Adopting a vegetarian diet can be a fantastic entry to experience better health.
A vegetarian diet is associated with higher fiber consumption, folic acid, vitamins C and E, magnesium, unsaturated fats, and countless phytochemicals.
This often results in vegetarians having lower cholesterol, thinner, lower blood pressure, and reduced heart disease risk.
Let us explore some other benefits of adopting a vegetarian (or vegan) lifestyle.
Vegetarian diet: What are the benefits?
- It can improve 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.
Psoriasis is a skin disease that causes redness and irritation 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 essential benefit for treating 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 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 eating animal fat. It should not be surprising that when you eliminate it from your diet, you also eliminate its detrimental effects on your health.
After examining the long-term effects of a vegetarian diet, Korean researchers concluded that body fat and cholesterol levels were lower in vegetarians than omnivores.
- Lower risk of stroke and obesity
There are always exceptions, but 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. These two habits contribute enormously to obesity.
According to the Department of Pediatrics of the University Hospital of Ghent in Belgium, following a vegetarian diet is an excellent way to reduce stroke or obesity.
- Lower chance of developing kidney stones
The Langone Medical Center of the University of New York informs that eliminating the consumption of animal protein in favor of vegetables will result in a higher urinary pH. In contrast, 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.
An excellent 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 are a vegetarian or 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, the tadka, combining cumin seeds, black pepper, and fresh garlic quickly golden in ghee, brings this food to the top.
- Cauliflower cheese sauce
This cauliflower cheese sauce answers my 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 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 in situations like this. Otherwise, I will open a can in the pantry.
I like to use a green tomatillo sauce here and make guacamole to cover the tacos instead of cubed avocado. That is 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 does not share my extreme enthusiasm for it).
The best part of this meal is how easy it is to mix it, mainly because it requires frozen broccoli florets. With a dish as simple as this, I never need to order Thai food.
- Roasted cauliflower salad with chickpeas, feta, and herbs
When I was producing our bite-sized guide for Portland, Maine, I lobbied selfishly to get this recipe from one of my favorite restaurants, Central Provisions.
It is one of the best compound salads I have tasted: the warm and crispy cauliflower, chickpeas, vinaigrette, bright herbs, creamy feta, and crunchy apple.