Several academic studies have shown that there are positive microbial effects associated with ditching the consumption of animal by-products, including a reduction of harmful pathogens and an increase in protective microorganisms. This may be connected to the reduction in inflammation that's been associated with vegetarianism, which has other major health benefits (we'll get to that). Other digestive benefits to vegetarianism include the fact that studies show a reduction in risk for diverticular disease – that is, a buildup of pockets or sacs in the walls of your colon – associated with the diet, and the increased fibers that'll come with that extra helping of vegetables will help make your bathroom habits more regular. Experts caution that these benefits are only available to those who engaged in a "well-planned vegetarian diet," which incorporates a high intake of fruits and vegetables. If approached correctly, your tummy will likely thank you for resisting the carnivorous route to sustenance.