Step away from the deli case and romaine calm. As if the environmental benefits of adopting a plant-based diet weren’t enough, making the switch can be kinder to your body, too! If done right, a vegetarian diet offers many physical and mental health benefits. If you have thoughts about making the change, but are hesitant, we have compiled a list of how vegetarians enjoy a healthier life thanks to their diets. So, drop what you are doing, grab a bowl of veggie chips, and enjoy!
Fewer weight-related problems: Generally, vegetarians tend to choose their food more deliberately, which leads to making healthier choices. They can more easily avoid emotional eating, which contributes to obesity. Vegetarianism is also associated with a significant reduction in the incidence of diabetes, heart attack, and stroke. Plant-based diets offer the opportunity to be more thoughtful about what to eat and how much to eat, which can lead to lower numbers on the scale, and the quality of life that comes with it.
Your Best Skin: Many vegetarians who have skin disease such as psoriasis, or general redness, dryness, irritation, etc. have reported positively improved symptoms that followed their change to a meatless diet.
May Improve Mood: In a 2012 study, omnivores reported improved moods after two weeks of eating a meatless diet. One theory suggests that vegetarian diets are much higher in omega-6 acids than vegetarian diets. Omega-6 acids, found in red meat, poultry, and fish, have been shown to promote changes in the brain that negatively curb our mood.
More energy: Feeling sluggish during the day? You may want to stock up on the broccoli and oranges! A plant-based diet is lighter than a meat-heavy diet, and contains higher amounts of fiber which can relieve constipation and give you more energy. Also, remember, vegetarians are less likely to be obese, and avoiding excess pounds means your energy won’t be sapped as quickly throughout the day.
Just remember! As with any diet, vegetarianism needs to be done correctly to reap the benefits. While a steady diet consisting solely of veggie lover’s pizza and mac & cheese is technically considered “vegetarian,” you probably won’t see many of the benefits listed in this blog. Also, doctors have voiced concerns that vegetarians tend to be more prone to iron-deficiency anemia, as well as deficiencies in protein, B12, and Omega-3 fatty acids. However, with proper planning and nutritional information, vegetarians can avoid these issues as easily as any meat eater! Just make sure to do your research and talk with your doctor about any concerns you may have about making the switch.
Still skeptical of whether the benefits are worth the extra effort? We hear you! As plant-based diets become more popular, we’ve seen an abundance of websites, blogs, and cookbooks that can help you find yummy recipes that will make you forget all about those boring, flavorless pork chops.