Plant-based diets are becoming more and more popular. And there is a good reason for that – there are many benefits of not eating meat. People are switching to a vegetarian diet for many reasons. Some do it for environmental reasons, others because of ethical reasons, and the third switched to a vegetarian diet to improve their health.
The vegetarian diet isn’t only beneficial because of the absence of meat. You also eat more veggies and fruits. Not all vegetarian diets are healthy. Some people still focus on deep-fried food and processed products. Make sure you’re switching meat for “real food”. That includes home-cooked meals and nutrient-rich foods like fruits and veggies.
So what are the biggest benefits of following a healthy vegetarian diet?
Studies confirmed that vegetarians have many health benefits over meat-eaters. For example, they have a lower chance of heart disease. One research has even shown vegetarians in their fifties have less chance of death from any cause than meat-eaters. Another long-term benefit is the reduced chance of several types of cancer.
There are also immediate health benefits you’ll feel soon after you switch from a meat-based diet. These are lower cholesterol, blood sugar, and blood pressure levels. Immunity and digestive health will also improve.
Weight Loss and Better Skin
A study from Oxford University with more than 37000 adult subjects has confirmed that meat-eaters generally have a higher BMI than vegetarians. And these results are not surprising. Plants contain tons of fibers and antioxidants. Both compounds are aiding with losing and managing weight. They also contain fewer calories than meat and other animal-derived products.
As you eat more plant-based food, your skin will also improve. The antioxidants in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains will heal your skin from within. They help fight free radicals, one of the main causes of premature wrinkles and other signs of aging.
Improved Mood and Energy
Eating more plant food doesn’t only improve our physical health and appearance, but also our mental health. The fat from meat clogs arteries, so your body doesn’t get enough oxygen and makes you more tired. Vegetarian diets have tons of fiber and are low in fats, which in turn makes you feel more energetic.
When eating more fruits and veggies, you’ll also be happier. Those who eat at least five portions of fruit and veggies per day are calmer and happier than those who don’t, according to several studies.
Compassion for Animals and the Environment
There are worthy altruistic reasons why you should try a vegetarian diet, too. Millions of animals are slaughtered for human consumption every year. These animals usually live in cruel conditions, cages with no place to move. Also, they eat food packed with pesticides, hormones, and antibiotics. Such factories only exist because of a huge demand for meat – and you’ll help end animal cruelty if you don’t support them.
The meat industry also has a devastating impact on the environment. Chemical and animal waste from meat factories and farms enter our streams and rivers. It causes thousands of miles of polluted water. If you want to keep eating meat, at least try buying from small, family-owned farms.
It’s an Easy Switch
The best thing about switching to vegetarianism is that it’s easy to do. Unlike many strict diets, you’ll still be able to eat a variety of foods. Vegetarian meals are generally much easier to prepare than meat-based dishes.
You can even use meat alternatives to continue eating your favorite dishes. There is plenty of information about healthy and delicious vegetarian meals online. You can experiment with tons of recipes and make your meals more exciting, tasty, and colorful. Most restaurants offer vegetarian options too, so you’ll have plenty of options even if you don’t like to cook.