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Vegetarian Once a Week

By Hayli Harding

Massive benefits found from a once a week regimen of vegetarianism

There are numerous environmental, social and physical benefits that follow going meatless, even if you only do it once a week. The best day of the week to do so is Monday, since it’s the beginning of the week. By choosing to eat plant-based sources of protein and other nutrients, you can reduce the risk of chronic illnesses or conditions, as well as lessen the stress put on the environment by the production of meat and meat-related products.

Physical Benefits of Going Meatless Once a Week

According to VegMondays, vegetarians have a lower body weight, lower cholesterol and lower blood pressure than those who partake in carnivorous meals. Choosing to eat a vegetarian diet, even just once a week, can greatly reduce your chances of contracting deadly food-related diseases, from E.coli to Salmonella, which are found in meats and dairy products. You can get all of your necessary vitamins and nutrients from plants! A recent study demonstrated that you can keep your bones healthy and strong with a low-acid diet and plant-based calcium, found in vegetables, fruits and legumes. Animal-based proteins, on the other hand, tend to suck the calcium away. With this type of diet, you can greatly reduce your risk of osteoporosis.

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Nearly all plants contain high levels of protein, B12 and D. Vitamin B12 can be found in breakfast cereals, soy milk, multivitamins and veggie burgers. Vitamin D is created by your own body in the sunlight, but can also be found in certain fortified foods and vitamins, as well as whole grains and beans. You can greatly enhance your diet’s nutritional value, from fiber to zinc to iron to magnesium.

Environmental Benefits of Going Meatless Once a Week

Meat production wreaks havoc on our current fueling situation. It takes 1,850 gallons of water for a single pound of beef to be produced. On the other hand, vegetables are produced using a mere 39 gallons. Not only the water is affected, however. The land and air is contaminated as well. Livestock production accounts for 55% of soil erosion, while 40% of that makes it into the water supply. It can result in greenhouse gases, like carbon dioxide and methane, to be released into the air, furthering pollution. Beef produces 30kg of greenhouse gas per 1kg of food, while carrots produce a mere .42kg per 1kg.

By reducing our intake of meats, you can reduce the globe’s dependence on fossil fuels. Meat production uses 11 times more fossil fuels than plant production. If everyone went meatless just once a week, the US alone would save 1,000,000,000 gallons of water, which is just enough to power every home in New England for around 4 months. We would also save 1.5 billion pounds of crops that is fed to livestock annually to boot.

Taking care of your personal and environmental health is no joke. You can live a longer, more fulfilling life by taking a healthier choice over a less healthy one, even if it’s only once a week.

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