The Surprising Health Benefits of a Vegetarian Diet for Seniors
If you’re like most seniors, you probably grew up eating meat with every meal. But as you get older, you may be considering making a change to a vegetarian diet. After all, the health benefits of vegetarianism are well-documented. But what you may not know is that a vegetarian diet can be especially beneficial for seniors. Here’s a look at some of the ways going veggie can improve your health as you age.
- A vegetarian diet can help reduce your risk of developing chronic diseases.
As we age, we become more susceptible to chronic diseases like heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. Luckily, a vegetarian diet can help reduce your risk of developing these conditions. In fact, studies have shown that vegetarians have a 32% lower risk of dying from heart disease than meat-eaters. They also have a 16% lower risk of dying from cancer and a 22% lower risk of dying from diabetes.
- A vegetarian diet can help you maintain a healthy weight.
Maintaining a healthy weight is important for seniors for many reasons. First, excess weight can put strain on your joints, which can lead to pain and mobility issues. It can also increase your risk of developing chronic diseases like heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes. And last but not least, carrying around extra weight can make it difficult to do the things you love—like playing with your grandkids or going for walks with your friends. Luckily, a vegetarian diet can help you lose weight and keep it off. In fact, one study found that participants who followed a vegetarian diet lost more weight than those who followed a Meat-Based Diet With Similar caloric intake.)
- A vegetarian diet can improve your digestion.
As we age, our digestive systems tend to slow down. This can lead to uncomfortable symptoms like bloating, gas, and constipation. But following a vegetarian diet can help keep your digestive system running smoothly by increasing the amount of fiber in your diet. Fiber helps add bulk to your stool and keeps things moving through your intestines at a healthy pace—preventing constipation before it starts.
- A vegetarian diet can boost your immune system .
A strong immune system is important at any age—but it’s especially crucial as we get older . That’s because our immune systems tend to weaken with age , making us more susceptible to illness and infection . But luckily , research has shown that following a vegetarian diet can help boost immunity . One study found that vegetarians had higher levels of several key immune-boosting nutrients , including vitamins C and E , beta-carotene , zinc ,and selenium .
Giving up meat may seem like a big change—but it could be just what the doctor ordered (literally). If you’re considering making the switch to a vegetarian diet, rest assured that you’ll be reaping some serious health benefits—especially if you’re over the age of 60 . So go ahead and give vegetables the starring role in your next meal—your body will thank you for it .