The vegan life is one that is gradually becoming more popular over time, and for numerous reasons, ranging from benefits on our health, to helping our enviornment. Before making a decision to cross over to the vegan lifestyle, it would be very wise to have your facts on it so you can fully and truly adopt the lifestyle effortlessly. Now, while I create vegan recipes, I don’t claim to be 100% vegan. I still eat seafood and eggs on occassion (rare, but I do) and I do consume honey. While this article is meant to help educate you on the vegan lifestyle, I try not to put hard labels on my diet because in the end, mental health matters too. I will however say that if we all adopted a more vegan lifestyle, I believe we can experience benefits both from an individual standpoint as well as globally!
In layman’s terms, a vegan is a person that does not eat, drink or make use of any animal product whatsoever. Vegans are not the same as the vegetarians in that all vegans are vegetarians but not all vegetarians are vegans. For a person to be fully vegan, he has to also do away with any products of animal origin such as dairy products, eggs and the likes, while most vegetarians only do away with meat.
To one extreme, those who consume a vegan diet places focus on eating meals that have strictly plant made origin; this could mean having to look beyond the end- product of the food. Many a time, a vegan has to look into the ingredients used to make a particular product to ensure that there are no animal sources in it.
For instance, your animal milk can be replaced with plant milk sources, Honey can be a controversial item to be replaced, technically, vegan diets omit honey and can be replaced with plant based sweeteners such as molasses, and eggs can be replaced with chia seeds or flax seeds/meal.
Benefits Of Going Vegan As An Individual
Weight loss and increased body fitness
The vegan diet food types are mostly foods which are low in cholesterol, fats and calorie quantity. As such, it has been proven to be quite instrumental in losing body weight and also in maintaining the fitness level of the body.
Studies have shown that vegans tend to have less body weight and body mass indexes, even when they are not consciously on a weight loss journey, making them have healthier body types.
Improved kidney function
Eating more vegan based diets has been shown to help increase the level of kidney function of an individual. Taking in plant based foods helps in reducing the acid load of the body, thereby reducing the level of stress on the kidney.
Also as a result of its low food processing, these plant based foods have Phytates; which are naturally occurring phosphorus binding compounds. Therefore, your body does not require to absorb as much phosphorus (which can be dangerous to the health) from animal based foods due to the presence of these Phytates.
Abundance of certain nutrient types
These plants sources of foods such as grains, nuts, legumes, and seeds are great sources of some highly beneficial nutrients which you tend to overlook normally.
Plant foods are good sources of certain mineral types gotten directly from the soil in which the plant is grown. This mineral type is known as fulvic minerals and it is very essential in helping the body to get rid of heavy toxic metals in the body, it also serves as an immune system booster, among many other health benefits.
Vegan diets are also known for their abundant supply of nutrients such as fibers, antioxidants and minerals such as potassium, magnesium, that are needed by the body for proper development.
Protection against certain diseases
Certain diseases including some types of cancer has been shown to have high reduction rates in association with diet changes. Vegan diets are quite beneficial in reducing the occurrence rates of certain cancer types, as a result of its reduction meats and dairy products and increase of naturally occurring plant-based food types. For instance, legumes intake can reduce the risk of colorectal cancer in individuals.
Increased heart function
Increase in plant-based food intakes is closely associated with a reduction of cholesterol level and blood sugar level in the body. All these are directly linked to lower blood pressure, thereby reducing the possible occurrence of heart diseases.
Nutty foods such as walnuts are also very much beneficial to the heart and health in general.
Being in a great state of body health is generally considered great for the mind function as well. Asides this, certain mineral nutrients types associated with plant-based foods are also known to be quite beneficial for the minds as they are also responsible in the production of certain neurotransmitters, such as serotonin, which are effective in maintaining a great state of mind level.
Clearer and glowing skin
Nutrients associated with the plant-based diets are very essential in helping an individual to develop a clear and glowing skin. Fibers, for instance, helps in the elimination of wastes from the body; such activities tell on the skin by making it clearer. Plant-based foods are also mostly very rich in water and water is a known great ingredient for clear skin.
Embarking on the vegan lifestyle may seem as quite a task at the initial stage, because it involves a total turnaround from the food sources an individual is originally used to. To make this transition an easier one, it is often advisable that individuals gradually ease themselves into the lifestyle, taking the changes one at a time, till they are then fully integrated into the vegan food habits. Please don’t be too hard on yourself, give yourself some grace. If you’re craving a non-vegan food, it’s ok! Go ahead, eat it! But I assure you the benefits to gain from the diet change tremendously outweighs the initial struggle (having been through the struggle myself!) and your body and enviornment will thank you for including more plant-based, vegan foods into your everyday lifestyle.