In recent years, vegetarianism has skyrocketed, with more and more people adopting diets in which they don’t consume meat. While this can seem ideal for animal lovers, there are a number of cultures and religions in which meat and fish are massively significant. From Christians eating fish on Good Friday to Muslims practising Qurbani, meat plays a considerable role in various lifestyles. Despite this, health, environmental, and ethical concerns have all pushed multiple people into a plant-based diet. To that end, detailed below are some of the health benefits of adopting a vegetarian diet, which are sure to bolster overall well-being.
Regardless of whether you’re a meat eater, pescetarian, vegetarian, or vegan, nutritional considerations are always important. Despite this, these considerations are more important than ever when meat and fish are absent from your diet. This is because meat and fish are responsible for providing a number of necessary nutrients. These include calcium, omega-3 fatty acids, zinc, iron, and vitamin B12. Therefore, vegetarians need to ensure they’re receiving an adequate intake of these nutrients, which can be achieved through their diets or supplements to prevent deficiencies.
Reduced Risk of Cancers
While vegetarianism might put you at risk of nutrient deficiencies if not carried out properly, it does actually reduce your risk of developing certain types of cancers. This includes prostate, breast, and colon cancer. After all, a vegetarian diet consists heavily of fruits, vegetables, and legumes, which are all rich sources of antioxidants and phytochemicals that boast cancer-fighting properties. Similarly, the absence of high-fat meats and processed animal products can also contribute to this lowered risk of cancer.
Better Digestive Health
The nature of vegetarian diets also encourages healthy digestion due to the abundance of vegetables, fruits, and whole grains that are consumed. Each of these food types contains a considerable amount of fiber, which is essential for ensuring regular bowel movements take place. This is an important aspect of preventing constipation and other digestive disorders, including colon cancer and diverticulosis. This is on top of the probiotics and enzymes that are present in a vegetarian diet, which results in overall digestive well-being.
Since vegetarian diets tend to be lower in saturated fats and calories, they can be incredibly effective in managing weight. This is also aided by the increased fiber intake, which is effective in controlling appetite and encouraging satiety. Quite simply, vegetarians are likely to have a smaller BMI than meat eaters, which means you’re more likely to maintain a healthy weight as a vegetarian. This lowers your risk of obesity-related diseases, including joint problems, hypertension, and type 2 diabetes.
Minimized Risk of Chronic Diseases
Finally, when carried out in a healthy manner, vegetarianism can reduce the risk of chronic diseases, including various cancer types, diabetes, and heart disease. As far as heart disease is concerned, especially, the limited cholesterol and saturated fats in a vegetarian diet reduce the risk of this occurring significantly. Additionally, healthy blood pressure and cardiovascular health are also promoted by a vegetarian diet due to the varied consumption of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes. Each of these provides the necessary antioxidants, dietary fiber, and essential nutrients that are required for a balanced diet and good health.
The ways in which vegetarianism can benefit your life are extensive; however, this is when it’s carried out in a sensible manner. Just because a certain type of food is vegetarian, this doesn’t automatically make it healthy. It’s still important to ensure you’re consuming all the necessary nutrients to maintain an overall healthy well-being and lifestyle.