If diversity is the zest of life, then most definitely the main course of life is food. Food does a lot more in the life of an individual than simply providing sustenance. Food will excite all your senses, food will keep you fit and healthy, it is no wonder food is a religion for many people today. It might take you forever to master all the potential that the preparation and intake of food has to offer to human beings. While it is human nature to experiment, an alternative approach to the day-to-day food that we are used to that many people have feared experimenting on is a diet made up of only vegetarian foods… yes a vegetarian diet.
One of the many widespread misconceptions when it comes to a vegetarian diet is that you must eat meat and its by-products in order to get all the vital vitamins and minerals that your body needs. Of course this is just a misconception in the sense that vitamins in food exist as organic substances, which are needed in small quantities in the diet. What this therefore means is that how you store, prepare, and process your food can have a significant impact on the vitamin composition.
Vitamins are classed into two – fat soluble and water soluble groups of vitamins. Vitamins B and C are made of water-soluble vitamins while their fat-soluble counterparts include vitamins K, A, D, and E. It is to be mentioned that water-soluble group of vitamins are more at risk of being lost in the process of preparing and cooking food, and by the same token, they are the hardest to retain in the body. You can get your share of essential vitamins from a vegetarian diet if you take a well-balanced diet.
On the flip side of the coin, a healthy body is made up of various types of minerals, the major ones being calcium responsible for healthy bones and teeth, magnesium, chlorine, potassium, phosphorus, Sulphur and sodium. Alternative food choices of meat that are recommended for vegetarians include sesame seeds, almonds, rice milks, fortified soya milks, leafy green vegetables, hemp milk, and dried fruits are all very potent in minerals, more so calcium. In the case of iron, despite the fact that meat is known to be a very rich source of iron, you can still get it from a vegetarian diet made up of such things as molasses, leafy green vegetables, whole meal bread, dried fruits and pumpkin seeds to mention but a few. It might actually surprise you to know that according to studies, iron derived from plants is more superior to that derived from meat.
Dieticians and health experts today recommend an intake of foods rich in fiber and which are very low in fat. It is therefore correct to say that any balanced diet made up of a variety of foods can be able to meet all nutritional and dietary recommendations that will guarantee a healthy lifestyle.
If the latest studies are anything to go by, you are in for a rude shock because the studies suggest that the foods that characterize a vegetarian diet are significantly less likely to cause illnesses like high blood pressure, cancer, diabetes, obesity, and heart diseases to mention but a few. Therefore, the health benefits that a vegetarian diet has makes it very attractive for all to eat, whether a vegan or otherwise.
Apart from a vegetarian diet being very healthy and nutritious, contrary to popular belief, eating and following a vegetarian diet is one of the easiest things to do. The best thing is that whether you are seeking to prepare your own vegetarian meal at home or buy at a restaurant, you can rest assured the food have been extensively made available. Ingredients like seeds, grains, and veggies are locally available and are very affordable.
What is more, a healthy and sumptuous vegetarian meal can be ready in less than 30 minutes, unlike the hours it will take you to prepare a complex fat-laden and calorie-laden meal. As if that is not enough, if you are in a hurry, pre-cooked vegetarian meals are also readily available, so you really have no excuse not to follow a vegetarian diet, unless you really don’t want to.
The other thing you should know about vegetarianism is that it is not slavery as many people have been led to believe. There is another widespread misconception that a vegetarian life is characterized by the consumption of leaves and weeds. This perception is derived from the fact that you are removing meat from your diet and leaving only the side dish made of vegetables. However, in most vegetarian diet recipes, the main ‘dish’ in this case is plants and not meat. Thousands of fruits, nuts, seeds, grains, and vegetables do exist in the world today and even if you have all the time in the world and have the mind of a genius when it comes to creativity, it will be very hard to exhaust all the likely vegetarian meals from these ingredients.