When you think of veganism, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? Is it the stereotype of the skinny hippie living off of seeds and leaves? Or is it the image of an individual committed to making the world a better place through their actions? Both are probably true, but veganism offers benefits far beyond these generalizations. There are many ways in which veganism can improve both your short-term and long-term health. And this article is here to examine the impact a vegan lifestyle can have on preventable diseases!
How Eating Vegan Affects Your Body
Switching to veganism can be an incredibly beneficial lifestyle change for your body. Unlike a diet of more traditional foods, eliminating animal-based products ensures that you take in far fewer saturated fats and cholesterol, which is known to reduce the risk factors for heart disease. And the high concentration of antioxidants and polyphenols found in fruits, vegetables, and other plant-based foods also aids in lowering levels of inflammation.
Eating vegan also helps ensure that you take in the many essential vitamins and minerals to maintain your body’s overall health. Vitamin A, for example, is critical for a healthy immune system, as it helps battle infections and protects against cell damage. And vitamin K supports bone health by helping promote the regular activity of osteoblasts, which are responsible for building new bones.
But what about veganism’s effects on more specific health issues, like diabetes and cancer?
The Impact Of Veganism On Preventable Diseases
When you go to the doctor, they may mention some diseases you are more susceptible to because of your genetic background or family history. But the truth is that many of these diseases are preventable through simple lifestyle changes, like switching to a vegan diet. Studies have shown that eating a plant-based diet can reduce your risk for several different conditions, including:
Type 2 Diabetes
With the proper nutrition, vegan diets can be incredibly beneficial for those with type 2 diabetes. The idea behind adopting a vegan diet is to allow your body to optimize the chemicals that are responsible for improving insulin sensitivity. Eating vegan includes whole grains, legumes, fruits, and vegetables that provide vitamins and minerals needed to manage diabetes while avoiding processed and refined foods, which can raise blood sugar levels.
A vegan diet also provides essential fatty acids, which are necessary for controlling inflammation throughout the body, helping to prevent metabolic disorders like diabetes. In addition, studies have demonstrated that following a plant-based diet leads to a significant improvement in glucose levels when compared to non-vegans. And for those at risk of type 2 diabetes, veganism can significantly lower glucose levels and increase insulin sensitivity reversing the risk factors for the disease.
As veganism typically promotes foods low in saturated fats and rich in essential fatty acids and anti-inflammatory compounds, those with arthritis can benefit significantly from adopting a plant-based diet. In addition, having a balanced vegan nutritional intake can reduce specific pain symptoms associated with arthritis, including reducing joint inflammation and increasing mobility. It may even be beneficial to consume natural supplements derived from plants. For example, some studies suggest that supplements like spirulina could help reduce arthritic pain for those who follow a vegan lifestyle.
If you have not developed arthritis yet, switching to a vegan diet now may bring you benefits in the future by reducing your risk of developing this condition. A recent study found that vegans were over 20% less likely to develop arthritis than non-vegans. This can be huge for those with a family history of arthritis or who want to avoid developing this debilitating condition.
With roughly 13% of men in America getting prostate cancer, anything you can do to prevent this disease is worth considering. And veganism may be able to help! Studies show that men who follow a vegan diet are up to 35% less likely to develop prostate cancer than men who follow other eating structures. This is due to the plant-based components of the vegan diet, such as fruits and vegetables, providing essential nutrients and vitamins like lutein, lycopene, and beta-carotene.
These powerful compounds have cancer-fighting properties, meaning they can help ward off the disease. Additionally, by reducing your intake of animal fats, like those found in red meat and dairy products, you lessen your body’s exposure to environmental toxins that may, in turn, lead to cancer development. For these reasons, it is no wonder why an increasing number of men are turning towards a plant-based diet when looking for ways to reduce their risk of prostate cancer.
Eating a vegan diet may also be beneficial in preventing and managing cardiovascular disease. This is because vegan diets are often higher in fiber, potassium, and antioxidants, which can help reduce inflammation. According to several clinical studies, switching to a vegan diet has been shown to cause positive changes in cholesterol levels, lower blood pressure, reduce inflammation and improve endothelial function, all of which are important factors for maintaining heart health.
Additionally, vegans typically have lower body weights than non-vegans, so they can be at a significantly lower risk of developing coronary heart disease and other related conditions. Ultimately transitioning to a vegan lifestyle may not be easy for everyone, but making small changes like reducing or eliminating dairy products or meat from the diet can still have enormous health benefits for the heart.
The last preventive disease this article will highlight is breast cancer. Similar to prostate cancer in men, roughly 13% of women in America will get breast cancer. But luckily, there are steps you can take to reduce your risk. And one of which is switching to a vegan diet. Studies have shown that vegans are more likely to have a healthy body weight, which is beneficial to preventing many types of cancer, due to obesity being one of the main contributing factors.
Eating vegan-friendly foods also eliminates exposure to additives, hormones, and preservatives that can accumulate in people’s bodies and cause long-term damage. Consuming organic food makes it easier for you to remain mindful about what you consume and take control of your health. Furthermore, vegan diets include aromatase inhibitors like curcumin found in turmeric and lignans found in flaxseeds which can prevent hormones naturally produced within the body from turning into forms associated with breast tumors.
Consider The Impact Veganism Has On Preventable Diseases!
Regardless of what you have heard about veganism, there are clear benefits to adopting a plant-based diet. Not only can it help reduce the risk of preventable diseases, but it can also have positive effects on heart health, breast cancer risk, and inflammation levels. So if you’re looking for ways to improve your overall health and well-being, consider embracing a vegan lifestyle today! And if you need help getting started, consult a trusted health professional for guidance and advice.