Tuesday, June 13, 2006

The advantages of eating a vegetarian diet

A lot of people lament the nutritional disadvantages
of a poorly planned vegetarian diet, but few stress the
health advantages of adopting a vegetarian or vegan diet.
There are three major nutritional
advantages of becoming a vegetarian or vegan.

(1) 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.

As well as nuts, vegetarians also consume more soy
milk (often to replace milk), which reduces "bad"
cholesterol and has been linked to good heart health.

(2) The second major advantage to eating a vegetarian diet 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 to flush out toxins from the body, further
contributing to better skin health.

(3) The third health advantage enjoyed by vegetarians 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.

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