A vegan diet includes only plant-based products. Unlike vegetarians, vegans also restrict from consuming dairy products such as eggs or milk. According to a 2019 online survey conducted by The Harris poll, over 5 million Americans eat a vegan diet.
A Vegan Diet Includes Vegetables, Fruits, Legumes, Seeds, Grains, Nuts, and Legumes.
A healthy vegan diet needs mindful planning to get the same amount of minerals, vitamins, and caloric needs as their vegan counterparts. A vegan diet can necessarily not be healthy if it includes processed food. Due to the exclusion of dairy products, these individuals contain a lower amount of vitamin D, Vitamin B12, and calcium. Therefore, it must include certain fortified food products like plant-based milk or fortified vegan-based products.
Adds To The Fiber
Dietary fiber is the part of vegetables, fruits, loaves of bread, nuts, and seeds that your small intestine cannot easily digest. However, bacteria that live in the large intestine may digest part of it. You should add fiber to the diet as it serves positive benefits. Our gut contains a microbiome, which is essential for the gut and aids in digestion. These are good bacteria that maintain the health of our metabolism and, in return, of the immune system. These plant-based products feed the good bacteria with fiber which has an important role to play in obesity. Consumption of junk food leads to obesity which has comorbidities related to it, such as type 2 diabetes, cholesterol, hypertension, and cardiovascular disorders.
It Keeps Inflammation At Bay
Essential components such as carotenoids, polyphenols are derived from these plant-based sources. These polyphenols are present as micro-components in vegetables and fruits and add to the vibrant red, orange, green and yellow colors. They are secondary products of plants and are usually required to protect against ultraviolet radiation or attack by microbes. They may also contribute to bitterness, roughness, color, texture, aroma, and stress stability in food.
Fruits, cereal, beverages, and legumes are some of the essential sources of polyphenols. Studies have reported that fruits such as apples, pears, grapes, and cherries contain up to 200–300 mg polyphenols per 100g fresh weight. Other compounds such as chocolate, legumes, and cereals also contribute to the polyphenolic intake. These compounds decrease inflammation by acting on the body’s inflammatory components during stress.
Protective Role In Cancer And Neurodegenerative Disorders!
Bell peppers, cinnamon, turmeric, and eucalyptus are rich in compounds called terpenoids with an anticancer role and used in chemotherapy. Certain compounds, such as monoterpenes that can easily be synthesized from peppermint or eucalyptus oil, are studied for their anti-tumor-related roles and are in various clinical trials.
Neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s occur due to plaque formation and loss of neuronal cells. Certain plant compounds reduce these plaques or inhibit the inflammatory compounds released by the body’s cells.
Progression Towards A Healthier Body
First Few Weeks
The first few days can be the most significant challenge as your body can be tempted to binge on meat or junk products simply. It can be tough provided you have a complete meal that increases satiety and gives a feeling of fullness and satisfaction.
However, as time shifts, your bowel becomes used to the vegan diet. Regular bowel movement due to the presence of fiber will maintain a healthy gut system, and you do not have issues of bloating or constipation.
Change in the diet also causes a difference in the microflora residing in the gut. It depends on the form of food, whether processed or natural, and these microbes grow accordingly. In recent times gut microbiota is an interest of study due to their positive role in maintaining a healthy immune system.
First Six Months
The prolonged period of the vegan diet reduces acne-related problems in individuals. It has also aided in weight loss. Obesity correlates with health-related issues such as diabetes, hypertension, cholesterol, and cardiovascular disorders. A vegan diet can help in reducing obesity, and therefore, a dedicated approach towards eating healthy can also decrease body weight to quite some extent.
At this point, it is essential to include plant-based milk products, such as soy milk or almond milk, to get in all the vitamin D and vitamin B12 that your body has reduced to store. Exposure to adequate sunlight is also crucial for vitamin D. Remember, a decrease in vitamin D can lead to a deficiency in calcium which can be hazardous to health.
To A Year And Beyond
Studies suggest that a year of a vegan diet can nullify the stores of vitamin B12. Therefore, it is essential to include these via diet, such as through fortified vegan products. As dairy products are excellent sources of vitamin B12, your body having avoided these sources, you would have to look in for other sources such as nutritional yeast, mushrooms, etc.
Also, please focus on the calcium stores, as it is evident that prolonged years of a vegan diet can affect the calcium stores in your body. Calcium is stored in bones in teeth, and your body requires it for skeletal development. Also, almost all the intracellular signaling in the body and how the cells communicate depend on calcium levels.
Shifting your diet to veganism is a good start to a healthy lifestyle. However, it is essential to note that a balanced vegan diet is vital for a healthy body. Components such as vitamin D, vitamin B12, and calcium are low in a vegan diet, and therefore, one must make sure to include these in the form of fortified products in every portion of the meal. With an outstanding balance, vegan food can do wonders by keeping all the lifestyle-related morbidities such as hypertension, obesity, cardiovascular disorders, and many more.