Celebrating Vegetarian Month: Exploring the Benefits of Vegetarian Diets

Celebrating Vegetarian Month: Exploring the Benefits of Vegetarian Diets

Choosing a vegetarian lifestyle is big, but it is growing in popularity in the UK and globally. This month is Vegetarian Month, and with vegetarian living on our minds, why not dive into the benefits of vegetarian living? Learn about the vegetarian diet and how it interacts with your health. You'll also learn about the essential role of allergy and intolerance testing to help you safely navigate this diet.

The benefits of a vegetarian diet

One of the main reasons many choose a vegetarian diet is their views on animal rights. It’s an ethical decision that helps them feel better about their approaches to animal equality and its components, including animal testing and exploitation. 

Another component is the health benefits that come from a vegetarian lifestyle. Compared to traditional meat-based diets, vegetarians enjoy a low-fat and high-vitamin diet that can give them many advantages.

Others choose vegetarian living simply because it intrigues them, and they have researched how it can impact their lives.

Many say their choice of being a vegetarian is multifaceted. Regardless of a person’s reason for trying out a vegetarian diet, there is a learning curve about how to do it properly.

How to eat a proper vegetarian diet

How to eat a proper vegetarian diet

If you are living a vegetarian diet now or are interested in trying it out in the foreseeable future, use this as your guide to help you do it properly and enjoy its benefits. The tips below will help you do it logically and also help you make this a long-term lifestyle choice.

Eat a wide variety of fruits and veg each day

It goes without saying that vegetarians should eat a good amount of fruits and veg each day. However, many eat the same ones day in and day out. While this might be good for flavour, it isn’t good for your nutrient profile! You should vary your choices throughout the day and day to day to still meet your nutrient needs. This is especially important for your fibre needs, which helps promote better digestion.

About your parameters, aim for 80g portions and try to have at least 5 per day. You can make those from fresh, tinned, dried, frozen, and juiced fruits and veg.

Don’t skip the starches

In a lot of articles, starches have a bad reputation. However, vegetarians should focus on their starch content as much as possible. These food choices provide various nutrients such as fibre, calcium, and iron. As with fruits and veg, vary the type you have.

Track your nutrient intake

When planning your meals, take advantage of fitness and diet apps, which can help you see what nutrients you lack and where to focus your attention. One of the essential ones to focus on is your calcium. This one is often lacking in vegetarians, as are protein, vitamin A, and vitamin B12.

In fact, vitamin B12 is one of the most common vitamin deficiencies in vegetarians because plant-based foods don’t contain vitamin B12. Without enough vitamin B12, you can become iron-deficient.

Food allergies and vegetarianism

There are a lot of perks to a vegetarian diet, without question. But, there are two drawbacks to consider: allergies and intolerances.

Around the UK, cases of pollen food syndrome are popping up everywhere. Experts believe this is due to global warming and pollution, which changes pollen patterns. As it stands, 13 million Britons are allergic to pollen. However, it’s very common to have allergies or intolerances and not even know it. That is why you should consider allergy and intolerance testing so important. This can diagnose an allergy the “easy” way instead of the “hard” way.

While pollen allergies typically have mild reactions, this is not always true. Even with a mild reaction, having an allergy or intolerance to pollen can make daily eating very difficult. If you are vegetarian, you are eating pollen-rich foods, so having this pollen allergy can make it extremely challenging to eat a varied diet.

Eating a vegetarian diet can not make you intolerant or allergic to pollen. However, changing to vegetarianism can alert you to a pollen allergy you hadn’t known about!

How do you make a vegetarian diet work if you are allergic to pollen?

You don’t need to avoid vegetarian staple foods if you are allergic to pollen or have a sensitivity. Yet, you will want to be wise about how you approach your diet. Talk to your GP about making the change. They often recommend working with a specialised dietician to help you transition from a meat diet. They also can help monitor your nutrient profile for your own safety.

Take the time for allergy and intolerance testing, too. This can alert you to a pollen issue and diagnose an allergy to vegetarian foods, including pulses, tomatoes, and onions. This vital information will help you know how to plan your meals with the correct information to guide you.

If you are allergic to vegetarian foods, you can try baking or roasting those ingredients. This process can remove the allergic protein. Remember that frozen fruits and veg can still cause an allergic reaction. The same goes for working with allergen foods — for example, peeling potatoes or cutting onions.

The hidden benefit of allergy and intolerance testing

One last wonderful benefit to allergy and intolerance testing is that it can put a lot of your fears and anxieties to rest. Having strange reactions to fruits and veg (especially as a vegetarian) can make eating and exploring your new diet hard. It also can cause a lot of unneeded anxiety. This is especially so if you have contact-based reactions.

There’s a lot to learn, but Vegetarian Month is the best time to do that! If you are enjoying a vegetarian diet or curious about one, this will help you see what information and tools you need. It will also help you to enjoy the best quality of life possible. As well you will also understand how proper testing can help you stay in control of your health and safety, as well as handle anxiety when making a lifestyle change such as this one. Grab your test here today!

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