Vegetarian is a person who does not eat any type of meat (including fowl) or seafood, or products containing these foods, eggs and the products made of eggs. Vegetarian eats only planted foods like whole grains, vegetables, nuts, fruits etc.
Comparing to nonvegetarian foods, vegetarian foods are much more beneficial to us. Here few advantages of vegetarian diet are given:
There are many real health advantages of being a vegetarian. Over recent years, the impact of meat in our diets has been studied and researched. Some people will say that it is unnatural for humans to eat meat; others will say that it is a totally natural process. What is certain, however, is the modern meat-eaters diet includes a greater proportion of meat than that of our ancestors. This increase can cause health problems for a variety of reasons.
- Meat can be difficult to digest
- The fats are unhealthy
- Meat can contribute to high cholesterol levels.
- Some cancers such as bowel cancer are more prevalent in meat eaters.
In contrast, a vegetarian diet is typically high in fiber and rich in vitamins and minerals, which is important to a healthy diet. As the human body is constituted, it does not have enzymes to digest non-veg food and that’s why chances of occurrence of constipation, high BP, obesity, high cholesterol, heart diseases are more in non- vegetarian food.
All of the following nutritional benefits come from a vegetarian diet, full of foods, such as fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, nuts, beans, and soy products:
- No deficiencies: There is no nutrient necessary for optimal human functioning which cannot be obtained from plant food.
- Cardiovascular disease: Eating nuts and whole grains will improve your cardiovascular health. A vegetarian diet reduces the risk for heart disease and Type 2 diabetes. Vegetarian diet goes far in preventing heart attack and stroke. Meat eating increases the risk of heart disease. For heart protection, it’s best to choose high-fiber whole grains and legumes, which are digested slowly and have a low glycemic index — that is, they help keep blood sugar levels steady. Soluble fiber also helps reduce cholesterol levels. The vegetarians have a lower risk for cardiac events (such as a heart attack) and death from cardiac causes. A low-fat vegetarian diet is the single most effective way to stop the progression of coronary artery disease or prevent it entirely.
- Cholesterol: Animal foods are higher in fat than most plant foods, particularly saturated fats. Plants do not contain cholesterol. Eliminating any food that comes from an animal and you will eliminate all dietary cholesterol from your diet. Your heart will thank you for that.
- Reduce saturated fats: Meats contain a large amount of saturated fats. By reducing the amount of saturated fats from your diet, you’ll improve your health tremendously, especially when it comes to cardiovascular health.
- Carbohydrates: Meat is deficient in carbohydrates, particularly the starches which are so essential to proper health. Carbohydrates provide energy for your body. When you don’t have enough carbohydrates, your body will burn muscle tissue.
- Fiber: Fiber absorbs unwanted, excess fats; cleans the intestines; provides bulk and aids in peristalsis. High fiber diets help fight against colon cancer. Plant food is high in fiber content; meat and poultry have none.
- Magnesium: Aiding in the absorption of calcium, magnesium is an often overlooked vitamin in importance to a healthy diet. Nuts, seeds, and dark leafy greens are an excellent source of magnesium.
- Potassium: Potassium balances water and acidity in your body and stimulates the kidneys to eliminate toxins. Vegetarian diets, high in potassium, have shown to reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases and cancer.
- Antioxidants: vegetarian food contains high amount of antioxidants. For protection against cell damage, antioxidants are one of the best ways to help your body. Many researchers also believe that antioxidants help protect your body against forming some types of cancer like Prostate cancer, Colon cancer, Breast cancer.
- Folate: This vitamin B is an important part of a healthy diet. Folate helps with cell repair, generating red and white blood cells, and metabolizing amino acids. High amount of Floate can get in vegetarian foods only.
- Vitamin C and vitamin E: Meat is largely deficient in vitamins where vegetarian foods are the big source of vitamins. Besides boosting your immune system, Vitamin C also helps to keep your gums healthy and helps your bruises heal faster. It is also an antioxidant. Vitamin E is a powerful vitamin which has benefits for your heart, skin, eyes, brain, and may even help prevent Alzheimer’s disease. A diet high in grains, nuts, and dark leafy greens is full of Vitamin E.
- Phytochemicals: Plant-based foods provide phytochemicals, which help to prevent and heal the body from cancer, boost protective enzymes, and work with antioxidants in the body.
- Protein: Protein is good for your body is no surprise. It may be a surprise to learn that the protein, in forms, such as red meat that are not healthy ways of getting protein. Beans, nuts, peas, lentils, and soy products are all great ways to get the right amount of protein in a vegetarian diet.
- Disease Prevention: The correlation between meat consumption and a wide range of degenerative diseases is well founded and includes Osteoporosis, Kidney Stones and Gallstones, Diabetes, Multiple Sclerosis, Arthritis, Gum disease, Acne. Aggravated by animal food. Eating a healthy vegetarian diet has shown to prevent a number of these diseases.
