5 Things That Changed When I Went Vegetarian
What we decide to eat on a daily basis is entirely up to us. If you feel good after eating a cheeseburger or grilled chicken, then that is your choice. On the other hand, if you prefer to live without meat or are thinking about it, you might notice changes in your body once you go vegetarian.
“Vegetarian diets decrease the risk of many forms of cancer, heart disease, gallstones, kidney stones, diabetes, and so on,” says dietician Bess Berger. Not only does going vegetarian benefit the health, but it also improves one’s overall mood, energy, and more.
Here are five ways the vegetarian diet changed my body.
1. My mood improved
The overall mood is affected by several factors such as sleep, exercise, and social patterns, but what you eat can play a significant role, too. Nutritional Journal has found that a vegetarian diet could boost the mood. “Chemicals produced from animal sources have been linked to mood disturbances,” says Berger. After a few days of going vegetarian, I started noticing how much less cranky I would get throughout the day. Coincidence? I think not.
2. My taste buds changed
My palette started to change after I had gone vegetarian. I began to develop a more significant appreciation for spices and delicate flavors. I stopped craving meat very quickly. I found dishes that satisfied my cravings and kept me filled longer than what I was used to. I also started to realize how much of a habit it was to eat meat, how capable I am of giving it up completely, and how much more health and mental benefits there are to going vegetarian.
3. My energy increased
I noticed an increase in my energy levels. “There are several positive changes one may notice after becoming vegetarian, including elevated energy, thanks to the increase in vitamins and antioxidants and improved digestion that is mainly [due] to the increased fiber,” says nutritionist Jessica Waller. I used to feel so heavy right after eating a meal with meat in it that I would have to rest before doing anything that required energy. Now, I feel more energized after eating a meal with no meat in it.
4. My bathroom habits changed
When I started the vegetarian lifestyle, my bathroom habits changed drastically. “A common complaint that many of my clients have is inconsistent stools. Some may be constipated, some have diarrhea, and some fluctuate between the two,” says nutritionist Kylene Terhune. This was very annoying at first, but it goes away as the body adjusts.
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5. I feel fuller longer
The fiber-rich foods I started eating more often in replacement of meat helped me feel fuller longer after eating. This prevented me from experiencing blood sugar crashes and sugar cravings throughout the day. One positive side effect of an increase in fiber-rich foods is feeling fuller for longer because digestion is slowed down. This is particularly handy for college students such as myself.
Going vegetarian has affected me very positively, both inside and out. If you are thinking of going vegetarian too, these are a few ways your body might change as mine did. Try vegetarianism out, but in the end, eat what feels right for you!