The word vegan initially refers to a diet that is free from animal products like meat, eggs, honey, or dairy products, also including fish. For people who are animal lovers, a vegan diet is the best alternative to remain healthy and fit. This diet focuses on plant-based food ideas to provide a person with all the nutrients they need for staying free from diseases. Nowadays, people are switching to a vegan diet due to health issues and environmental concerns. Hence, the sale of plant-based food is rising dramatically. This diet is rich in health supplements and very low in saturated fats.
It has been proven that this diet improves heart health, reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes, and gives protection against cancer-like diseases. Therefore, people who are eating a vegan diet should carefully learn to obtain the required nutrients like iron, calcium, and other vitamins that are present in an omnivorous diet. For a closer look at the health benefits and risks of a vegan diet, here are some points to consider, before you include it in your daily routine diet.
Plants And Vitamins
The vitamins obtained from plants are very essential for your overall health including growth and vitality. They eliminate many diseases by improving your digestion and resistance. Plants are a rich source of vitamins including vitamins A, B, C, and B12.
- All yellow and orange fruits, green leafy vegetables, etc are full of vitamin A, which improves your eyesight and night vision.
- To manage fatigue, stress, anxiety, insomnia, and nervousness, grains like wheat, rice husk, and whole grains are very helpful. They are rich in vitamin B (B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B9, and B12).
- To improve your immune system, connective tissue and adrenal support Vitamin C plays an important role. It is available in all citrus fruits, peppers, cabbage, tomatoes, and green leafy vegetables.
- For your overall bone health and improved immune system, vitamin D is very essential, this can be obtained from sunlight by spending 15 to 30 minutes daily.
- To prevent aging, chronic disease, and cells from oxidation, vitamin B12 is very helpful. The best source of this vitamin are grains, seeds, and nuts.
Therefore, a colorful, varied, and balanced diet derived from plants (vegan diet) provides you with all necessary nutrients, hence, it is suggested to opt for a vegan diet, rather than animal-based food.
Plant Forward Eating
Plant-based diets not only include vegetables and fruit but also whole grains, beans, nuts, seeds, and legumes. Because it has been proven that plant-based food provides necessary vitamins, minerals, fats, carbohydrates, and proteins to minimize the risk of high blood pressure, diabetes, coronary heart disease, etc. Some plants are rich in fiber and phytonutrients to offer optimal health.
Fatty Acids are not only present in animals but they can be obtained from vegetable fats and oils. They help in breaking down the fats in our body during digestion and provide support in absorbing them into the blood. These acids can be obtained from Chia seeds, Sprouts (Brussels), Algal oil, Walnut, Flaxseeds, Perilla oil, and Hemp Seeds.
Omega-3 fatty acids are essential fats to reduce blood triglycerides, risk of dementia, and inflammation. Meeting the needs of Omega 3 fatty acids is very challenging for vegans, hence, if you don’t supplement your diet with (ALA) Alpha-linolenic acid, (EPA) eicosapentaenoic acid, and (DHA) docosahexaenoic acid in good amount, you are likely to have many health hazards. Seeds, nuts, natural oil, and sprouts can help you in fulfilling the needs of Omega-3 fatty acids.
When it comes to diet, following the vegan diet is preferred by vegetarians. They believe that when all the nutrients are available in plant-based food, what is the need of eating animal products? These people refrain from consuming dairy products, eggs, fish, and meat and follow a vegan diet strictly.
A nutrient that helps in making DNA and keeps blood cells and nerves healthy in our body is called vitamin B12. It is a soluble vitamin that regulates the metabolism of fatty acids and amino acids in the human body. For vegans and vegetarians fortified cereals, like Malt-0-Meal or Raisin Bran can help increase vitamin B12. Hence, choose products that are rich in fiber or whole grains with less amount of added sugar.
Shed Some Pounds
Many people choose a vegan diet for health benefits. Researchers have proven that a vegan diet helps in weight loss. As per the recent studies, it is found that eating fresh vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts, beans, and legumes helps in losing some weight because they are low in calories. If you really want to lose weight, consume potatoes, corn, oats, and avocados.
Generally, regular fish oil supplements have a high level of Omega-3 fatty acids but for vegans, the best source of Omega-3 is found in algal-oil. Hence, it should be included in the diet to increase the amount of fat in the body to enhance the absorption capacity.
Precooked, frozen, or canned food, all fall under the category of processed food. This type of food has gained a bad reputation and is blamed to have been a major cause of high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes. But for busy people, fortified foods like milk and juices with Vitamin D and calcium content, cereals with added fiber, tinned fruits packed in their own juice, in absence of fresh fruit can be a good alternative. But if, you want to minimize the quantity of processed food, include vegetables, whole grains, and beans while you do a bit of cooking at home.
Plants And Health
Plants are very rich in nutrients like vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, and antioxidants to help your immune system work efficiently. A plant-based diet or vegan diet allows you to balance your body and keep the cells healthy. Food obtained from plant sources can reduce the risk of cancer. Going vegan does not mean that you can’t eat animal-based food (meat) but plant-based food such as vegetables, fruits, seeds, whole grains, nuts, and beans can help you enjoy all the health benefits that no other diet can offer. Plants have all the required supplements to help your body fight diseases and infection. It not only improves your immune system but also helps in maintaining a healthy weight. It keeps you fit and strong to fight all germs and microorganisms. Hence, it is suggested to include a vegan meal in your diet and enjoy a long life free from dangerous diseases.