- Blood pressure: A diet rich in whole grains is beneficial to your health in many ways, including lowering high blood pressure.
- Less Chance of Developing Kidney Stones: Eliminating animal protein consumption in favor of vegetables will result in a higher urine pH; whereas low urine pH has been associated with stone formation.
- Satisfy all your nutritional requirements: If you think vegetarians are nutritionally deficient or always hungry, think again! The official position is that a comprehensive and well-designed vegetarian diet can be nutritionally sound and appropriate for all ages and stages of life, including infants, the elderly and even athletes. Good health, reduced incidence of disease, and better management of existing health.
- Macular degeneration: Diets with lots of fresh fruits and vegetables can help to prevent the onset of age-related macular degeneration.
- Cataracts: Much the same way macular degeneration is headed off by a vegetarian diet; cataracts are also thought to be prevented through the intake of the same fruits and vegetables. Produce high in antioxidants are also believed to help prevent cataracts.
- Diabetes: Lower rates of diabetes in vegetarians can be ascribed to having lower body weights. A study of body mass index (BMI), diabetes and hypertension in different types of vegetarians showed that non-vegetarians have the highest average BMIs (average of 28.26) and vegetarians have the lowest (average of 23.13). BMIs between 18.5 and 24.9 are considered to reflect a healthy weight.
- Arthritis: Vegetarian diet is very promising for improving the health of those suffering from rheumatoid arthritis.
- Osteoporosis: Bone health depends on a balance of neither too much nor too little protein, adequate calcium intake, high potassium, and low sodium. With a healthy vegetarian diet, all four of these points set a perfect scenario for preventing osteoporosis.
- Physical Benefits: In addition to good nutrition and disease prevention, eating vegetarian diet also provides many physical benefits like weight loss, high energy, healthy skin, longer life, reduces body odor, reduction in bad breath, stronger-healthier hair, stronger- healthier nails, relief from migraines, alleviation of allergy symptoms etc.
- May Improve Mood: Arachidonic acid is a substance that usually comes from dietary animal sources and, no surprise; vegetarian diets are not high in arachidonic acid. This can be beneficial, as research has shown a link between arachidonic acid and mood disturbances
- Health care costs: Being healthier on a vegetarian diet means spending less on health care.
- Food costs: Vegetarian foods tend to cost less than meat based items.
- Budget: A person leading a vegetarian lifestyle can spend much less than their meat eating counterparts. Vegetarian food is often cheaper; this includes both the raw ingredients purchased from supermarkets and meals taken in restaurants and other eateries. Meat makes up a significant proportion of a typical household food bill. By taking meat from the equation, a large saving can be had.
- Conservation of Fossil fuel: It takes 78 calories of fossil fuel to produce 1 calorie of beef protein; 35 calories for 1 calorie of pork; 22 calories for 1 of poultry; but just 1 calorie of fossil fuel for 1 calorie of soybeans. By eating plant foods instead of animal foods, you can to help conserve our non-renewable sources of energy.
- Water Conservation: It takes 3 to 15 times much water to produce animal protein as it does plant protein. Being a vegetarian you can contribute to water conservation.
- Efficient use of grains: It takes up to 16 pounds of soybeans and grains to produce 1 lb. of beef and 3 to 6 lbs. to produce 1 lb. of turkey & egg. By eating grain foods directly, you make the food supply more efficient & that contributes to the environment.
- Soil conservation: When grains & legumes are used more efficiently, your precious topsoil is automatically made more efficient in its use. Vegetarians use less agricultural resources to provide for the same number of people.
- Saving our forests: Tropical forests are destroyed daily. By not supporting the meat industry, the vegetarians directly reduce the demand to pillage these irreplaceable treasures of nature. Since the forest land “filters” our air supply and contains botanical sources for new medicines, this destruction is irreversible.
- Raising animals, for food (including land used for grazing and growing feed crops) uses a staggering 30% of the Earth’s land mass. 70% of the grain grown is fed to farmed animals. Imagine how many people we could feed with that food. To produce one pound of animal protein vs. one pound of soy protein, it takes about 12 times as much land, 13 times as much fossil fuel and 15 times as much water.
Non veg food should be totally avoided by anybody who is interested in saving our mother earth. Real environmental benefits can be realized by people reducing their consumption of meat or becoming a vegetarian. A diet, free of meat and dairy, saves 50% more carbon emissions than diet containing meat and eggs.
- Animal Welfare: No animal is harmed in order to feed or clothe a vegetarian. As less people eat meat, there is a reduced requirement for the farming of livestock for meat. This means less need for intensive farming methods. As more people become vegetarian, farming and the meat production industry will change.
- Love of animals: You love animals as you love yourself. You have no desire to kill them or cause them harm.
- Stance against Factory Farming: You cannot make a statement against factory farming if you yourself eat animals.
