With the growing awareness about health and diets, many people are opting to go vegan. Veganism should not be seen as just a diet, it is a lifestyle. It is a more ethical approach to the diet culture we see nowadays. People who are vegans consume a plant-based diet and reject all kinds of animal products. Let’s look at the benefits of Veganism.
According to the vegan philosophy, animals should not be used for food, clothes, entertainment, merchandise, or labour. Their philosophy is based on the ahimsa philosophy which tries to minimise harm to the environment. If you want to know what veganism actually means, then keep reading. In this article, we will discuss all the benefits of veganism and help you decide if it is the right lifestyle for you.
What is Veganism?
The philosophy of veganism believes that what we eat has a much wider impact on our planet. Veganism is a type of vegetarian diet that is plant-based and rejects all products that are procured by killing or exploiting animals. So vegans avoid eating dairy, eggs, meat, and honey. They do not exploit any animal for their byproducts.
Vegans not only reject the eating of meat and dairy, but they also reject wearing animal products like leather. Some vegans can also abstain from riding horses deeming it cruel for the animals. It also discourages the use of makeup and other cosmetic products that were tested on animals. Vegans opt to visit animal sanctuaries rather than visit zoos and circuses. However, you have the option to choose to only be a ‘dietary vegan’ if you don’t want to restrict yourself to the other aspects.
A vegan diet comprises of plants, fruits, berries, rice, oats, tofu, nuts and bread. There are also vegan alternatives to cow milk like soy milk, almond milk and many more. Vegans only eat products that are not derived from animals so nowadays, many products come with a label that says ‘vegan’. This means that the product is cruelty-free. As people are becoming more and more aware of the need to save these animals, they are opting for these vegan alternatives.
If it seems a little bit too restrictive and you are wondering why people choose to go vegan, then know that there are many benefits of Veganism. Some people decide to switch to a vegan lifestyle because of their ethics. Their philosophy believes that animals have a right to life and they want to save them from all the pain and suffering. Some people adopt a vegan lifestyle for health concerns. A plant-based diet is good for your health, and also reduces obesity. Anyone who wants to reduce their own environmental impact can also choose to go vegan. A vegan diet is definitely good for the environment.
Benefits of Veganism
One of the biggest reasons people go vegan is health. With so many celebrities advocating the benefits of veganism, there is a growing awareness of the health benefits it offers. Vegan food is rich in nutrients since it consists of fruits, vegetables, nuts, pulses and grains. People who tend to eat a vegan diet are more likely to consume fibre, antioxidants, potassium, magnesium, folate, and vitamins A, C, and E. A vegan diet also reduces the risk of heart disease because of the low cholesterol in the diet.
Consuming vegan food also lowers the risk of cancer. Fruits and vegetables are packed with antioxidants, which reduce the risk of cancer and other diseases. Vegan food is also low on calories and can help you maintain healthy body weight. It can also prevent the risk of type 2 diabetes. People who consume vegan diets have lower sugar levels which reduce their risk of developing diabetes by 78%.
Veganism may even help you live longer. A plant-based diet reduces the risk of all causes of mortality by 25%. It can also keep your brain strong by reducing the risk of cognitive impairment and dementia. Fruits and vegetables are also rich in polyphenols which slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. This diet also boosts your mood. Living a compassionate lifestyle that does not harm animals gives you a clear conscience, and studies show that vegans may actually be happier than meat eaters.
Vegans avoid dairy and research shows that dairy is one of the causes of skin problems. Dairy consumption is said to worsen acne in both men and women. Aside from avoiding dairy, vegans consume more fruits and vegetables, which means they consume more of the essential nutrients for healthy skin, such as antioxidants and vitamins. A vegan diet has also been shown to help reduce the symptoms of arthritis. Eating animal-derived foods can cause inflammation which may in turn give rise to problems like arthritis. Consuming probiotic plant-based foods can help increase the good bacteria in the large intestine which helps in increasing nutrient absorption and decreasing inflammation.
There are studies which have shown that the vegan diet is superior and healthier than other diets like pescatarian and vegetarian diets because veganism entails eating a lot of fruits, vegetables and legumes. Vegans generally have a healthier lifestyle too because they tend to smoke less, drink less alcohol and exercise more. So overall, the benefits are Veganism are much higher.
Should you adopt Veganism?
Are you wondering if the vegan lifestyle is for you? If you want to try veganism then you should do it for the right reasons. Do not adopt veganism just because it is a fad nowadays and all your friends are going vegan. Veganism is not just a diet, it is a lifestyle, and it requires commitment. It has many health benefits and if you are looking towards a healthier tomorrow, then becoming vegan is the right choice for you.
You can also think about adopting veganism if you’re an animal lover and believe that they deserve to live a life of dignity. As a vegan, you can prevent the exploitation of animals. By avoiding buying meat and animal products, you can take a stand against animal cruelty. Being a vegan is the best way to show your compassion for animals to the entire world.
The production of meat and other animal products has a significant environmental impact, right from the crops and water required to feed them to their transportation. The massive amount of grain feed needed for meat production contributes to deforestation, habitat loss, and species extinction. Some populations are forced to grow cash crops for animal feed rather than food for themselves. A vegan diet, on the other hand, requires significantly fewer crops and water to sustain, which is good for the environment.
A plant-based diet only requires one-third of the land as compared to the land required to support a meat and dairy diet. Embracing a more sustainable way of life in this time of escalating global food and water insecurity caused by a lot of environmental and socioeconomic issues. One of the simplest ways to ease the burden on food supplies and other resources is to avoid animal products.
A vegan diet will drastically improve your health and reduce your environmental impact on the world. If this appeals to you but you’re not sure, then you can dip a toe in to find out if a vegan diet is the right diet for you. Eat a plant-based diet one day a week and see how your body responds to it. If you feel comfortable with the vegan diet then slowly increase the days before you completely adopt a vegan diet.
If you decide to go vegan for health reasons or to save the environment, then the important thing to remember is to keep it slow. Going vegan should be a slow transition like switching at least one of your meals to a plant-based diet. Doing your homework is important before transitioning into a vegan diet. Any dietary shift is tricky, and you need to make sure that you get all the nutrients your body needs.
Going vegan isn’t something you can do overnight. It takes time and a lot of research. You need to make a list of all the food you like, and find alternatives to those you can’t eat. Once in a while, you may slip up and consume meat or dairy. Making mistakes is only human, but the important thing is to pick yourself up again and continue on this journey.