Health Tips: Three Benefits of Being Vegetarian
by Karen Rollins Aug 26, 2019
Millions of people all around the world are vegetarians and follow a diet which includes fruit and vegetables, sometimes fish, but no meat.
If you’re also thinking of leaving meat behind and adopting a plant-based diet you may be wondering about some of the benefits.
Here are three advantages to becoming a vegetarian.
A healthier digestive system
Most people know about dietary advice to eat at least five fruits and vegetables every day.
We’re told this because our gut is designed to process this type of food quicker and easier and is better able to extract all the nutrients and minerals it needs from a diet that consists primarily of vegetables and fruits, pulses, nuts and seeds, and whole grains.
Plant foods are also rich in certain types of good bacteria which boost the digestive system, reduce inflammation, and support the immune system.
In addition, when following a plant-based diet you’ll also probably be emptying your bowels more often, which means you’re less likely to experience stomach issues, and have a healthier gut.
Cuts the risk of heart disease and cancer
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) “approximately 1.7 million (2.8%) deaths worldwide are attributable to low fruit and vegetable consumption”.
By changing your lifestyle and incorporating more fruit and vegetables into your diet, as well as regular exercise, your risk of dying from heart disease or cancer can be significantly reduced.
The WHO adds: “Insufficient intake of fruit and vegetables is estimated to cause around 14% of gastrointestinal cancer deaths, about 11% of ischaemic heart disease deaths and about 9% of stroke deaths globally.
“A recently published WHO/FAO report recommends a minimum of 400g of fruit and vegetables per day (excluding potatoes and other starchy tubers) for the prevention of chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes and obesity.”
Helps the environment
Intensive farming methods are said to be harmful to the planet because of the methane produced by over three billion animals who are being reared just to become food.
Recent scientific research has suggested that if there was widespread adoption of a vegetarian diet around the world, greenhouse gas emissions would be cut by 63%, because livestock farming is a major contributor to the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
So, it seems becoming a vegetarian could not only have benefits for humans but benefits for the planet as well.