While it is common to hear that a plant-based can be harmful for athletes and cause deficiencies in general, the truth is rather the opposite. In fact, a vegetarian or vegan diet has many health benefits, provided it is well balanced of course, against many life-threatening diseases.
Consuming certain meats, however, increases the risk for certain diseases. For instance, it was found in a study published August 8 (2016) in the British Journal of Nutrition that regular consumption of red meat increases the risk of depression
Here are 4 Benefits of Being Vegetarian
- Higher Carbohydrates
A diet based on plant products provides a higher amount of carbohydrates than a traditional diet. Indeed, fruits and vegetables, grain products and legumes are all high in carbohydrates, the main source of energy for the body and muscles.
It is well demonstrated that a diet rich in carbohydrates promotes performance in endurance sports, but also in other types of sports by optimizing the energy level safely.
- Reduction of Inflammation and acceleration of recovery
A vegetarian diet is rich in antioxidants, which help reduce inflammation in the body and promote faster recovery after long and / or intense training, or accidents.
This allows athletes or active people to have more strength to be active, which contributes to improving health and life in general. Plant-based diet also promotes prevention and healing of many diseases by cleansing the body and boosting the immune system.
- Optimization of digestion
A diet rich in foods from plant sources is usually rich in dietary fiber, which can optimize digestion. Indeed, fibers improve the gastro-intestinal health and facilitate intestinal transit. They increase the volume and weight of stools by gorging themselves with water. They help normalize transit time and stool consistency to reduce constipation and diarrhea.
A vegetarian diet can easily meet the daily recommended fiber, which is 21 to 38 g per day depending on age, gender and special conditions (pregnancy, lactation). In addition, such a diet is rich in prebiotics, which can optimize the intestinal flora.
They promote the growth and activity of good bacteria in the colon by serving them food. The main sources of prebiotics are inulin, legumes and some fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
- Health benefits
A plant-based diet, with its high content of soluble fiber and low in saturated fat, helps prevent cardiovascular disease by helping to lower blood cholesterol levels. Such a diet is also beneficial for preventing and treating type 2 diabetes, including improving insulin resistance and promoting a healthy weight as well as a high intake of fiber and phytonutrients.
In a recent study, a vegan diet was accompanied by better control of blood glucose and a greater decrease in glycated hemoglobin compared to a conventional diet. Being a vegetarian also promotes healthy weight management since it is high in fiber, and generally less caloric and less rich in fat. The fibers require longer chewing and digestion and increase satiety, hence their effect on weight control.
In conclusion, even if you do not want to become vegetarian or vegan, it is beneficial to include in your daily diet a large amount of plant foods: fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes.