You know fruits and vegetables are good for you. You know beans, legumes and nuts are packed with protein. You know you don’t have to worry about foot-and-mouth disease, bird flu or mad-cow disease every time you bite into that ripe and succulent mango or munch into that crunchy asparagus. Since there's virtually no contest on the benefits of fruits and veggies, why not go green the whole way?

Vegetarianism is the practice of eating only fruits, vegetables, cereal grains, nuts, and seeds, with or without dairy products or eggs. Meat, including game, poultry, fish, crustacea and shellfish, are never part of a vegetarian's diet. This even includes the by-products of animal slaughter like animal-derived cheese and gelatin.

The health benefits of vegetarianism are numerous. For starters, research has shown that deaths due to ischemic heart disease was 30% lower among vegetarian men and 20% lower among vegetarian women compared to meat eaters. This can be attributed to the fact that vegetarian diets have higher levels of carbohydrates, fiber, magnesium, potassium and folate. There are more antioxidants and phytochemicals in veggies and fruits compared to meats. Vitamin and mineral content, especially is undoubtedly higher in a vegetarian diet. Conversely, those who go green eat foods that have generally lower levels of saturated fat, cholesterol, and animal protein (of course). A diet of grains, nuts, eggs, dairy and soymilk contain the necessary nutrients, amino acids and proteins that the body needs to function at its best. Cancer risk is also generally lower in vegetarians.

The China Project, considered as the most comprehensive study ever conducted on the effects of diet to life expectancy found that there was a strong dose-response relationship between the quantity of animal foods ingested in the diet, and heart disease, diabetes and cancer. These are the top three causes of mortality in the Western world. This study, which spanned twenty years was a joint project of Cornell University, Oxford University, and the Chinese Academy of Preventive Medicine

Overall, vegetarians have lower body mass indexes and as a result also have lower levels of cholesterol and lower blood pressure. Heart disease, hypertension, type 2 diabetes and other obesity-related health risks are rarely seen in non-meat eaters. Renal disease, osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s disease and other mental disorders are also rare in vegetarians. Vegetarians are also less prone to depression and mood swings and generally experience healthier psychological profiles compared to meat-eaters.

Health authorities like The American Dietetic Association and Dietitians of Canada are one in saying that properly planned vegetarian diet is healthful and nutritionally adequate. They also agree that it provides immense health benefits and is important in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases.

For those who are serious about losing weight and keeping it off for life, vegetarianism offers the solution. Vegetarian recipes are generally low in calories and unless they switch back to their old diets, a vegetarian diet keeps the weight off permanently. As an added perk, vegetarian diets are also more energizing compared to meaty fare. They are light on the stomach as well.

If you are serious about improving your health, make sure that you check out a Vitamix 5200 blender, there are a ton of incredible Vitamix recipes that are extremely nutritious.

Author's Bio: 

Proud mother of 2 lovely girls, world traveler, and natural health advocate.