Advantages and disadvantages of vegetarianism
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Whether for health, solidarity with animal life -understanding it as equally valuable as human life- or as part of the fight against global warming and environmental pollution, the percentage of people whose diet is based on vegetables and non-animal protein has been increasing rapidly in the 21st century.
Vegetarianism usually goes hand in hand with the conservation of the environment and the species that inhabit the planet, so it is not surprising that many of the people who follow this type of diet are also activists against animal abuse or pollution, which has been impacting the world around them.
More and more startups are focusing on this population and working on totally new products that cover the basic needs of people being totally vegan, such as cosmetics or vegetable protein from Heura foods or Beyond meat, presenting great investment options in a growing market.
If we want to lose weight we have to realise that we need to change our eating habits and we often do not manage to do this, because we see weight loss as a temporary, demanding and sacrificial process.
Impact of vegetarianism in the world
In the European Union, the United States and several Asian countries, there are laws on the breeding and slaughter of animals to ensure that, within the meat production chain, they live as dignified a life as possible and die without suffering.
However, many of these animals, such as cows and pigs, can sense when they are taken to the slaughterhouse and several of the substances they release in their body at those moments affect the health of our body when we eat their meat, being another of the reasons that add more followers to vegetarianism through the years. Let’s know below some of the advantages and disadvantages of vegetarianism:
Advantages of vegetarianism
- Improved health: people with a 100% plant-based diet and with a proper balance supervised by medical personnel have a diet rich in vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants, which can even increase the performance of athletes and improve their overall health.
- More natural and less processed food: processed food is one of those ‘time bombs’ that bring consequences to our health in the long term, given its lack of nutritional content. On the contrary, a plant-based diet is a constant source of nutrients.
- Positive environmental impact: modern livestock farming requires more and more deforestation and CO2 emissions, which is a vicious circle: by deforesting we take our main air decontaminating agents, the trees, out of the equation and they cannot convert this CO2 into oxygen.
- Life-friendly food chain: vegetarianism advocates respect for animal life, because unlike plant-based foods, the meat and dairy production chain brings suffering to the animals that are raised for that industry. With a plant-based diet, there is no conscience over a plate of food.
Disadvantages of vegetarianism
- Possibility of dietary imbalance: the transition from a diet rich in animal protein to a diet based 100% on plant-based foods must be done gradually, under the supervision of a health professional; otherwise, people can make mistakes such as not including vegetable proteins in their diet and basing it entirely on vegetables and fruits, for example, which can have serious consequences for their health.
- Long periods of adaptation: due to the drastic change of habits it represents in one of our basic needs as living beings -eating-, vegetarianism requires long periods of adaptation, which may seem frustrating in the short term, but it is the best way to achieve this transition to a healthier life.
- Changes in social dynamics: A vegetarian must understand that, until now, most people eat animal products, so the adaptation to a plant-based diet not only has to be done on an individual level, but also affects our social dynamics. It is good to let family and friends know of the change you intend to make and understand that there will not always be the best understanding or offer of food for vegetarian diets.
How does nutrition help our immune system?
The immune system is on charge of the protection of our body against the various agents it identifies as possible aggressors; whether they are viruses, bacteria, allergens, toxins, malignant cells, etc. Nutrition, as we will see, plays a very important role in this, and for that reason the term immunonutrition has been coined to refer to the science involved in studying the relationship between nutrition and immunity.