More and more people are abandoning eating meat either as a statement against animal cruelty or just as a health option. A sudden stop of meat consumption without considering the proper replacements may have drastic positive and negative changes on the body of a vegetarian or a vegan. Read on to get an idea on what would occur when you depend mostly or solely on flora for nutrition.
6. Improvement of Cardiovascular Health
A vegetarian diet has proven to be anti-inflammatory compared to a carnivore diet which can increase inflammation levels. Inflammation contributes to increasing the risk of dying from ischemic heart disease where the coronary arteries suffer from narrowing or complete closing; thus depriving the heart from oxygen and essential nutrients. Studies that compared vegetarians and non-vegetarians with similar lifestyles showed that vegetarians are 24% less likely to die from ischemic heart disease.
5. Loss of Taste
Red meat and oysters are loaded with zinc which is fundamental for maintaining your senses of taste and hearing, and for helping your immune system. A Japanese study showed that taste impairment is mainly caused by zinc deficiency. Zinc is also available in legumes, beans, whole grains, nuts and seeds but these also contain phytic acid which can interrupt the absorption of the mineral. In order to compensate for the scarce amounts of zinc in a vegetarian diet, vegetarians must consume 50% more zinc than meat eaters do.
4. Weight Loss
Being under a serious vegetarian diet can make you drop pounds. The reason for weight loss is probably because you stop consuming meat fats. A study showed that although vegetarians didn’t aim for losing weight with their diet, most of them did. However, a vegetarian diet is not free from carbohydrates and fats so if you do not take care you may put on extra weight.
3. Hard Muscle Recovery
Maintaining muscle mass needs the availability of protein especially if you are exercising to build muscles. You can replace animal protein with plant protein, but the second needs more time to be available to repair your muscles. The best way to get protein post-workout if you were a vegan or vegetarian is to drink it in liquid form. There are several smoothie recipes that can provide the necessary post-workout nutrients. You will need to mix fresh fruits, for restoring energy providing glycogen, with almond milk, soy milk, coconut milk, rice milk or hemp milk. Here is an awesome smoothie recipe: a banana, a cup of frozen blueberries and strawberries, 3/4 cup nonfat Greek yogurt, a tablespoon of peanut butter, a cup of spinach, a tablespoon of hemp seeds and a cup of any of the aforementioned milks. The color of this smoothie might not be encouraging but it tastes great and is surely nutritious.
2. Supplement Need
When food items are chosen wisely, a vegetarian can get the same amount of calcium, vitamin B12 and iron that a non-vegetarian does. However, if it is difficult to eat or drink what contains these important minerals, you should consult a doctor to recommend the best supplements for you. Don’t forget that you may also need to include zinc along with the supplements.
1. Gain of Healthy Bacteria and Temporary Bloating
Plant protein can be digested with the available enzymes in our guts, but the carbohydrates that come along with these proteins are probably indigestible. The availability of such carbohydrates increases the numbers of healthy bacteria in the intestinal tract. The increase of bacteria population will make you feel a little bloated and gassy but this feeling will fade as your body get used to the new diet.