A combination of eating too much red meat over the last week and chatting with a vegetarian friend has inspired me to write on the virtues of vegetarianism and infact have a vegetarian week.
But before all you meat eaters stop reading I should point out that I'm not recommending everyone gives up fish and meat forever! Whilst some people thrive on a veggie diet I find most people feel best in the long run on a diet that includes fish, seafood and lean meats. However I think having a vegetarian week every now and then can be very beneficial for the following reasons:
- It increases the amount of fruit and veg in your diet: vegetarian diets are naturally higher and fruit and veg so higher in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. If you don't eat enough fruit and veg then going veggie for a whole can help you get into the habit.
- It reduces your intake of saturated fats from meat. Unless of course you start eating a lot of cheese but I'd recommend only having low fat dairy products.
- it increases your intake of fibre. Fruit, veg, pulses and wholegrains are all high in fibre which can help digestion, detoxify the body and regulate hormones.
- It gives your digestive system a rest. Meat is quite hard to digest and can clog up your digestive tract so having a meat free week can give your digestive system some r+r.
- It introduces new foods into your diet. Switching to a veggie diet should encourage you to try some different foods which may then become healthy additions to your diet in the long run. Maybe try tofu or soya products, or eating more pulses and grains.
There are some pitfalls from eating a vegetarian diet and I'll cover these and how to be a healthy vegetarian in my next blog, but in the meantime have a think about going veggie, it could do you some good!