism, also popularly known as a vegan diet is fast catching on. For some vegetarianism includes egg and milk, for others it includes only food that come from plants. Whatever the definition of vegetarianism, a wholesome and healthy vegetarian diet has several commonly known and accepted benefits. Let’s look at some of the major benefits.
- Most vegetarian diets are low-fat and help reduce Body Mass Index (BMI).
- An average American male who changes to a vegan diet reduces his chances of dying due to heart diseases from 50 percent to 4 percent. Fruits and vegetables are high in antioxidants and help protect the heart and its arteries.
- A vegetarian diet reduces blood pressure, blood triglyceride levels, and fasting blood glucose levels. It also improves pancreatic beta-cell function. This simply means a vegan diet reduces the risk of type2 diabetes.
- The International Journal of Cancer says that red meat increases the chances of breast cancer. According to the German Cancer Research Center, Heidelberg, a vegetarian diet improves the immune system and is more effective in destroying tumor cells. A vegetarian diet also helps protect against prostate, colon, and skin cancers.
- A vegetarian diet helps to eliminate toxins and detoxifies the body naturally.
- Excess protein impedes the absorption and retention of protein resulting in brittle bones. A diet rich in dark green leafy vegetables meets the daily calcium needs without the ÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬Ãƒâ€¹Ã…â€œexcess protein interference’.
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) believes that meat and poultry products are the major carriers of food-borne illnesses. A vegan diet helps protect from such diseases.
- According to doctors, back pain starts in the arteries. A plant-based diet prevents cholesterol-causing blocks in the arteries and helps maintain a healthy back.
- A vegetarian diet is fiber-rich and ensures smooth and regular bowel movement. This reduces the incidence of constipation, hemorrhoids, and spastic colon.
- Women who follow a vegetarian diet have balanced hormone levels and therefore fewer complaints during menopause.
According to a study conducted by the Loma Linda University, a vegetarian diet increases life expectancy by around 7 to 15 years. A vegetarian diet lowers BMI, reduces the risk of coronary diseases and cancer, detoxifies the body, and boosts the immune system. All this leads to a healthier and longer life.
- Every year, animal farms produce over 2 million tons of manure. The Environment Protection Agency (EPA) rates this as one of the top ten pollutants. In addition to this, the methane gas from these farms contributes to the greenhouse effect. Further the toxic waste and poisonous gases from animal waste and farm equipment add to the water and air pollution. A vegetarian diet is one of the biggest solutions to all these problems.
- The Food & Agriculture Organization claims that 11 of the 15 world’s major fishing grounds are depleted. A vegetarian diet will help to preserve the fish population.
- The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development reports that nitrate is one of the major effluents in the waterways of Europe and the United States. Animal farming is the major source of this pollutant. Therefore a vegetarian diet would help protect the purity of our waterways.
- In the United States, animal farms consume 72 percent of the total grain produced. If this food was directed to people, we can eliminate famine, hunger, and poverty. Similarly, the agricultural land used for animal farming is inefficient in terms of food production. Therefore, adopting a vegetarian diet would ensure food for the whole world.
- A vegetarian diet will reduce the money spent on the treatment of heart disease, cancer, obesity, and food poisoning. This in turn would result in better spending for food production and distribution, education, housing, and improving quality of life.
- A vegetarian diet will help set the example for a healthier and longer life to the future generations.
A diet rich in fruits and vegetables would reduce food bills by approximately $4,000 per year. This would mean more money to invest for an individual and less money in debts for the country.
A vegetarian diet also has a lot of feel-good factors such as making colorful food-spread, easier cooking options, tastier and healthier food, etc. However, a vegetarian pizza or a vegetarian burger would do as much harm as a non-vegetarian one. So the emphasis is on how you eat your fruits and vegetables. A healthy vegan diet is what will help you reap the benefits of vegetarianism.