Vegetarian Heart Health: Benefits And Risks
Vegetarian diet is when a person does not eat meat or fish (animal products) but may carry on with the consumption of eggs and dairy products. It has been proven that meat is not the only source of macronutrients to remain healthy. Following a meat free diet is good for overall health as well heart health. It tries to keep your body non-toxic.
People may also carry on with the vegetarian diet for the consumption of fresh, plant based foods. It increases the physical activity of a person. This article will be focusing on the heart health mediated by vegetarian diet.
ALL ABOUT HEART HEALTH
Heart is a type of muscle which is located at the left side of the chest. The size of the heart would be approximately the size of the fist. The major use of heart is that it delivers the blood all over the body.The blood is the carrier of the oxygen. It pumps the fresh and oxygenated blood to all over the body whereas pumps away the deoxygenated blood to the lungs for purification. Heart muscle is the most important type of muscle.
For such a tedious job, it needs as much precision as it can. Heart attacks have become a leading cause of death. Vegetarian diet looks after the diet and how it affects your heart. This way it protects you from the risk of heart disease. Heart needs proper care and diet to not be exerted and affect its working. When it fails to get the proper amount of care, factors for heart diseases start developing.
Plaque formation can be observed in an affected heart. It is at the lining of the arteries. This plaque is the major cause of the heart attack and blockage of blood flow in arteries. It is important to understand the cause of the poor heart health.
TYPES OF HEART DISEASE
Heart problems can be prevented by keeping a good care of the heart. Some of the deadly heart diseases are:
- High Blood Pressure
This condition is also known as hypertension. It is a problem where the flow of blood in the artery increases to extreme level creating force on the artery walls.
- Cardiac Arrest
It is a heart condition where the heart stops functioning suddenly. Patient starts losing breath and consciousness.
- Heart Failure
This is a disease or a problem where the heart stops to pump blood as efficiently.
When the pace of the heart becomes irregular, it is either too fast or too slow.
- Peripheral Artery Disease
It is also a severe condition in which blood vessels are narrowed which leads to the reduction of the blood flow to the limbs.
In this, blood supply is interrupted which then damages the brain.
- Congenital Heart Defects
It is a cardiovascular disease which makes the heart abnormal before the formation.
- Congestive Heart Failure
It is a condition where the heart is inefficient to pump blood according to the needs of the body.
VEGAN DIET AND NUTRIENTS NEEDED
Before the start of the vegan lifestyle, it is important to take care of the nutrients you consume.
It is important to incorporate protein in a vegan diet. There are many plant based foods which consist of proteins.Food products such as soy products, beans, peas, lentils, peanuts and nuts consist of the protein content in them which can fulfill the needs of the body.
Iron deficiency is very common for vegetarians because of inhibited consumption of meat. Plant food consists of non-heme iron which does not get absorbed by the body readily.For the efficient absorption, non heme iron food products are consumed with the vitamin C. The vegan source for the vegans can be fruits, tomatoes, broccoli and berries. On the other hand there are some good plant sources that can be green leafy vegetables, beans and legumes. Dried yeast and fruits are also used as a good iron food.
CALCIUM AND VITAMIN D
Calcium is important for the formation and health of the bones. Vitamin D is necessary for the body to absorb calcium.Calcium containing food products are dairy products, almonds, sesame seeds, green vegetables and tofu.The best sources of vitamin D are yogurt, soy, almond and rice beverages.People over the age of 50 years are advised to incorporate vitamin D and calcium supplements in their daily life.
BENEFITS OF VEGAN DIET
There are various benefits of the vegetarian lifestyle which affect the heart for good.
It surely can decrease the risk of heart disease. Vegetarian diet is not that stressful for the body to cope up with. A pure non vegetarian diet will affect the heart in all the bad ways. It will pressurize the heart to do more of the work.
The researchers have also shown that the healthier plant based foods have a 25% lower chance of suffering from heart disease. On the other hand, people who eat unhealthy food are at 32% increased risk of heart disease.Centers for disease control has already stated risk factors of heart are reduced after changing into vegetarian diet. Also it is observed that people with heart surgery are advised to shift themselves to a vegetarian diet.
Vegetarians are also prevented from type 2 diabetes.Studies show that in comparison to vegetarian and non-vegetarians diets, vegetarians have a balanced blood sugar level and weight. There is approximately 20% lower chance of suffering from diabetes.Healthy food sources are whole grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes, vegetable oils.
High amounts of oily foods directly affects the heart and the digestive system. Non vegetarian food dishes take an exceptionally higher amount of fat and oil to be cooked.This saturated fat content becomes dangerous for the heart and increases the risk of heart disease.
American heart is considered to be weak because of the higher consumption of meat and animal products in their diet. Cholesterol affects the heart valves to work improperly.Vegetarian diet makes sure that the heart is healthy and sound.
Vegetarian diet makes sure that your weight is not in excess. With a particular amount of diet and exercise you can maintain the weight. People who are overweight lead to the accumulation of fatty material in arteries.Arteries and heart is at a greater risk of getting damaged and clogged. This can lead to various problems such as stroke, heart attack and vascular dementia.
Studies have shown that those who are vegan and do not eat animal products such as meat and fish are at lower risk of developing cancer.
Vegan diet surely does have various risks which may lead to serious health effects. But they can be prevented as well.
There have been studies which relate the main cause of the stroke with a vegan diet. There are not many causes and symptoms to suggest the study but some of them were: Vegetarians have an increased risk of stroke. Vegetarians have lower blood levels of cholesterol and lower intake of nutrients. This might lead to the hemorrhage and total stroke.
Vegetarians have a lower intake of choline. Choline is present in the brain and is an integral part. Vegan diet can lead to a choline crisis. Choline is found in the meat and poultry. It cannot be produced by humans itself. That is why vegans have lower levels of choline in the body.
To maintain hair growth and hair health, it is important to consume iron, vitamin B and zinc. The major source of these nutrients is non vegetarian food products.The consumption of supplements for these nutrients can help you prevent hair loss.
As mentioned above, there are many nutrients which our body cannot produce itself and the major source is animal products. Nutrient deficiency can also lead to blood clots in the body. It is advised to consume supplements.
It is true that there are some of the risk factors for vegan diet but it is also to be observed that those risks are preventable by certain alternative products and supplements.Vegetarian diet is helpful for all of those people who are genetically prone to heart diseases. Prevention is better than cure.
Stay vegan! Stay healthy!