Many people resorted to eating vegetables for a lot of reasons. Some people are against cruelty to animals, and other people are health conscious. There are a lot more reasons, but they belong to the subcategory of the two above. Having a vegetable diet is otherwise known as vegetarianism.
A family of vegetarians vs a non-vegetarian family – who is healthier?
What are health benefits from eating vegetables?
As already stated above, there are several health benefits from that you can get from practicing vegetarianism. Studies after studies have proven that a vegetarian diet decreases the risk of chronic diseases. Below are some of the health benefits of a vegetarian diet:
- Prevents obesity since there are lower intakes of fat contents.
- Lowers the chances of high blood pressure level because they only eat fruits and vegetables.
- Prevents heart disease due to low intake of saturated fat and a higher consumption of antioxidants which are normal in plant-based foods, such as fruits and vegetables and they protect the cells from damage.
- Less digestive problems like diverticular disease and constipation, due to the high intake of fibre.
- Reduce the risk of acquiring cancers, because of the high consumption of soy protein, fibre-rich foods, antioxidants, and low dietary fat intake.
What challenges does a vegetarian faces?
Despite the fact that eating fruits and vegetables are healthy, it is also a challenging practice as you need lots of discipline on your part to maintain your healthy lifestyle. Since you eat fruit and vegetables, you are not able to get the other nutrients that are present from animals. Good thing that there are alternative to meats that can supply the same amount of nutrients you be missing out on. Aside from the meat alternatives, you can also get some nutrients from food supplements for additional nutrients.
Living in a highly developed country makes it easy to practice vegetarianism, but how about those who live in third world countries like Philippines, Vietnam and the likes. Most of the time, people in these countries don’t get enough nutrition since there aren’t much food available for them. That is the reason why you need to plan your every meal to get the nutrition that your body needs.
Here are some tips on planning meals for vegetarians:
- Choose more foods that come from any of the groups in order to meet energy needs, and not the minimum amount needed daily.
- Eat a variety of food to supply all the nutrients you need.
- Sweets and alcohol must be eaten in moderation only.
- Foods that are rich on omega-3 fats are required daily. They can be found in nuts, fishes and legumes.
- Take a sun bath in the morning to get the enough vitamin D. Taking a sun bath in the afternoon might result to skin cancer because of too much radiation.
- Include food high in vitamin B12, B2, iron, and zinc in your diet because these are the nutrients limited in a vegetarian diet. Take supplements if needed.