Adopting a vegetarian diet can be a fantastic entry to experience better health.
A vegetarian diet is associated with a higher consumption of fiber, folic acid, vitamins C and E, magnesium, unsaturated fats and countless phytochemicals.
This often results in vegetarians having lower cholesterol, being thinner, having lower blood pressure and reducing the risk of heart disease.
Let’s explore some of the other benefits of adopting a vegetarian (or vegan) lifestyle.
Vegetarian diet: What are the benefits?
It can improve the mood
Arachidonic acid is a substance that usually comes from animal food sources and, not surprisingly, vegetarian diets are not rich in arachidonic acid.
This can be beneficial, since research has shown a link between arachidonic acid and mood disturbances.
Researchers from the Benedictine University conducted a study to investigate the impact of restricting animal products and mood and confirmed that improvements in mood occur when the consumption of meat, fish and poultry is restricted.
In addition, the Institute of Medical Research and Occupational Health of Croatia conducted mental health surveys among vegetarians and found that they had lower levels of neuroticism.
It can improve the symptoms of psoriasis
The psoriasis is a skin disease that causes redness and irritation of the skin and can be debilitating for sufferers. However, according to research published by the Federal University of Pernambuco in Brazil, a vegetarian diet can positively improve symptoms.
It can reduce the incidence of diabetes
According to the School of Public Health of the University of Loma Linda, vegetarian diets are associated with a significant reduction in the incidence of diabetes.
The information published by the George Washington University School of Medicine has also confirmed that vegetarian diets offer an important benefit for the treatment of diabetes and can even reduce the probability of development by half.
Reduces the risk of cataract development
Oddly enough, the research published by the Nuffield Clinical Medicine Department at the University of Oxford has shown a strong relationship between the risk of developing cataracts and diet, with an increased risk of consuming meat and the lower risk groups are vegetarians and vegans.
Reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease
According to the Skin Cancer Research Clinic of the JCU University, there is a relationship between a vegetarian diet and a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease.
Why? Most vegetarian diets are full of foods rich in antioxidants. Antioxidants are molecules that can reduce the damage caused by oxidative stress, including atherosclerosis .
Vegetarians usually have low cholesterol
There is no health benefit, at all, to eat animal fat. It should not be surprising that when you eliminate it from your diet, you also eliminate the detrimental effects it has on your health life.
After examining the long-term effects of following a vegetarian diet, Korean researchers concluded very comfortably that body fat and cholesterol levels were lower in vegetarians than in omnivores.
Lower risk of stroke and obesity
There are always exceptions, but in general, vegetarians and vegans tend to be much more deliberate in their food choices and much less likely to overeat or choose foods based on emotions, two habits that contribute enormously to obesity .
According to the Department of Pediatrics of the University Hospital of Ghent in Belgium, following a vegetarian diet is a good way to reduce the chances of having a stroke or obesity.
Lower chance of developing kidney stones
The Langone Medical Center of the University of New York informs that the elimination of the consumption of animal protein in favor of vegetables will result in a higher urinary pH; while the low pH of the urine has been associated with the formation of stones.
It can satisfy all your nutritional requirements
If you think vegetarians and vegans are nutritionally deficient or always hungry, think again!
The official position of The American Dietetic Association is that a complete and well-designed vegetarian or vegan diet can be nutritionally healthy and appropriate for all ages and stages of life, including infants, the elderly and even athletes.
Good health, reducing the incidence of diseases and better management of existing health problems are associated with following a vegetarian diet.
A good vegetarian recipe, in my opinion, has some form of plant-based protein, a serving of vegetables, some whole grains and lots of fresh herbs and fun sauces to keep things interesting.
Recipes and Vegetarian Dishes
Here are five vegetarian recipes that fit my criteria and have a recurring place in my meal plan.
Whether you’re a vegetarian or just want to incorporate more vegetable-based foods into your routine, you can not go wrong with any of these.
How to make the best Dal lentil at home
Lentils are a vegetarian dream come true because they do not require soaking, they cook quickly and provide a protein hit to any meal.
This dal is easily combined with the ingredients of the pantry (split red lentils, spices, canned cubed tomatoes) and some fresh touches of ginger and coriander.
However, what really brings this food to the top is the tadka, which is a combination of cumin seeds, black pepper and fresh garlic quickly golden in ghee.
Cauliflower cheese sauce
This cauliflower cheese sauce is my answer to the cravings for mac and cheese. When using a whole head of cauliflower cut into florets and boiled with aromatics before being bombarded in the food processor with olive oil. Dijon mustard and cheese.
I get an extra portion of vegetables and I avoid the need to add milk or cream because it gives the sauce such a delicious and creamy consistency.
I usually mix this with chickpea pasta and steamed broccoli, put it in a saucepan, cover it with a little more cheese and bake until it browns and bubbles.
10-minute black bean tacos
This is my food to go on busy weekdays.
The recipe really lives up to the title: in 10 minutes I can have plenty of black bean tacos on the table!
If I have my life together, I will cook a batch of dry black beans and have them handy to use in situations like this, otherwise, I will open a can of the pantry.
I like to use a green tomatillo sauce here and make guacamole to cover the tacos instead of cubed avocado. That’s the beauty of the tacos, you can make them yours!
Tofu and broccoli green curry
At the risk of sounding like a vegetarian stereotype, I love tofu and would probably eat it at every meal if I could. (Unfortunately, my husband likes tofu, but he does not share my extreme enthusiasm for it).
The best part of this meal is how easy it is to mix it, especially because it requires frozen broccoli florets. With a dish as simple as this, I never feel the need to order Thai food.
Roasted cauliflower salad with chickpeas, feta and herbs
I lobbied selfishly to get this recipe from one of my favorite restaurants, Central Provisions, when I was producing our bite-sized guide for Portland, Maine.
It is one of the best compound salads I have tasted: the warm and crispy cauliflower and the chickpeas, the vinaigrette and the bright herbs, the creamy feta and the crunchy apple.
Is the perfection! If I feel that I need a little extra green energy, I will also throw in some rocket for a good measure.