With an abundance of gyms, fitness classes, and diets out there, your biggest challenge is simply to choose.
While not high up on many people’s lists, going vegetarian is actually one of the easiest and most beneficial lifestyle changes you can make. In a country where meat dishes abound, it may be difficult to even imagine going on a plant-based diet. But trust me when I say this: it’s not impossible!
Opting to go vegetarian has been proven to have a lot of advantages. Vegetarianism has been linked to many health benefits, including improvement in mood, reduced incidences of diabetes, reduced risk of cataract development and cardiovascular diseases, and lower levels of cholesterol. On top of this, vegetarians typically have less risk of stroke or obesity and less chances of developing kidney stones.
If you’re still iffy about making the lifelong commitment, why not try it out for a week first? Several studies have shown that eliminating meat from your diet even for just seven days can give your body significant (and immediate) benefits. Below, we’ve listed 7 benefits of going vegetarian to help you make the switch!
1. Better digestion
One thing you might notice from the get-go is a feeling of lightness. Since plants are basically made up of fiber, water, healthy fats, and plant-based proteins, fruits and veggies are easier to digest and better at sweeping those toxins out. And because they pass through your system quickly, you’ll get an instant boost in metabolism!
2. Clearer skin
Sensitive or acne-prone skin often flares up when you consume too much unhealthy food. Switching to nutrient-dense plant foods that are rich in a wide range of vitamins and minerals such as vitamin A, vitamin C, antioxidants, water, chlorophyll, and vitamin E, will keep your skin calm and free of inflammation. A vegetarian diet even helps replenish the nutrients you need in your skin to achieve that healthy, dewy glow.
3. Better blood sugar
Sugar intake is tricky business. Too little can cause weakness, dizzy spells, and lightheadedness. Too much can cause sugar highs that lead to inevitable crashes. Removing junk food from the equation and adding healthier, plant-based snacks like kamote crisps can keep your blood sugar more stable. Plants are rich in magnesium and chromium, both of which help lower blood sugar levels. They're also rich in vitamins B and C, which help combat stress that can trigger binge eating.
4. More energy
Meat can be hard to digest, using up so much energy that we often feel sleepy and sluggish after a heavy meal. A plant-based diet helps boost those lost energy levels, thanks also in part to the manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, folate, and copper in the ingredients. You might even find yourself limiting your coffee intake since you won’t need an extra mid-afternoon kick anymore!
5. Less joint pain
Old age may feel far off, but you’re never too young to think about your joints! To keep them strong and healthy, it’s recommended that you pad your diet with chia and flax seeds, which are naturally rich in omega-3 fats. Dark, leafy greens rich in chlorophyll like kangkong and malunggay can also relieve inflammation.
6. Better sleep
If you find yourself tossing and turning every night and waking up feeling tired, it may be due to an unbalanced diet. Carbohydrates, melatonin, serotonin, tryptophan, potassium, and magnesium (all of which are abundant in plant-based foods!) have been linked to helping relax both your mind and your body, ensuring deeper sleep each night. Green leafy vegetables such as kale and spinach, on the other hand, are rich in calcium, which aids the brain in producing more melatonin, which helps put our bodies to sleep.
7. Brighter disposition
With a cleaner diet comes a clearer mind. And more than laser-sharp focus, knowing that no little piggies were harmed can give some a brighter and happier outlook on life! Its environmentally conscious and sustainable nature helps give you peace of mind, too.
Bonus: Reduced carbon footprint
For those trying to live a greener life in general, reducing your meat intake is proven to be one of the biggest ways you can help the environment. Studies show that animal farming actually does more damage to the planet than cars. Farms take up a lot of the land on our planet and creates 60% of the greenhouse gas emissions that goes up into our ozone layer. Even just a week of reduced meat intake can create quite a significance in helping the planet.
A lot of people worry that they won’t be getting all the essential nutrients they need while on a plant-based diet, not knowing that a lot of plant-based foods are naturally rich in calcium, iron, and protein. Beans, whole grains, nuts, and leafy greens can all provide our bodies with sufficient levels of protein without the “protein overdose” that meat eaters often face.
Going vegetarian is now even easier thanks to Lunchbox Diet's Vegetarian Meal Plans. They offer two options, a 5-day 1400- to 1600-Calorie Vegetarian Meal Plan and a 5-day 1800- to 2000-Calorie Vegetarian Meal Plan that consists of a variety of lacto-ovo vegetarian dishes (which may include eggs, butter, cheese, milk, whole grains, whole wheat, and almond flour). Each meal plan consists of 3 meals and 1 snack per day. Best of all, their extensive menu goes 90 days without ever repeating a combination!
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