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Health Benefits Of Eating Vegetables

Updated on September 19, 2015

Health benefits of eating vegetables

You are what you eat. There are plenty of health benefits of eating vegetables. A lot of people associate vegetarianism with religion, especially Asians. There is an element of truth in this belief, but many become vegetarians not for religious reason. In fact the better reason is for the health benefits of eating vegetables. As for me, honestly the first reason is to reduce killing of animals for food. I hate seeing animals being killed. If I have to personally kill animals to eat, I will definitely not do so. Kind of selfish attitude, isn’t it?

Many people consider killing per se as very unwholesome act. I feel that killing different types of life-forms varies in the unwholesomeness element. Say for a very clear-cut example, there is definitely a difference in degree when one kills a mosquito than when one kills a cow. I shall try to keep more to eating fish than red meats. The best is to eat more vegetables or become a vegetarian. Being a vegetarian is a very wholesome decision and also a very healthy one. Everyone will agree that eating lots of vegetables will make us very healthy.

Difference between vegetarians and vegans

When we talk about vegetarianism, the inevitable question surfaces. What is the difference between vegetarians and vegans?

“Vegetarians” maintain a strictly vegetarian diet. Some may eat eggs and milk by-products. “Vegans” adhere to a strict lifestyle of not eating meat and animal-based products; and also not using any product that exploits animals. We may say a vegan is a vegetarian. But a vegetarian is not a vegan. If a vegetarian is a vegan, he would refer himself as a vegan.

The topic here is not about vegetarian or vegan, but about the health benefits of eating vegetables.

Benefits of eating vegetables

Enjoy a healthier life and live a longer life.

Research done by Loma Linda University of China, confirmed that vegetarians would live 7 years longer than those eating meat. And vegans even longer; 15 years longer than meat eaters. These findings were backed by the China Health Project, the largest population studies on diet and health. It was found that those eating less meat and animal by-products could reduce the risks of cancer, heart attack and other chronic degenerative diseases.

The number one killer in the United States is cardiovascular disease. Meat and dairy products contain high levels of saturated fat and cholesterol. The cholesterol levels of vegetarians are 14 percent lower than those of meat eaters. Vegetables have high fibre content while meats have no fibre. Eating more vegetables will reduce the risks of constipation, haemorrhoids and spastic colon. Vegetables are easier and faster to digest, putting less stress on the digestive system.

Studies done at the German Cancer Research Center in Heidelberg found that vegetarians had a stronger immune system which could effectively kill off tumour cells. Their studies also confirmed that plant-based diet reduced the risks of prostate, colon and skin cancers.

Vegetarians have less risk of osteoporosis. Animal proteins and milk make the blood acidic. In order to balance the pH value, the body depletes calcium from the bones. Superior sources of calcium can be found in dark green leafy vegetables such as broccoli and legumes. The average bone loss for a vegetarian woman at age 65 is 18%, while it is doubled for meat-eating ladies.

As a person gets older, ache and pain start to appear, especially around the back and shoulders. Apparently, the back pain started from the arteries which were chocked by cholesterol. Eating more vegetables will reduce the risk of early back pain. Vegetables, grains and legumes contain phytoestrogens which help maintain hormone balance. Female vegetarians going through menopause, will experience less problems with insomnia, hot flashes, fatigue, mood swings, weight gain and sex drive.

It is estimated that 95% of pesticide residue in our food comes from meat, fish and dairy products. Carcinogens and heavy metals like mercury, arsenic, lead, and cadmium present in fish cannot be removed by cooking. Meat and dairy products are often contaminated with bacteria, parasites, steroids and hormones.

You will look more radiant and elegant

Plant-based diet helps to detoxify the body. That’s why when a person undergoes detoxification program, the first step is to avoid meats and dairy products, and replace them with fruits and vegetables and fresh juices. Vegetarians are generally slimmer than meat-eaters because vegetable proteins have lower fat and calories. They have better skin texture giving them a more radiant appearance.

Eating more vegetables saves more money

Eating more vegetables instead of meats will eventually save you more money. Vegetables are cheaper than meats. With a healthy vegetable diet, you will be healthier, and this will also save you money from having to spend on the expensive medical treatments.

Why Eat Vegetables?

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    • Lipnancy profile image

      Nancy Yager 4 years ago from Hamburg, New York

      Thanks for all the useful information. The less red meat that I eat the better that I feel.

    • kulewriter profile image

      Ronald Joseph Kule 4 years ago from Florida

      Thanks, Good Guy. I shared your hub on facebook.

    • Good Guy profile image

      Justin Choo 4 years ago from Malaysia

      Hi kulewriter, Anna Sternfeldt and carol7777 ,

      Nice to hear positive and encouraging comments. We shall do our little part by eating more vegetables and less meats. Together we shall make a positive contribution to see a better world.

    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 4 years ago from Arizona

      though we are not vegans or vegetarians our diet is based around produce. We eat a lot..however not ready to give up chicken, fish and occasionally meat. You did a great job touting all the benefits of eating lots of veggies and fruit. Voting Up and pinning.

    • Anna Sternfeldt profile image

      Anna Sternfeldt 4 years ago from Svenljunga, Sweden

      This is a very important subject. Myself, I have been a vegetarian during many years of the reason that you have as well, I don't want to contribute to cruel treatment of animals. The benefit I get from this is a good health. But my second reason (the health is my third reason) is that to grow vegetables require much less land than rasing animals for food and in this world with scarce resources and more and more people being born I think this is a very important issue. And when using more land for biofuel and other stuff we will have less and less land available. Together with climate change I think changing to eat more vegetables have to be a must further on, both because of the land problem but also that a lot of animals are contributing to green house gases in different ways. So good that you raise this matter of benefits of eating more vegetables.

    • kulewriter profile image

      Ronald Joseph Kule 4 years ago from Florida

      Good information for people. Having recently researched his life, I know that the late Chef Tell, a famous TV celebrity chef, dramatically lost over 100 pounds and halved his astronomical cholesterol levels by shifting his diet toward a vegetarian approach. The more he did it, the better he felt. He was able to exercise more, too. Before that, he was a walking time bomb, according to his physician.