Which one is a complete diet for you? An animal based diet or a plant based diet. Well, you can have different views on either diet due to their benefits and drawbacks but vegetarian or plant based diet always has an upper hand in the debate for some good reasons which are
- It is very flexible dietary approach which includes animal derived product such as eggs, milk, dairy products, honey etc. to reap their nutritional benefits without harming any animal in the process.
- It offers dietary fiber and wide range of nutrients while animal based food has limited range of nutrients.
- It offers unsaturated and Trans fats which are counted among good fat and it derives the saturated fats from animal derived food items.
- It is very light on your digestive system, keeps you full for longer hours (due to high fiber content) and thus prevent over eating, easy to absorb and protect you from many meat associated diseases.
Let’s elaborate the reasons of why vegetarian diet is good for you and may be you also give it a try next time after reading this article.
Veg diet is a complete diet
Unless you are a vegan, you can enjoy the benefits of some animal products being a vegetarian and gain nutrients from animal and non – animal food. You must have heard or read about vegan diet which lacks some important nutrients because they strictly avoid animal derived product. Vegan diet is the restricted form of vegetarianism but other forms are very lenient and include milk, milk products, fish, eggs etc. let’s see how this can make your vegetarian diet a complete diet.
Vitamin A – this vitamin is essential for your eyesight beside many other important body functions. Animal sources like liver, milk and egg yolk contains high amount of natural form of Vitamin A unlike carotene which is found in carrot which need to be metabolized to give vitamin A. although, you cannot eat liver but you can definitely have milk and egg yolk in vegetarian diet which meets the requirement of this vitamin.
Vitamin B12 – it plays a crucial role in brain function and blood formation but known plant based food except (Japanese fermented black tea (Batabata – cha) and purple laver seaweed (Susabi-nori)) lacks this vitamin but it is found in high amount in fish, shellfish, poultry, eggs, milk, and dairy products. Some of these sources are included in lacto vegetarian, ovo vegetarian and lacto – ovo vegetarian diets which prevent the deficiency of vitamin B12 in your diet.
Vitamin D – this vitamin has important role in calcium homeostasis and metabolism which makes it a crucial nutrient. The plant sources like mushrooms consists of different variant of this vitamin i.e. Vitamin D2 which is poorly absorbed in our body while pastured egg yolks, cod liver oil and dairy products contains vitamin D3 which is easy to absorb. You can include egg and dairy products in your vegetarian diet.
Vitamin K2 – it is important for calcium transportation and in its absence you will have increased risk of plaque. This is found naturally in fermented food like cheese and curd, eggs, meat and animal organs like liver. Dairy products can be easily included in vegetarian diet.
There are other minor nutrients like cholesterol, saturated fats, creatine, carnosine and DHA which are required for number of biological functions but can be found in animal derived products.
Dietary fiber benefits
Vegetarian diet is rich in soluble and insoluble fiber which plays an important role during weight loss program. It is commonly recommended by the professionals because it makes the bulk of your food and gives you a sense of fullness which makes you eat less. Bowel movement is promoted and stabilized by this roughage because it add bulk to your stool and allows your intestine to absorb excess water from it. It also provide nourishment to good bacteria residing in your gut which helps in many functions such as vitamin and enzyme production, controlling cholesterol level, boost your immune system and prevent onset of bowel cancer.
Prevent and control type 2 diabetes
Vegetarian diet is usually low in fat and packed with whole food items such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes which provide you energy without disturbing your blood sugar level and thus it prevents type 2 diabetes. Patients with this disease are also recommended vegetarian diet as it helps in controlling the sugar level. A 22 week study has shown that vegetarian diet has stronger effect than the standard diabetic medication because this diet is able to increase insulin sensitivity while reducing levels of hemoglobin Alc levels up to 1.2 percentage points.
Veg diet avoids toxins
This is a general perception that animal meat is more nutritious because it is loaded with proteins and fats but have you ever give a thought that how the meat survives days of transportation to reach your grocery store? It is possible through preservation process which requires many chemicals and some of these chemicals are found to very harmful for the body and some can even cause cancer. The toxic chemical content is also high in processed meat and all these contaminants are able to cause many health disorders and diseases such as mad cow disease, Parasite infection, salmonella infection and stress hormones increase in body.
Keep cancer at bay
Vegetarian platter is generally more colorful than the non vegetarian diet means it has range of fruits and vegetables which has several cancer fighting properties. You can avoid one third of all types of cancer just by living a healthy lifestyle and consuming a healthy diet. The veggies, fruits, herbs and spices have many medicinal properties which significantly reduces the chances of cancer. For example, green tea is rich in antioxidant and it also has cancer fighting properties.
These reasons are just the tip of iceberg and to know other benefits, you have to try vegetarian diet. You will certainly feel the difference in your energy level and endurance. You will experience a healthy and happy life with a veg diet.