Did you know that people who maintain meatless diets live 10 years longer than the average life expectancy of non-vegetarians, which is around 73? This is why World Vegetarian Day, an annual event celebrated on 1st October, aims to support those who have eliminated animal products from their diets and motivate others to adopt healthier eating habits in order to avoid disease, protect the welfare of animals and live longer.
This is a perfect time to go meatless for one day and enjoy healthy plant-based foods without adding calories or raising your risk of heart disease, diabetes and other chronic illnesses. Who knows, you might just discover the joys of vegan eating and completely turn your back on animal-based foods?
What are the Benefits of a Vegetarian Lifestyle?
Veganism has numerous health benefits that extend beyond improving body weight. Vegan diets are packed with the essential vitamins and minerals, as well as omega-3 fatty acids that help lower blood pressure, prevent cardiovascular disease, promote heart health and boost the body's immune function. Leafy greens are known to cool the bodies as well as provide adequate amounts of folic acid, which prevents harmful DNA mutations that can increase the risk of cancer and lead to higher mortality rates.
What's more, there are numerous recipes for vegan diets that are anything but dull and boring. If this was the case, then the Greeks and everyone else following plant-based diets, such as the Mediterranean diet, would have long given them up for something else and faced the risk of obesity.
Keeping a vegetarian diet doesn't mean that you have to give up your favorite food derived from animal sources, such as burgers. Vegetables that are excellent sources of protein, such as kidney beans and chickpeas, can be prepared in even greater ways than meat, minus the saturated fat which can increase cholesterol levels and the risk for heart disease. For dessert, you may substitute dairy ice cream for fruit sherbet, or check out the vegan store in your neighbourhood for delicious yet healthy treats.
Besides promoting a healthier lifestyle, a vegetarian diet will also produce a myriad of environmental benefits that Mother Earth will thank you for. Veganism not only reduces your carbon footprint, but also protects the lives of animals. Over 70 billion animals are slaughtered each year for food, according to data collected by Faunalytics, a nonprofit organization dedicated to animal protection. This is a cause for concern as the extinction of several species is likely to occur sooner than later.
How Can You Join World Vegetarian Day 2021?
World Vegetarian Day 2021 offers you the chance to discover the benefits of meat-free diets at home or in a vegan restaurant near you. In addition to enjoying delicious plant-based meals, you can also share and get useful information about including vegetables in your diet from online resources. Additionally, it is a chance to connect with nutrition experts, such as certified dietitians and nutritionists, to learn helpful dietary patterns that you can adopt, especially if you or someone you care about has a health condition that might be treated with a vegan diet.
A vegan challenge is another way to participate in this exciting event, where you can showcase your culinary skills using fresh ingredients from your local farmers' market. This will benefit not only your general health, but will also improve the lives of Australian farmers.