While many people lament the nutritional disadvantages of a poorly planned vegetarian diet, few stress the health advantages of adopting a vegetarian or vegan diet. In this article, I will cover the major three nutritional advantages of becoming a vegetarian.
The first major advantage of a vegetarian diet is increased heart health. Vegetarians, on average, consume more nuts (often as a supplemental form of protein). Nuts contain "good" fats, such as omega-3 and omega-6. This promotes good heart health by reducing "bad" cholesterol and unclogging arteries. In addition to nuts, vegetarians also consume more soy milk (often to replace milk), which reduces "bad" cholesterol and has been linked to good heart health.
The second major advantage vegetarians enjoy is increased skin health. In addition to consuming larger quantities of nuts (which contain healthful oils), vegetarians tend to consume more fruit and vegetables, which are rich in essential vitamins, including A and E, which are linked to good skin health. Fruits and vegetables also contain high amounts of fiber, which helps flush toxins out of the body, further contributing to better skin health.
The last health advantage vegetarians enjoy is an increased natural consumption of antioxidants. Antioxidants are foods that help prevent cancer by destroying free radicals. Vitamin C and Vitamin E, two strong antioxidants, are commonly found in vegetarian meals. Vitamin C can be found in berries, tomatoes, citrus fruit, kale, kiwis, asparagus and peppers. Vitamin E can be found in wheat germ, seed oils, walnuts, almonds, and brown rice--all foods that are commonly a part of a well-balanced vegetarian diet. So what does this all mean for you as a prospective vegetarian?
It means the popular mythology about vegetarian diets is false. Not only can a vegetarian diet be nutritionally sufficient, but it can also affect better skin health, prevent cancer, and increase your heart health.