World Vegetarian Month: 3 reasons to go vegetarian

Ah, vegetables. They are the gift that keeps on giving. The best of what Mother Nature offers us, they are good for our health, skin and general well-being.

Every October 1st, since 1978, World Vegetarian Day has been marked to promote the “joy, compassion and life-enhancing possibilities of vegetarianism”.

It was started by the North American Vegetarian Society in 1977 and was endorsed by the International Vegetarian Union in 1978.

Thanks to the global popularity of vegetarianism, October is now regarded as World Vegetarian Month.

Thinking of going vegetarian? Well here are three reasons that will convince you.

A salad platter. Picture: Chris Collingridge

A plant-based diet can save your life – and the planet

New research shows that a diet that consists predominantly of vegetables and fruits may cut death from heart disease by a third – and help combat climate change. A plant-based diet, rich in nutrition, is not only good for heart health but may also counter obesity – one of South Africa’s biggest health threats.

Food as medicine

Using food as a medicine can help to prevent chronic disease and infections. Diets high in fruits, vegetables, legumes, fibre, herbs and spices have been shown to suppress chronic inflammation and help prevent chronic disease. Food that is nourishing and filled with nutrients satisfies and gives you energy.

The future of nutrition

Studies show that food has a different impact on the gut health of each person, underscoring that the future of nutrition will be personal.

Research shows that in addition to widely accepted nutritional principles such as choosing a diet of whole, natural foods over processed and sugar-laden meals, dietary advice is set to become increasingly personalised based on an individual’s gut profile and the effects of specific foods on this.

Here are some of our favourite veggie recipes.

Easy vegetable summer soup recipes

3 mouth-watering ways to turn vegetables into delicious meat substitutes

Three veg recipes perfect for Meat Free Mondays

IOL Food’s 4th issue was all about vegetarian cuisine. The magazine is still available online. For interesting stories about all things vegetarian, including some delicious recipes, click on the link below.

You can read the magazine here