We have repeatedly heard a lot of controversy about what is vegetarianism - harm or benefit?
Some argue that it is undoubtedly useful that vegetarianism is a healthy and balanced diet. Opponents, however, argue that this diet is unnatural and not completely normal, citing as arguments that a person is a predator. After all, people have long hunted, eaten meat of animals, and it was considered healthy and full of food.
But let's deal with everything in order. To begin with, find out what is vegetarianism?
The term itself is of Latin origin (from Latin vegetarius - vegetable). That is, vegetarianism is a food system that provides for the consumption of foods of plant origin and completely excludes from the diet the flesh of any animals. Vegetarianism also teaches that every life is priceless and every manifestation of it should be respected. Thus, in the concept of vegetarianism, much more than just following a diet of vegetables, fruits and cereals is laid. Following the principles of vegetarianism requires work on yourself, aimed at expanding the moral and philosophical points of view.
But we will not go into moral and philosophical research now, but we will try to consider this issue from a material point of view. Moreover, many of the modern vegetarians choose this lifestyle for themselves, not so much following the principles of humanity, as from the desire to benefit their health and paying tribute to fashion trends.
It should be noted that there are several types of vegetarianism:
- Veganism is the most severe kind of vegetarianism, a nutrition system that uses only plant foods, in some cases even honey is excluded from the diet;
- Lactovegetarianism - a kind of vegetarianism, in which it is permissible to eat milk and various dairy products;
- Lacto-vego-vegetarianism, in this system, in addition to dairy products, the use of poultry eggs is allowed.
Now let's consider what is the benefit and harm of vegetarianism, what can lead to the rejection of meat and how useful it is.
The benefit of vegetarianism is that by refusing meat, a person makes a great contribution to improving his health and as a consequence, the duration and quality of his life. Many experiments have confirmed the relationship between eating meat products and heart diseases.
Also I want to note that in meat products produced in modern enterprises, there is a large number of harmful additives: antibiotics, stress hormones and other growth enhancers. These and other substances can not have a beneficial effect on people's health.
The lack of cholesterol in vegetable products is another undoubted benefit of vegetarianism. In addition, eating oats and barley helps to eliminate such a harmful substance from the body.
Data from some studies suggest that people who practice a vegetarian lifestyle, the risk of cancer, as well as cardiovascular diseases are significantly lower (about 30%) than people who regularly eat foods of animal origin.
However, there is no clear explanation for this phenomenon at the moment. Many doctors tend to argue that, mainly, this is due to a healthier way of life for vegetarians - sports, refusal from alcohol, smoking, from harmful foods (eg, soda, smoked products, chips, fast foods, etc.). Proponents of vegetarianism consume more fresh vegetables and fruits containing many different vitamins and trace elements, as well as fiber, which explains the lower risks of diseases for other scientists.
What is the use of vegetarianism?
- In the diet contains a significant amount of plant fibers, which help remove from the intestinal tract of various toxins and harmful substances, give a timely sense of saturation.
- Vegetables and fruits contain a significant amount of potassium and magnesium. Alkaline equivalents predominate in them, which contribute to protecting the body from diseases.
- Fruits and vegetables are the main suppliers of vitamins (vitamins P and C, beta-carotene, folates) and anti-cancer terpenoids.
- In plant foods there is no cholesterol, and some of them have the ability to reduce its content in the blood.
- The body becomes less susceptible to diseases of the cardiovascular system, cancer, atherosclerosis.
But one should also take into account the harm of vegetarianism. For normal functioning, the body needs to obtain amino acids contained in meat. To make up for the lack of amino acids and iron, a vegetarian needs to consume large quantities of legumes, bread, nuts. In addition, for the normal absorption of the resulting iron, the body needs to receive vitamin C, which is contained in citrus fruits, berries, tomatoes, parsley.
It is also worth noting that some people are on the path of vegetarianism, not with the goal of a healthy diet and lifestyle, but for the sake of losing weight. And most adversely, this approach affects teenagers. Since it is at this age that it is extremely necessary for the body to receive enough iron, and its lack leads to the appearance of anemia. Diseases that cause increased drowsiness, fatigue, reduce immunity, which in turn makes the body more susceptible to various kinds of infections.
Particularly noteworthy is the danger and harm of strict vegetarianism:
- Insufficient presence in the body of a number of amino acids, which are especially necessary for the growth and full development of children.
- The absence of vitamin B12 in the food of plant origin, which directly participates in the process of hematopoiesis, lack of vitamin D.
- Due to the refusal of milk and dairy products, the body lacks vitamin B2.
- With a predominant grain diet - lack of vitamin C.
What kind of power system is worth choosing, you can decide only! But it is better to consult a specialist, as it may turn out that some products for your body are extremely necessary, and their exclusion from the diet can lead to unfavorable consequences.
All the best to you! And that you do not choose for yourself, the main thing is that it should be beneficial to your health.