Have you been a die-hard carnivore most of your life, but want to know how you can transition on to a healthier, happier lifestyle; or are you already a full or part-time plant-based exponent, & need some motivation to stay on course to gain the miraculous rewards?
If so, read on!
In a Nutshell
Did you know that there are more than 9.7 million vegans in the US?
That number is predicted to shoot up as more and more people become health smart, learn about the cruelty inflected on animals, and strive to play their role in helping to save the planet.
So, whether you become a flexi-vegan, meaning that you incorporate a few, or a higher percentage of vegan meals into your weekly menu, or go the Fully Monty, you will be taking a huge step for mankind, the animal kingdom, and your health and well-being.
And you'll be revving up your anti-aging. - What could be better?
"Plant-based or plant-forward eating patterns focus on foods primarily from plants. This not only includes fruits & vegetables, but also nuts, seeds, oils, whole grains, legumes, & beans. It doesn’t mean that you are vegetarian or vegan and never eat meat or dairy. Rather, you are proportionately choosing more of your foods from plant sources (Harvard Health, 2021)
Getting the Necessary Nutrients
If you consume the right mixture of plant-based foods, you will get all the necessary protein, carbs, fats, vitamins, and minerals, that are needed for optimum health.
Moreover, plant-based diets are normally higher in health-promoting phytonutrients and fiber.
Of note, if you opt for a full-time vegan diet, then you may need to take a vegan supplement (especially vitamin B12) [1,2].
However, the good news is that in line with the global vegan trend, many foods are now fortified with B12, calcium, and other nutrients.
Also, if you visit or order from a vegan restaurant or food delivery service, they are likely to provide delicious dishes which include an excellent balance of nutrients.
So now let's take a look at the awesome benefits of consuming vegan dishes.
Benefit No 1
Helps Us Lose Excess Weight: A substantial number of observational studies indicate that: "vegans tend to be thinner and have lower BMIs (body mass indexes) than their non-vegan counterparts. Further, vegan diets may help to promote weight loss without the need to actively focus on cutting calories" .
Now that really is something we all want!
Benefit No 2
Reduces Inflammation: Inflammation plays a role in various long-term (chronic) disorders such as heart problems, joint issues, and type 2 diabetes; as well as short-term (acute) inflammation, which shows up as swelling, redness, loss of mobility, and localized pain.
And while being obese and consuming a diet which is overloaded in unhealthy fats and added sugars, rocket up inflammation, science-backed studies have shown that fruits and vegetables lower inflammation .
Benefit No 3
Less Risk of Heart Disease: Whole plant-based foods are synonymous with optimum heart health.
This is due to their low level of saturated fat, zero cholesterol, and abundance of fiber.
A winning combination which runs in stark contrast to a regime with is overloaded with eggs, cheese, and meat, all of which are packed with saturated fat and cholesterol.
A scenario which can result in clogged arteries, and the risk of a stroke, or heart attack .
Benefit No 4
Lower Chance of Having Type 2 Diabetes: Research suggests that eating poultry and red meat correlates with an increased risk of becoming diabetic. This is partly due to the high volume of heme iron which is present in these two foods.
Conversely, vegan-based diets have been shown to lower the mortality rates in patients with chronic kidney disease .
Benefit No 5
Low Levels of LDL - the ‘Bad’ Cholesterol: Countless studies have highlighted the positive effects that plant-based diets (particularly vegan and vegetarian), have on cholesterol levels.
In fact: "Five observational studies cited in the American Journal of Cardiology, showed lower blood concentrations of TC (total cholesterol), and LDL (low-density lipoprotein, the bad cholesterol), in populations consuming plant-based diets" .
Benefit No 6
Reduced Risk of Dementia & Cognitive Impairment: "A direct correlation was found between high intakes of fruit and vegetables and a significantly reduced risk of cognitive impairment and dementia" .
This miraculous effect is thought to be down to the wealth of nutrients in plant-based diets, many of which work in orchestration. Further, studies suggest that these powerful components (including antioxidants and vitamins), empower us with valuable cognitive benefits .
Benefit No 7
A Lower Risk of Getting Cancer: Are you aware that plants are not only anti-inflammatory, they also empower us with an abundance of phytochemicals (plants compounds), that work to protect our bodies against cellular damage.
In fact: "Long-term studies suggest that benefits like these from eating whole plant foods, as opposed to processed foods, may be able to prevent up to a third of all cancer cases" . So with "1 in 2 women and 1 in 3 men in the US, developing cancer in their lifetime," isn't it time that we all made a positive change? .
Benefit No 8
Better Gut Health: Scientific studies have proved that vegan regimes boost our gut and general health by encouraging a healthy combination of good bacteria.
This generates an optimum gut microbiome (an accumulation of intestinal microbes, which are vital for good health), which thus promotes regular bowel movements, a robust immune system, high-functioning metabolism, and optimal hormone levels for regulating our appetite .
Benefit No 9
Less Arthritic Pain: When it comes to successfully reducing inflammation, extensive studies on people who eat high-fiber, low-fat meals (which derive from whole and plant-based foods), have proved that this is the best course of action .
Benefit No 10
Better Athletic Performance: Have you read about the famous sports people who have taken positive action, and transitioned to a plant-based diet?
Olympic gold medallist, Diana Taurasi, and
mega tennis star, Venus Williams, are just two of the well-known athletes who have gone full vegan. Of note, the immune support and anti-inflammation benefits provided by pant-based foods, are a major plus for all athletes .
Benefit No 11
A Lower Carbon Footprint: This last aspect on the list, is actually one of the most important. The international food industry carried out an in-depth analysis which indicates that shifting to a plant-based regime: "represents the largest single action a person can take to reduce their environmental impact" .
Did you know that: "animal protein requires 100 times as much water as grain protein—and producing oat milk emits 80% fewer greenhouse gases and requires 60% less energy than cow’s milk? " .
Now that really is food for thought, especially as there is so little time left to save our planet...