Being a vegetarian is not just a trend of the 21st century, this practice has been around since ancient Greece; it has even been said that several philosophers followed vegetarian diets. However, the term vegetarian was coined in the 19th century and the first vegetarian society was formed in 1847 in the United Kingdom. In fact, almost all religions have preached abstaining from eating meat, beginning with the Egyptian priests.
In our previous article, we explain what it means to be vegetarian and different ways of following this lifestyle.
What leads a person to withdraw meat and animal products from his daily life?
Processed meat was declared cancerous by the World Health Organization not long ago. Many doctors and food experts advise maintaining a diet based mainly on fruit, vegetables, and cereals than on meat. If the meat was raised naturally it would be healthier, but since animals eat artificial feed, transgenic, antibiotics and fattening hormones, the meat contains remains that, in the end, can make the consumer sick. Many people opt for vegetarianism as a way to reject the additives and hormones used in food.
Many people become vegetarians because they do not want to be responsible for the death of animals for consumption. The principles and values on which they are based are primarily solidarity with the animal world. For meat, fish or milk to be cheap products, there could be different levels of animal abuse and many vegetarians, especially vegans, defend the right of animals to be free and not be exploited and killed. Other vegetarians, such as vegans, not only do they not eat animal products, but also do not use clothes and utensils of animal origin, such as leather, furs, and even wool. Nor do they buy cosmetics, soaps and other products that have been tested on animals.
Some studies indicate that the environmental cost of the meat industry is quite high. Feeding, processing, keeping warm, cooking or freezing products derived from animals requires a high energy expenditure. It also contaminates the emission of CO2 that is produced by industries. Becoming a vegetarian is ecological and a way to cause a lesser impact on nature. The conservation of the Earth in a more natural way is a responsibility that vegetarians take as a reference.
Interpretations of Hinduism, Buddhism and other religions can motivate many not to consume animal products, associating it with the doctrines of non-violence, natural balance or reincarnation in animals.
Do not miss these ingredients for a balanced vegetarian diet
Those who decide to follow the guidelines of strict vegetarianism know that they must look for foods that substitute the contribution of proteins that are essential for their health. If you are going to start a vegetarian diet you should know how to know a variety of these foods.
In general, cereals such as rice, oats, corn, and nuts are foods that are a source of energy and protein for our body. However, beyond these foods there are also alternatives that you may not have thought of including in your diet:
Tofu and Soy
Tofu is composed of soybeans and is profiled as one of the most demanded meat substitutes animate since it has ten of the twenty essential amino acids. Today there is a huge variety of hamburgers, sausages or croquettes on the market made from tofu. Soy is a good alternative to animal products because for every 100 grams of soy, 35 is protein. It is one of the most demanded foods in the vegan world because it also has no fat and you can find liquid as a substitute for cow’s milk.
Proteins are made of amino acids, some of which are called “essential” because the body can not produce them and needs to incorporate them for what they consume. It is the most protein pseudocereal on the market today, doubling the amount of protein that they usually have. It also has a large number of essential amino acids and minerals. The problem is that many plant foods are deficient in certain essential amino acids, such as lysine, but quinoa is an exception. Quinoa has also been translated into many products, from flours to vegetable meats and all types of beverages. It can be used in the kitchen similar to rice or to make hamburgers, croquettes, etc.
Seaweed is a basic ingredient in vegetarian diets, being a very versatile food that can be incorporated into many stews, soups and juices. Seaweed is an inexhaustible source of nutrients that have been present on our planet for millennia. They have minerals, proteins, vitamins and essential amino acids, as well as being very diuretic and beneficial for the fight against diseases.