One of the reasons why you should try to eat meatless meals is that such meals are beneficial to your health. While eating meat is an effective way to eliminate hunger, it can also contribute to a number of health problems. Here are seven health benefits of eating meals that are strictly meatless.
1. Reduces Risk of Cancer
Numerous studies conducted over the years have revealed that the consumption of meatless meals can reduce the risk of cancer. Fruits and vegetables contain antioxidants that can suppress the detrimental activities of free radicals and boost the body’s immunity against cancer. According to a report released by the American Institute for Cancer Research and the World Cancer Research Fund, vegetables such as lettuce, broccoli, cabbage, bok choy, garlic and onions, as well as fruits, offer protection against mouth, throat, stomach, lung and prostate cancers. Certain meats, such as red meat and processed meat, contain substances that can increase the risk of colon cancer.
2. Prevents Cardiovascular Disease
Harvard University research has shown that eating meat can lead to increased risk of cardiovascular disease. In the study, men and women who replaced meat with polyunsaturated fat-rich foods, such as nuts, seeds and vegetable oils, in their diets became 20% less susceptible to heart diseases. It is known that vegetables and fruits such as lettuce, cabbage, spinach, broccoli, Swiss chard, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, kale, lemon, orange and grapefruit are beneficial to heart health.
3. Maintains Healthy Blood Pressure
Eating meatless meals is one of the best ways to prevent high blood pressure. In a study called Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, researchers discovered that a diet that is rich in vegetables, fruits and low-fat dairy food can lower systolic blood pressure and diastolic blood pressure by 11 mm Hg and 6 mm Hg respectively. For best results, the meatless meals you consume should be low in carbohydrates and high in protein and unsaturated fat.
4. Improves Vision
Consuming lots of fruits and vegetables can also be beneficial to your eyes. It is widely known that carrots are good for the eyes, because they contain high levels of vitamin A. Other vegetables and fruits that have the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin can lower the risk of cataracts, and these include spinach, kale, squash, corn, grapes and kiwi.
5. Controls Obesity
A meatless diet is a low-fat diet. As such, it can help you reduce weight. A research by the Imperial College of London has proven that lower consumption of meat is effective in controlling long-term weight gain.
6. Aids Digestive System
Another great benefit of eating meatless meals is that it can enhance your digestive system. Most fruits, vegetables and healthy grains contain high amounts of fiber and little fat, and they can help the body remove waste materials and process essential minerals.
7. Improves Skin
Fruits and vegetables also have a cleansing effect on the skin. When they are consumed with high amounts of water, they can improve skin texture and reduce acne.