5 Benefits of a Vegan Diet
Plant-based diets have become quite popular in last few years. Going vegan is a trend that many people are adopting primarily due to two reasons – health and ecological concern. When it comes to health it has numerous benefits, while it also contributes towards ecological balance which is why people regard it as an ethical choice. We have listed down five benefits, related to both health and ecology, that a vegan diet can bring.
A vegan lifestyle has a positive effect on maintaining an optimum ecological balance. Raising animals for food that includes breeding and raising them takes away a lot of natural resources. It is estimated that almost half of the world’s crops are used to feed animals raised for food. The growth in population globally requires a larger agricultural space and deforestation is associated in many areas as the forest areas are used for agriculture. However most of these lands are for grazing cattle that are for food production. Adopting a vegan lifestyle eases the market for animal products and encourages investment and production of agricultural products for human consumption. An indirect advantage of following a vegan lifestyle is that it puts less stress on natural resources including fossil fuels and water and in doing so it contributes less air pollution.
Lowers Risk of Heart Disease
Being a vegan puts you in a lower risk of heart disease and cardiac events such as heart attack. Choosing high-fiber whole grains and legumes in diet helps to keep blood sugar levels steady as it takes longer for their digestion and they have a low glycemic index. Soluble fiber in fruits and vegetables helps reduce cholesterol levels. At the same time consumption of moderate amount of nuts is good for the health of heart as they have a low glycemic index and contain many antioxidants. Studies point out that a vegan diet reduces the bad cholesterol which is LDL (low-density lipoprotein), significantly. While a vegan diet reduces the risk of health issues like heart attacks and strokes, it also helps in keeping blood pressure under control. A study suggests that vegans have a lower rate of hypertension when compared to other vegetarians, while the progression of kidney disease is slowed down through soy-based vegan diets.
Helps in Diabetes Management and Weight Loss
A vegan diet can be a great boon for all those struggling with diabetes. Keeping blood sugar levels is important when it comes to diabetic management. A vegan diet is very rich in fiber content which helps to keep the blood sugar levels in check. Some researches have shown that when people with Type 2 diabetes adopt a vegan lifestyle they are able to reduce LDL cholesterol by 20 percent. A vegan diet also helps in reducing weight which is essential in reducing the risk of diabetes. Eating plant-based diets are a good option over meat-eaters, if you want to cut off on extra calories as the natural tendency in a vegan diet is to eat fewer calories. A vegan diet improves digestion activity and increases metabolic rate, as it is rich in fibre. You will consume lesser amounts of saturated fats as there is lack of meat and dairy in a vegan diet. These factors are essential in your pursuit to maintain Body Mass Index (BMI) and lose extra weight. Nowadays there are vegan supplements available so that vegans do not have to compromise when it comes to their workouts. Check out some of the supplements you’ll need for vegan bodybuilding as you strive for good fitness.
At times the irony in many claiming to be animal lovers is that they are least bothered about practices around animal food industry. When it comes to animals for food production, factory farming reflects the cruelty that animals face. As the focus is on large scale production and bigger profits, the wellbeing of animals and worker is taken for granted. The animals are kept in overcrowded places with very little space to move and under unhygienic conditions. For mass production, some of the animal industries indulge in giving steroids to the animals in order to enhance their growth or weight. A vegan lifestyle lessens the stress on the animal market and by going vegan, you can actively campaign against the cruelty meted out to many animals.
A Good Skin
Many vegans have testified that going vegan has an immediate effect on skin. Foods in a vegan diet like vegetables, fruits, beans, legumes and whole grains are very rich in antioxidants. Antioxidants protect your cells from free radicals caused by many things like pollutants in the air including tobacco smoke and radiation. Brightly-coloured vegan varieties like red cabbage, kale, berries and avocados optimize antioxidant intake. As dairy products are not a part of a vegan diet, it helps in reduction of acne. At the same time the water and fiber content in fruits and vegetables helps the skin to be replenished and get nutrients for the skin to be healthy and clear.
Switching to a new diet may bring some discomfort at first as your body gets used to the changes, but in the long run a vegan diet can go a long way when you take your health and ecology around you seriously.