Does a vegetarian diet provide a healthy substitute to meat-based food? This is a common question often encountered by someone who lives on a diet of grains, pulses and plant-based products. Does the plant based food source provide enough protein, vitamins, minerals etc. required for the human body?
A vegetarian diet does not include any part of the body of a dead or living animal. The scientists and researchers fiercely debate the pros and cons of vegetarian food versus meat-based food sources. Different ancient cultures and modern science have clearly come up with the health benefits of being a vegetarian.
Is Vegetarian food better for the human body?
To make it simple, the human body has to break down the food that we eat easily and digest it to make it part of our body. Scientific evidence suggest that plant-based food is less complex to break down compared to meat and can be easily absorbed into the body.
The digestion process for the plant-based food can take around 8 to 12 hours whereas the meat-based food can take around 18 to 24 hours if everything goes smoothly. The longer duration of food processing in the intestine can cause bacteria to build up in our gut. This excess bacteria can cause stomach problems and can eventually lead to different illnesses.
The roots of Vegetarianism are spread across different cultures and civilisations including ancient India and Greece. The influence of vegetarianism in India comes from the Vedic period. Ayurveda, the ancient science of life describes that health and wellness mainly depend on the balance between the mind, body, and spirit.
A healthy diet is significant to keep the body, mind and spirit at its optimum. Plant-based foods are less complex for the human body to breakdown and digest and the meat products are more complex and therefore cause a delay to digest and expel the waste out of the body.
How to make vegetarian choices interesting?
Creative vegetarian recipes is a fusion of contemporary and traditional dishes. To ensure a balanced diet, the recipes often includes a wide variety of grains, vegetables, and legumes, and to a lesser degree fruits, nuts, and seeds. A common misconception is that vegetarian cuisines are not adequate in supplementing protein, vitamins and minerals that are required for your daily intake.
Dangers of Packaged Food
The dangers of packaged food are well known whether it is vegetarian or not. Packaged food is often instantly cook-able, heated or good for straight consumption. Usually the processed food goes through machine and or chemical processing for mass production and for a longer shelf life.
Artificial or chemical substances and salt are often used for different reasons in stored food items.
Most of these ingredients are highly unhealthy for our body.
The following are a few tips to consider while you shop for packaged food:
- Does it contain artificial flavors or preservatives?
- Does it contain natural ingredients?
- How much trans fat or saturated fat does it have?
- Does it contain artificial sweeteners?
- It it low in sodium (salt)?
- Does it contain MSG (Monosodium glutamate). MSG is a taste-maker salt substitute largely used in Chinese Asian cuisines
- Is it high in added sugar?
NOTE: Understand the ingredients mentioned in the label and verify at what level it will become harmful to human body.