Veganism is a dietary choice that’s grown in popularity over the past few decades, due to the desire of people to eliminate animal-based foods from their diets because of
-- the increasingly poor treatment of animals by large food and clothing manufacturers, and
--the environmental impact of places such as feedlots on their surrounding environments
What makes a vegan a “real” vegan? Well, a real vegan doesn’t consume or wear any animal-based foods or products. True vegans don’t wear any leather or fur.
Take a look at the myriad benefits one can get from eating a strictly plant-based diet.
An Abundance of Necessary and Supplemental Nutrients
Eating a plant-based diet exposes your body to a lot of essential vitamins and minerals which you may not have gotten enough of when consuming a meat-based diet.
Think of it from this perspective: If you rely on meat or eggs for sustenance, you’ll get an abundance of Vitamins D, B-12, and A, but you won’t get much else, nor will you get many minerals. If you replace this meal with a healthy collection of pan-seared veggies and whole-grain oats, you’ll get all of the nutrients you could get from the previous meal, plus much more.
Recent studies have shown that much of what causes cancer in humans can be prevented by proper dietary measures. This holds especially true with the vegan diet, because of the high fiber content of many fruits and vegetables you may consume on the diet.
Vegetables such as beans, for example, are full of insoluble fiber that’s essential for smooth digestion. It’s proven that consuming adequate amounts of insoluble fiber, on a daily basis, can lead to a substantially reduced risk of colorectal cancer, a very prominent form of cancer.
Vegan diets can bring a number of benefits to the cardiovascular system, all of which can help your heart pump blood to the best of its ability. One of the premier ways vegans can benefit from a plant-based diet is the reduction of cholesterol. In excess, cholesterol can be problematic, sometimes for your heart. Since cholesterol is seldom found in any plant-based foods, it’s easy to avoid it altogether!
While some vegans might pull their nutrients primarily from vegetables, you’ll be able to get additional nutrients from nuts and grains, both of which can have a positive impact on your heart’s health.
Reduction in Joint Pain
Studies have shown the effectiveness of vegan diets in dealing with the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. This effectiveness can most likely be attributed to the phytonutrients of plants, as well as an abundance of minerals such as calcium and magnesium that are found in plant-based diets.
Phytonutrients are nutrients present in specific plants that can positively impact the health of the human body. Phytonutrients aren’t usually essential for human health but can positively impact your health, nonetheless. Different plants are loaded with phytonutrients; you can get every benefit possible by consuming a diet that’s largely based on plants!
Let’s be honest: For all its wonderful benefits, veganism isn’t an easy dietary change to adopt—it takes dedication, as well as careful dietary planning.
While some vitamins that are primarily found in meats are hard to get on a vegan diet, these vitamins can adequately be replenished by taking certain supplements. Vegans often look to spirulina, (green algae), to supplement Vitamin B-12 deficiencies that inevitably occur.
Dietary inadequacies should be the least of your concerns, however; vegan diets can provide a host of potent health benefits that far outweigh that of the typical diets. Beans can provide substantial digestive and anti-cancer benefits. Fruits and vegetables can provide an abundance of minerals and vitamins that you may not have consumed before.
The list is quite extensive, and we certainly didn’t cover all of the benefits. One thing remains certain, however—the health benefits of a vegan diet shouldn’t be overlooked!