- Respect for Sentient Life: You show gratitude to our Creator(s?) by eating as low on the food chain as possible.
- “Economic Vote”: You show support of the meat industry and the way they operate when you purchase and use their products.
- Small sacrifice: The sacrifice you make is nothing compared to the animals, its life.
- Natural diet: Your hands, teeth, feet, intestinal tract, even your body chemistry is that of an Herbivore.
- If you partake in the slaughter of animals, you will have to repay your contribution to that act.
- “Protecting the Temple”: “Whatever affects the body has a corresponding effect on the mind and soul”.
- World Peace: There can never be peace among men while men are declaring war on other highly developed life forms.
- Clear conscience: You know what you are doing is right. You feel good inside about your decision to remain “meatless”.
- Well Being: I just feel better since “giving up” meat and becoming vegetarian
- Easy substitutes: There are vegetable based substitutes for every meat product imaginable.
- Example: To live this way is to protect the underlying values of those around you.
Here we also show some disadvantages of Eating Meat:
- Non-veg food harms concentration levels. It also increases anger and lust.
- Agricultural Chemicals: Being higher on the food chain, animal foods contain far higher concentrations of agricultural chemicals than plant foods, including pesticides, herbicides, etc.
- Exposure to livestock drugs: There are over 20,000 different drugs, including sterols, antibiotics, growth hormones and other veterinary drugs that are given to livestock animals. These drugs are consumed when animal foods are consumed. The dangers herein, in secondary consumption of antibiotics, are well documented.
- A meat-eater not only takes in the animal cells and fats, etc. but also the waste products, e.g. chemically treated food fed to the animals, drugs injected into the animal in the slaughter house, intoxicants, coloring and tenderizers sprayed on the dead animal by the market suppliers. This is why so many children and young adults have died from eating hamburgers.
- Meat is one of the major sources of internal pollution. When an animal is slaughtered, un-eliminated waste products remain in the tissue of the animal which often gives the meat its stimulating flavor. Uric acid and adrenaline are secreted into the bloodstream, muscles of animals and stored. The fear and struggle to escape death stimulates the secretion of hormones like epinephrine and norepinephrine. Most animals (especially cows) are injected with steroids before they are slaughtered.
- A parasite known for inducing miscarriage, blindness, jaundice and nervous disorders in newborn babies was found in samples of animal meat from abattoirs and markets.
- To preserve fish and prawns and other crustaceans, boric acid is widely used by food manufacturers. It attacks the liver and the brain, causing fits and coma before the victim dies of liver damage. Fruits and vegetables, however heavily sprayed, don’t grow hormones, antibiotics and other drugs common in meat products.
- Pigs carry trichinosis bacteria that cling to the walls of the stomach and intestines, which can be fatal. Beef and pork are highly acid forming and release into the blood-stream toxic poisons and microbes. But the WBC in blood may not be sufficient to destroy these microbes and so the toxic reactions set in.
- Pathogenic Microorganisms: There are a host of bacteria and viruses, some quite dangerous, that are common to animals. When you eat meat, you eat the organisms in the meat. Micro-organisms are present in plant foods too, but their number and danger to human health is by no means comparable to that of those in meat.
- Organoleptic Indications of Pathogens: Plant foods give tell-tale signs of “going bad”. Ever hear of someone getting sick from “bad broccoli”?
- Mercury: Most of the fish and shellfish consumed have mercury in it. While some fish have less than others, it is almost impossible not to be putting mercury in your body when you eat fish.
It has been clinically tested that because of less fat and zero cholesterol, vegetarian diets are much better. So, when you try a vegetarian diet, you will find yourself light, relaxed and spiritualized. Remember that you are what you eat. The food taken into your body is what gradually but surely forms your thought-patterns. Your thoughts, both conscious and subconscious are in total control of your body’s health or lack of it. So, try to become a vegetarian from today, from now and enjoy the benefits of being vegetarian.
Tips for people who want to adopt vegetarianism:
- Select whole grain products – whole wheat bread, wild/brown rice, whole grain cereals.
- Make sure your diet is varied.
- Choose low or nonfat dairy products.
- Plan ahead when you go shopping. Also read the food labels carefully when you are out shopping.
- Find out where your specialist stores are.
The advantages of vegetarianism are as wide and varied as the reasons behind people becoming vegetarian. But there still aren’t enough data to say exactly how a vegetarian diet influences long-term health. It’s difficult to tease out the influence of vegetarianism from other practices that vegetarians are more likely to follow, such as not smoking, not drinking excessively, and getting adequate exercise. So, along with the try being vegetarian, also follow these rules and get a truly healthy and wealthy life.
Best Of Luck 🙂
We also have some suggestions of travel destinations for vegetarian food in our post World’s Best Vegetarian Destinations. It will help you to find vegetarian friendly places.