You probably know that diets with no meat products are generally healthier. But did you know that even one day of cutting out meat a week leads to extreme health benefits? Meatless Monday is a movement that encourages its followers to do exactly this: eat a meat-free diet one day a week.
Though the thought of skipping meat may appear daunting to a busy, family-budget person, committing to Meatless Mondays can be so much easier and affordable than it appears. Not to mention, eating meat-free even one day a week has extreme benefits for both you and the environment and can open your mind to even more healthy options for your diet!
Here’s a list of 12 reasons why you should be committing to Meatless Mondays every single week.
1. Lose weight:
Obesity rates in this country are staggering. More than two-thirds of adult Americans are either overweight or obese. Trading in high fat animal foods for healthy plant foods can help you lose weight.
2. Heart health:
Fiber, which is only found in plant foods, can reduce damaging inflammation connected with an increased risk of heart disease—the number one killer in the U.S.
3. Better vision:
Carotenes are antioxidants found in a number of fruits and vegetables and they’re critical for proper eyesight.
4. Look younger:
Antioxidants in fruits and vegetables can fight free radical damage that can lead to tired looking and lackluster skin.
5. Reduce food borne illness risks:
13 out of the 19 cases of food borne illnesses listed on the USDA’s website for 2012 are directly related to animal products. Contamination in factory farms is extremely common. Decrease your risk by eating more plant-based foods.
6. Boost fertility:
A diet rich in plant foods, especially cruciferous vegetables, can improve your fertility and even reduce the risks for certain birth defects.
7. Avoid GMOs:
If you eat organic fruits and veggies but still eat conventionally raised animal products, you’re also eating the genetically modified ingredients they’ve been fed.
The fruit and vegetable kingdom is bursting with so many varieties to enjoy. From beans and grains to the many different kinds of fruits and vegetables, you’ll have fun experimenting with a new food at every meal.
9. Support local economy:
While most of our meat, eggs and dairy come from specific regions of the country, fresh fruits and vegetables grow virtually everywhere. You can support your local farmers by eating more fresh fruits and vegetables.
10. Reduce animal suffering:
Whether we like it or not, eating animals means we contribute to a number of practices that cause suffering and harm, especially if we eat conventionally raised animals. Decrease your guilt by going veg.
11. More food for everyone:
Raising animals takes up a lot more land than growing plant foods. With rising food costs and shortages around the globe, the more plant foods we grow means we can feed more people.
12. Support a healthier planet:
Factory farming is a global problem. Do your part for a cleaner environment with every meatless meal, Monday or otherwise!