In recent past years, the vegan diet has gained huge popularity.
With time more and more people are deciding to go vegan. There are several reasons to do that. Some prefer veganism because they could lower the risk of several diseases while others want to save the environment and don’t want to harm animals.
What is the Vegan Diet?
A vegan diet also known as a plant-based diet, means eating only plant-based food and beverages. Veganism or plant-based diet means avoidance of all the animal products such as meat, fish, dairy and eggs. Some do not even prefer having honey and gelatin.
As per the Vegan Society, the definition is as follows: “Veganism is a way of living which seeks to exclude, as far as is possible and practicable, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose.”
Generally, the vegan diet consists of vegetables, fruits, beans, lentils, nuts and seeds.
Why a Vegan diet?
The ultimate goal of going vegan is to stop the use and harm of living beings. Veganism is now taken as an entire lifestyle. Vegan people may even avoid the products that use or contain parts of animals i.e soaps, clothes, belts, bags etc.
Is a Vegan diet different from vegetarian?
Yes, that’s right. Vegan and vegetarian are different. While vegetarians do not eat meat they consume dairy products and eggs but the vegan diet restricts all the food item that comes from animals.
Point to consider before turning Vegan?
As the vegan diet excludes all the animal-based food, it becomes a bit tough to meet daily dietary requirements though not impossible. Therefore, if you are thinking to follow a plant-based diet then you need to take care and ensure that all the key nutrients like iron, protein, calcium, vitamin D, vitamin B12 etc. are there in your diet.
What are the benefits of the Vegan Diet?
People tend to be a bit skeptical when it comes to a plant-based diet but let me ensure you that a vegan lifestyle can improve your life significantly. From health to happiness, opting for a vegan diet has plenty of benefits.
Some of the benefits of veganism are as follows
Helpful in weight loss – As many people are turning out to be vegan. Many have done it with the hope of weight loss.
Research has admitted that a vegan diet is very much effective for weight loss than any other diet. Interestingly in a study people following a vegan diet lost more weight than the people who were following a low caloric restrictive diet even when vegans were allowed to eat till they felt full. For a vegan diet, there no need to put extra effort into focusing on cutting the calories because it has a natural tendency to reduce calorie intake.
Boost your mood – A study found that vegans and vegetarians are happier than meat-eaters. Complex carbohydrate present in vegan diets increases the production of feel-good hormones in the brain. When opting for veganism, you would be consuming a great number of essential nutrients which result in a great immune system. Ultimately, It improves your health and good health is equal to a good mood. Isn’t it?
For example, Vitamin C stimulates the production of white blood cells and eventually boosts your immune system. Being an antioxidant helps fight against infections.
Studies have shown, the vegan diet helps you improve your sleep quality.
Improves digestion – With a plant-based diet, you would be consuming a high amount of fiber which elevates your digestion health and also reduces inflammation.
Improves skin – Being a vegan you avoid dairy products and avoiding dairy products can seriously have a great impact on your skin health especially for acne sufferers. Also, If you are going vegan, you are amping up with some fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables are rich sources of antioxidants that improve your skin and overall health.
Benefits in several diseases
Maintain sugar levels and kidney health – According to the American heart association vegan diet lowers the sugar levels in diabetics. Consuming a vegan diet lowers the risk of type 2 diabetes to 78%. Studies have reported that diabetes patients who have removed the meat and adopted plant proteins to their diet have reduced the risk of poor kidney function.
Improves Heart health – Vegan diet is great for heart health.
A study in 2019 says, reducing the take of animal food and increasing intake of plant-based food significantly lower the risk of heart diseases and death in adults. Animal products like meat, cheese and butter which contain saturated fat in a great amount say the American heart association Having saturated fat in great amounts increases the cholesterol levels in the body. Plant-based foods are rich in fiber which is essential and very helpful for better heart health. Vegetables and grains are the best plant-based food that is rich in fiber.
Reduce cancer risk – According to WHO, red meat is carcinogenic means it may produce cancer in humans. Eliminating red and processed meat and adding rich plant-based food can significantly reduce the risk of cancer to 15%. Plant-based food is rich in fiber, vitamins and phytochemicals that protect against cancer.
Reduced pain from arthritis – Different researches have shown that a plant-based diet has a positive impact on arthritis.
A study was conducted among several people. Half of the candidates were suggested to switch to a whole plant-based diet while another half of the candidates to continue with their omnivorous diet. Higher energy levels and general functions of the body were reported by those who opted for a vegan diet than those who didn’t change their diet.
The vegan group reported that there was a significant improvement in the pain, swelling and stiffness.