1. Going Green Keeps You Positive (Literally)
Meat, poultry, and egg yolks are known to be high in arachidonic acid which is a type of omega-6 fatty acid that is pro-inflammatory.
Vegetarian diets are not as high in arachidonic acid as a meat eaters diet and this has been proven to be beneficial for you mental health.
Researchers have performed studies to investigate the impact of removing meat and animal products from your diet and found that the participants' mood improved on a meat-free diet.
However, omega-6 fatty acids are essential to your health and shouldn't be completely removed from your diet as they help maintain your brain functions and regulate your growth.
Luckily, there are vegetarian sources of omega-6, this includes cereal, whole grains, baked foods, and most vegetable oils such as sunflower oil.
The key with omega-6 (and omega-3) is balance, most people in Western cultures consume far too much of this fat which is why it probably has an impact on our moods.
2. It Keeps You Healthy and Slim
When done properly, vegetarian and vegan diets are naturally very low in saturated fats and cholesterol. There has been evidence to prove that a vegetarian diet can reduce risk of disease caused by more modern western diets. Heart disease, psoriasis, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, stokes, obesity, kidney stones and so many more are all examples of diseases you are at less risk of on a plant based diet.
A healthy vegetarian diet (the key word here being healthy) relies heavily on fibre, fruit, veg, antioxidants, and all the good bits your doctor wants you to eat more of. However, a heavy reliance on packaged veggie food can be just as bad as packaged meat dishes and can also be very high in carbohydrates which can lead to weight gain and bloating.
3. Getting Rid of Processed Food
Going green can be the kick you need to get rid of those meal deals and microwave meals and actually start to prepare your meals at home.
Home cooking with natural ingredients is not only amazing for your mind and body but, can lead to weight loss and more energy. Cooking your food can be a chore after a long day but, planning your meals and preparing large amounts that can be refrigerated can prevent stress or extra strain on your week.
4. Healthier Hair, Skin and Nails
A healthy vegetarian diet not only helps to improve your internal and mental health but also includes vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that support healthy hair, skin, and nails.
Swapping out those dairy products and sugars for fruit and veg (especially those with a dark green, red, and orange hue) can do wonders for your skin. The same phytochemicals (chemical compounds that help plants thrive) that protect the plants from competitors and predators can work to protect your skin!
5. Guilt and Worry Free Meals
By not consuming meat products you put yourself at less risk of food poisoning when eating at restaurants (or even at home). Veggie dishes are also less risky when travelling somewhere new if you are unsure of hygiene/food standards, I personally have never caught a stomach bug from food since making the change.
In addition to this, you can also enjoy your food knowing you're not only making a difference to animals and their rights but also our environment. The meat industry is not only incredibly wasteful but, also really damaging the planet. Agriculture (farming, especially cattle farms) is responsible for an estimated 14 percent of the world's greenhouse gases, this is mostly due to a massive amount of methane being released into our atmosphere. Methane is 23 percent worse than carbon dioxide.