Vegetarian or Vegan – Which is Better for Recovery?

We congratulate you on your important decision to commit to your recovery program. Keep up the good work as you explore how to stay physically, emotionally and spiritually sound. For some people, either a vegetarian or vegan diet makes sense when looking for new ways to stay healthy. Now keep in mind there are many variations of vegetarian eating and vegan lifestyles, and many who are firm in their experiences and beliefs will tell you.

Advantages of Vegetarian and Vegan Diets

One benefit of a plant-based diet is that it increases your fiber intake. Also, consuming foods that do not come from animals provides you with the vitamins important for reducing stress. Many vegetables and fruits also provide antioxidants that help ward off cancer and disease.

Vegetarian and vegan diets also usually consist of few processed foods that are lower in sodium and sugar. In addition, vegetables, fruits, legumes and other foods that do not come from animals also are lower in fat, carbohydrates and cholesterol. Also, plant foods pass through the digestive system faster than animal foods.

Choosing Between Vegetarian or Vegan Menus

One concern when in recovery is the need for protein. It often is easier for vegetarians who still eat eggs, milk, cheese and other animal products to not be deficient in protein than it is for vegans. However, a vegan diet could provide you with the lowest level of chemical preservatives, which also could help you prevent cancer.

Not Always What but How You Eat It

Whether you choose to eat a vegan, vegetarian, or meat diet; one place you can start is by eating the most unprocessed versions of the foods you eat now. For instance, you perhaps love to eat peaches. If so, you might want to try the fresh varieties instead of the canned ones. If you do decide to eat meat after all, try cooking your own and using that for sandwiches rather than using processed deli meat.

If you choose the vegan diet over the vegetarian one, make sure you include as many protein sources as possible. Lentils, spirulina, nuts, seeds and avocados are some examples. It also is vital that vegans find a way to obtain enough B12 in their diets. In any case, making small nutritional changes a little at a time is best when in recovery instead of rushing your body to become accustomed to drastic diet changes.

As you continue your recovery journey, browse our website to find new ways to celebrate your progress.

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