One simply cannot do without food; it is what keeps us going, supplies our bodies with essential nutrients and keeps our minds in prim shape. Many factors such as food preferences, allergies, religious restrictions, professional and domestic lifestyle choices, etc., that play an important role in determining our diets. People with sedentary jobs are recommended to opt for high-fibre, while people trying to build muscle and shape up their body generally go for a protein-rich diet.
There are different ways of meeting dietary requirements – fruits, vegetables, and nuts, dairy, eggs, poultry, meat, etc., but let us focus on how vegetarian diets can be healthy for us.
People across the world have slowly started to lean towards a vegetarian diets because of many reasons. Some of these being, cutting non-vegetarian sources of nutrients from the diet has a positive impact on the environment, and becoming vegetarian helps ensure ethical treatment of animals and birds. There is also an increase in awareness about vegetarian foods being capable of supplying the body with essential nutrients.
If you are someone who is wants to adopt a vegetarian diet or is wondering about what are the benefits of being a vegetarian, here are some health benefits of the vegetarian diet.
#1. Aids in weight management
A diet stocked up on low-carb, high-fibre and high-protein vegetarian foods such as fruits, vegetables, nuts and oilseeds, amongst others, helps the body feel sated, build muscle, stay happy and active, and burn calories faster. One of the main sources of protein in the vegetarian diet are beans, pulses and dals. These can be made in a variety of ways and can be easily incorporated in each meal. Try to include more of pulses in your diet. Next time you shop, pick up Tata Sampann dals, that are packed with 100% unpolished dals and are locally-sourced, to heighten your nutritional intake.
#2. Contain antioxidants and may reduce cell damage
Plant-based foods not only have stores of dietary fibre, but also have anti-inflammatory properties that act against cell damage. Part of the vegetarian diet are many carbohydrate-rich foods such as fruits and vegetables, cereals, pulses, and nuts. This means that the vegetarian diet contains comparatively more antioxidant vitamins (vitamin C, vitamin E, and beta-carotene) and copper than that of omnivores. Research has shown that this could also be linked with lower cancer rates. Plants also produce many phytochemicals which may protect cells from damage. Another benefit is that they are anti-inflammatory.
#3. Good for the heart
A diet rich in beans and dals is supposed to cause a reduction in the level of triglycerides and LDL cholesterol – which tend to put you at a greater risk of heart disease. Contained blood pressure levels is also an advantage of vegetarian food. As vegetarian diets are high in antioxidants which are found in fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds, they have been linked to reduced risk of developing heart disease. Pulses, which are an integral part of the vegetarian diet, are also are low in saturated and trans fats, and high in soluble fibre, which are very important for a heart healthy diet.
#4. Can mitigate the impact of diabetes
The high-fibre content of a vegetarian diet is an advantage when it comes to stabilising your blood sugar levels; it helps you feel sated for longer and keeps your digestive system functioning well as it slows down the absorption of sugar and digestion of carbohydrates.
So keep it wholesome with sufficient quantities of pulses, seeds and grains in your diet, complemented by a healthy, mobile lifestyle!
- “Fleshing Out” The Benefits of Adopting A Vegetarian Diet [NCBI]
- An Estimate of the Number of Vegetarians in the World [Research Gate]
- Vegetarian Diets and Weight Reduction: A Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials [NCBI]
- Vegetarian Dietary Patterns and the Risk of Colorectal Cancers [NCBI]
- Vegetarian Diet and Cholesterol and Triglycerides Levels [NCBI]
- Vegetarian Diets and Blood Pressure: A Meta-Analysis [NCBI]
- Vegetarian Diets and the Risk of Diabetes [NCBI]
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