Whatever you eat, whatever you put into your stomach, it will reflect on your body and mind and in this way on your physical as well as your mental health. Eating is not just filling your stomach like filling a garbage bin. Food is not only food, it is vitamins, minerals, fibres, carbohydrates, proteins and more which our body needs not only to survive but also to be in balance and be healthy and strong which then of course has an impact on our mind and overall being. So you need to take care what you take into your body, it will be part of your system. A balanced vegetarian diet is the solution.
Eating meat, which means any kind of flesh food including fish and poultry, has several harmful effects on your body. Apart from the fact that a non-vegetarian diet often contains more fat than the body needs or can use, the meat also contains hormones, herbicides, pesticides and antibiotics due to the way that the animals were kept. All of these substances enter your body while eating and your body needs to work to get rid of all of them again. But of course some enter the body and together with other harmful substances which were created during the preparation they increase major chronic diseases like cancer, heart disease, kidney disease and osteoporosis.
It is not only on our body that eating meat has negative effects, our emotions and our mind also are affected by it. If you take the saying 'you are what you eat' and you see people who eat animals, then watch them and see that the saying is true. A meat-eater often has more easily emotions like anger and aggression. And many people are aware of what they are doing - killing to eat. And the minutes of death of the animal that you are eating are with you whenever you take a bite.
In the west there is still the wrong perception that eating meat is necessary for your health. On the contrary a proper vegetarian diet gives you more energy, keeps your body healthy and free of toxins. Studies and researches have found that vegetarians live longer and more healthily than meat-eaters.
If you keep a diet with vegetables, grains, legumes, fruits and lentils or beans, you have everything your body needs: vitamins, fibres and with lentils or beans also enough proteins. A healthy vegetarian diet together with regular exercise is associated with less obesity, lower blood cholesterol levels, lower blood pressure and resulting from that less heart disease, diabetes, cancer, stroke and finally mortality. It is simple: vegetarians live longer!
Our body is not made for eating meat. If you look at the jaw of carnivores, like tigers or dogs, you see that they have teeth for hunting and tearing apart meat and bones. The teeth of herbivores however, such as cows or horses, are made for grinding grains and chewing vegetables. And if you compare our jaw, you will find that it is much more similar to the jaw of horses or cows. Our teeth are just not made for non-vegetarian food.
It is not only our teeth but also our intestines which are made for a vegetarian diet. Our intestinal tract is longer than that of carnivores, so that we can digest grains and greens. Carnivores have to pass the raw meat that they eat through their intestines quickly as it has lots of bacteria which can harm the body. Our whole body, our metabolism and the entire system is not made for eating meat.
We need to take care of our environment, the people and beings living around us and the generations to come after us. There are many reasons to be vegetarian. One of them is that from the amount of grains that are planted to feed cattle which is only raised for being killed, we could feed millions of starving people on the whole world. These animals are only raised to be killed. As a human person you need to have sensitivity in your heart, a love for each living being. How can you kill an innocent animal just to feed your stomach? They have a right to live just like us. We should take care and protect animals and the environment but what is happening is that we are destroying and exploiting. Do something against it! Becoming vegetarian, choosing not to eat meat but a healthy vegetarian diet is thus not only good for yourself, your health and body but also for your environment.
You read this whole page, are convinced of everything above but just have one more problem: you think vegetarian food is just boring? That is another common misconception in the West where some people believe, vegetarians just leave away the meat and eat the side-dishes instead. That would be indeed boring. However there is a great range of delicious vegetarian dishes prepared with a variety of vegetables and spices. As a big part of the Indian population lives vegetarian, the Indian kitchen offers many vegetarian recipes with which you will definitely never get boring. India is the home country of Ayurveda, and this is how many commonly cooked dishes have a high nutritional value as well. In Ayurvedic Cooking Workshops Yashendu teaches the preparation of Ayurvedic food. Alternatively you can get first-hand experience by participating in an Ayurvedic Cooking Retreat in India and get to know many vegetarian dishes for your wholesome meal. We have collected some of these vegetarian recipes online ,too. Enjoy eating healthy and nutritious food in harmony with nature, environment and the animals around you.
Swami Balendu writes his daily blog about food in general and vegetarianism in particular and of course many other topics. Read his opinion about how you should treat food, your nutrition and your body.