Vegetarian White Chili + 9 Reasons for Starting a More Vegetarian Diet
8 minute read
While many vegetarians choose to avoid meat for ethical and religious reasons, there is no harm in everyone trying to eat a little more vegetation in general. Cutting back on meat or eliminating it from your diet can be a challenge but is worth it when you learn the benefits.
With the right recipes, a vegetarian diet will be a real treat. Enjoying vegetarian food is not the same as being a vegetarian, meat can absolutely be part of a healthy diet. However, increasing
The Benefits of a Vegetarian Diet
Your parents always pushed you to eat your vegetables for a reason. Plant-based foods are full of nutrients and essential minerals and compounds that work to boost your health in numerous ways.
It makes sense, therefore, that a diet full of these foods will be beneficial to try. Of course, you can still be unhealthy and eat vegetarian. French fries can be vegetarian, but they are extremely difficult to make healthy.
1. Antioxidant Boost
Most plant-based foods are full of antioxidants and many also have anti-inflammatory properties too. Preventing oxidative damage and inflammation in your body protects you from disease and serious health problems.
Powerful phytonutrients and flavonoids in plant-based foods offer essential support to your immune system in preventing damage to cells and tissues. The antioxidant content also helps to protect your eyes, which are commonly damaged as a result of excessive free radical activity.
2. Heart Health
The ability to reduce inflammation is what allows vegetables to protect your heart. Inflammation is a root cause for heart disease but this can be prevented with a diet high in plant-based foods.
The high fiber content of vegetables protects your heart by keeping cholesterol levels low so as to prevent clogged arteries and blood vessel damage. Vegetarian diets also tend to lead to weight loss and lower body mass indexes (BMIs), which is beneficial because obesity is another risk factor for cardiovascular disease.
3. Weight Loss
As mentioned in regards to heart health, vegetarian diets are linked to healthy weight loss. Plant-based foods are known to be lower in calories but take up room in your stomach. The ability to fill you up without filling you full of calories prevents you from unhealthy snacking and promotes weight loss.
With less weight and fat storage, your risk for metabolic disorders such as diabetes also decreases significantly.
4. Digestive Enzyme Support
Your body relies on digestive enzymes to break down the food you eat into usable components. While your body can produce some of these enzymes, production does slow as a result of bad diet and getting older.
Many raw fruits and vegetables contain digestive enzymes, although some remain after cooking, too. To ensure all your foods retain their nutrients and enzyme content, cook on lower heats and for as short an amount of time as possible. You may also want to try adding more to your diet through a high-quality digestive enzymes supplement.
5. Diabetes Support
Research has found that non-vegetarian individuals experience fluctuating blood glucose levels. The spikes and crashes of blood sugar can be dangerous for those with diabetes, plus they can increase your risk for developing the condition.
The vegetarian diet promotes easier digestion and nutrient absorption as well as more gradual blood glucose changes. The increased fiber available with vegetarian diets slows the digestive process down, allowing time for blood glucose to elevate and drop slowly rather than in spikes and sudden falls.
6. Eliminate Harmful Byproducts
Meat cooked at high temperatures produces chemicals that may have carcinogenic effects. Processed meat in particular contains potentially harmful additives that can cause cancer.
By eating more plant-based foods instead, you get more proteins and antioxidants, which work in your favor to protect against cell damage and cancer.
7. Healthier Skin
Toxins in the food we eat can be released through the skin as your body attempts to detoxify itself. Animal-based foods have been found to lead to increased toxicity and increased incidence of skin problems like acne.
The high antioxidant content of a typical vegetarian diet prevents this toxic buildup and promotes healthier skin.
8. Better for the Environment
When you reduce the amount of meat, fish, and other animal products that you consume, you also reduce your carbon footprint. Because plant-based foods are lower on the food chain, they require fewer natural resources to produce.
| Related: Try the Best Gluten-Free and Meatless Meatloaf |
Animal products use more land, water, fossil fuels, and energy and are becoming a drain on the environment while contributing significantly to further climate change.
9. Increased Longevity
Studies have found that the vegetarian diet helps promote longevity. By reducing inflammation and oxidative damage, the risk for diseases like cancer and heart disease are also reduced. With less risk of serious illness or disease, you have a better chance of living longer.
Vegetarian White Chili
2 cups vegetable broth
4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
2 (15 ounce) cans white beans, drained
1 (7 ounce) can jalapeño slices, drained
8 oz. vegan cream cheese
White chili seasoning (1/4 tsp ground cloves, 1 tbsp chili powder, 2 tbsp cumin, 2 tsp garlic powder and 2 tsp maple syrup)
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup chopped bell pepper
3/4 cup chopped white onion
1 cup corn cooked and peeled
First heat a bit of oil, or you can use vegetable broth for doing this oil-free. Fry the garlic and the optional onions and bell pepper for around 5 minutes. Add the vegetable broth, vegan cream cheese, white chili seasoning, and jalapeños. Cook for around 10 minutes on medium heat. Season with salt and pepper, finishing with the beans and optional corn and cook for another 5 minutes. Divide onto plates and enjoy.
The Bottom Line
You don’t have to be a strict vegetarian to enjoy meatless meals. Cutting back on meat consumption can prove beneficial for your health.
Lean sources of protein, such as poultry and fish, are better than red meat. When combined with the occasional vegetarian dish, your health will flourish. Try a few vegetarian recipes like this one today, and you never know, you just may end up hooked.