In the civilised world, at the heart of many heated debates is this question of which is better: vegetarianism or non-vegetarianism? A statistic says that, more or less, 1000 people switch from a non-vegetarian diet to vegetarianism. There are several reasons for this increase; prime among which are to prevent animals from being killed, to lose weight, and in order to prevent certain associated conditions.
Those who like their may be tempted ask: what’s so great about vegetarianism? Or may even entertain suspicion on that regard. An explanation for them is that our body is built to adapt to a vegetarian diet. The human intestine is six times longer than that of the human body which is similar to that of herbivores. Our teeth, intestine, hands, and genitals are systemised to support a vegetarian diet.
Likewise, fruits and vegetables decay gradually, whereas meats tend to decay in a very short period of time. Consequentially, within minutes of entering our system, non-vegetarian foods start to generate a lot of waste products. We are unable to efficiently digest non-vegetarian foods, especially during constipation, non-vegetarian foods tend not to get digested easily and stay within our system. Acids which are produced in the intestines of animals help digest non-vegetarian foods easily. In human intestines, however, produce alkaline saliva which does not work well with meats increasing the time it takes to digest them.
Also, the foods we eat determine our characteristics. Vegetarians tend to be quiet and able, but as we keep consuming meet, our characteristics may shift to folly – as we may acquire the characteristics of carnivores. When we consume meat, we eat also the chemicals that the animal may have ingested, the pollutants in its body, and the pesticides that the butcher may have sprayed on it.
Miscarriages, diseases that affect the eyesight of new-borns, diseases associated with jaundice may be spread from the parasites in meats from Asian countries. The now prevalent Chikungunya disease is spread from chickens. Likewise, Mad Cow disease is spread from cattle.
The pesticides that are sprayed on fruits and vegetables are easily washed away when preparing them. This is why we are always advised to wash them before we eat them. But boric acid, which is used to prepare prawns and fish, stays within the flesh synthesizing antibodies and hormones. This does not happen in fruits and vegetables. There is a chance of contracting Trichinosis Infestation in parts of our stomach when consuming under-cooked pork meats. Likewise, the acids that form in pork and beef can be poisonous to our blood vessels. Vegetables tend not to have fats, even groundnuts, coconuts, etc. which have fats do not have cholesterol. Generally, vegetarian diet does not have too much fat.
Doctors often advice to eat vegetarian diet during pyrexia and stomach upsets.
Vegetarian diets can also be beneficial for the heart. Several studies have shown that switching to a vegetarian diet, reduces the chances of obesity. It can also reduce the chances of diabetes, blood pressure and certain types of cancers. Vegetarians should especially consume foods that contain protein which contain acids. Examples include milk, yogurt soya milk, lentils, ground nuts, butter, and legumes.
Meats have high iron content; there can be no doubt about that. But they also tend to be high in fat also. But dried beans, dried fruits, spinach also contain iron. Alongside, oranges, tomatoes and broccoli contain vitamin C as well as iron. Young ladies need iron especially during menstruation. This is because they need an increased circulation during this period which is facilitated by the intake of iron. This is also helped by tonics and medicines prescribed by physicians.
Cow’s milk can provide vitamin D; soya milk can also be consumed for the same. Vitamin D can be synthesized by the exposure to the morning sun – not the afternoon sun! Vegetarian diet contains more calcium than its non-vegetarian counterpart. Milk, yoghurt, soya, leaf vegetables, orange, tofu and legumes contain sizable amounts of calcium.
Legumes and nuts contain about 15-18 mg of zinc, which reduces the prevalence of fats in our body. Consuming milk products, tofu and nut varieties help reach the levels of zinc that your body requires. One should not consume sweets which contain high levels of fat after converting to a vegetarian diet. Steamed lentils are advisable. Fruits and vegetables should be consumed copiously along with reduced-fat milk products.
Even Americans and Europeans are continuing to switch to vegetarian diets. It is an added bonus for vegetarians to know that Albert Einstein, Isaac Newton, George Bernard Shaw, Leo Tolstoy are some world renowned vegetarians!