Eating a vegetarian diet has health benefits for both you and our planet. A healthy vegetarian diet tends to focus more on vegetables rich in essential vitamins and minerals and this diet contains generally less fat. Chances are you’ll be lighter and your wallet will be heavier. You’re helping our planet, too, by reducing the need for animal agriculture, which more green fields and more trees. The benefits of a vegetarian diet are plentiful!
Achieve balance: Vegetarians often find themselves eating better than they used to. Now that meat can no longer be the star of the show (as it often is in a North American diet), we’re forced to think of the foods we should be eating”food like vegetables, beans, lentils, and eggs (unless you go all the way to veganism). It becomes impossible to live off chicken for lunch and pork for dinner; life-saving broccoli, spinach and Brussels sprouts hopefully take centre stage. Carnivores can eat just as well as vegetarians do, but one of the benefits of vegetarianism is that you’re more likely to adopt this balanced diet.
Save money: Now that you’re not eating meat, your stir-fry costs two dollars less and restaurants can no longer charge you extra for adding chicken or shrimp to your various meals. Grocery shopping mainly involves inexpensive fruits, vegetables, dried beans and whole grain breads, pasta and rice.
Improve health: This may be hard to believe, considering vegetarians are often met by the creased foreheads of concerned relatives asking after their health. Let your great grandmother know the good news: you’re reducing your risk of certain illnesses by upping your vegetable and whole grain intake. Some vegetarian diets reduce the risk of cancer, strengthen the immune system and give the body a natural detox thanks to all that fibre (and cutting out meat and dairy is usually the first step to a natural detox).
Go lean: We’re not talking lean meats. Vegetarians, on average, find themselves slimmer than before (a healthy vegetarian, that is) and healthier too (is your skin glowing?).
Feel good: All the feel-good phytonutrients from those vegetables combined with the knowledge that your meal is based on plants and a reduced carbon footprint can put a big smile on your face. You’ll also help reduce overfishing, pollution from animal agriculture and hopefully reduce animal suffering.
A vegetable wrap with our favourite sauce is sounding pretty good right now.