Why going vegan will boost your energy level?
‘You don’t need a silver fork to eat good food.’
You would have probably heard it many times, but are we eating right. Some experts and people believe any form of eating meat and using animal products is a cruel, and it’s an inhumane act.
That’s why people are changing their regular lifestyle to a vegan lifestyle.
Vegan doesn’t eat any animal products; this means no meat, dairy, fish, or eggs. Some of them even exclude honey, refined sugar, gelatin, some wine, and beer. They also don’t prefer to wear clothing made with animal skin like wool or leather, buy cosmetics tested on animals, or any entertainment that relies on animal exploitation.
The lifestyle they adopted is referred to as veganism, and it is becoming trendy. Many famous personalities have like Bill Clinton, Mike Tyson, Carrie Underwood, Pamela Anderson, Beyoncé, and others who have adopted the veganism lifestyle.
3% of people in America are following veganism.
Why are people actively becoming vegan?
Vegans choose to avoid animal products for various reasons:
- Due to ethics: These vegans believe that all creatures have the right to live and live with freedom. Therefore, these people refuse to consume the flesh, drink the milk, and not wear the skin of animals as there are vegan products in the market. These vegans may demonstrate protests, raising awareness, and choosing products that don’t involve any animal agriculture.
- Due to health: Some individuals are inclined towards veganism because of its potential health benefits. As per a study, plant-based diets effectively reduce the risk of heart disease, cancer, type 2 diabetes, and premature death.
This study also proves that as there is no intake of the animal product, so it will likely reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
A vegan diet is also consistently linked to lower body weight and BMI.
- To protect the environment: People often choose to avoid animal products because of animal agriculture’s environmental impact.
As per the 2010 United Nations report, it was argued that animal products generally require more resources and cause higher greenhouse gas emissions compared to the plant-based product.
Animal agriculture contributes to 64% of global nitrous oxide emissions, 38% of methane emissions, and 10 % of carbon dioxide emissions. These chemicals are considered among the three core greenhouse gases, which results in climate change.
How many types of veganism?
- Whole food vegans: They favor a diet of whole food such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grains, and seeds.
- Raw food vegans: these individuals eat raw and cooked food at temperatures of 48° C.
- Low fat, Raw food vegans: are often known as fruitarians; they include nuts, coconuts, avocados, and fruits.
- Dietary vegans: These individuals avoid eating animals in their diet but generally use them in other products, i.e., cosmetics and clothing.
- Junk food vegan: this group relies on processed vegan food, i.e., fries, vegan meats, frozen dinners, and desserts.
So, what food a vegan should avoid?
Vegans have to avoid eating any animal foods or any food containing ingredients derived from animals. Such as:
- Meat and poultry: chicken, turkey, lamb, beef, pork, veal, goose, duck, ham, etc.
- Seafood: anchovies, shrimp, squid, scallops, crab, lobster, mussels, etc.
- Eggs: All types of berries from chicken, quails, fish, ostriches, etc.
- Dairy: Milk, cheese, yogurt, butter, cream, ice cream, etc.
- Animals based ingredients: casein, whey, lactose, egg white albumen, gelatin, isinglass, animal-derived vitamin D3, fish-derived omega-3 fatty acids, etc.
Now people often argue that vegan food is not at all nutritious and provides you a low amount of energy. However, the reality is just the opposite. There should be a well planned vegan diet which can help you to stay healthy and boost your energy levels. Let us discuss what they are:
- Legumes: Legumes are rich in protein and iron. Peas, lentils, and beans are significant options that contain 10-20 grams of protein per cup.
They are also a good source of fiber, iron, manganese, zinc, folate, antioxidants, and other plant compounds. They also contain the right amount of anti-nutrients.
A vegan should avoid this food consumption with calcium-rich foods as calcium hinders the absorption of zinc and iron.
- Flax, hemp, and chia seeds: These seeds have a unique nutrient profile. All three contain large amounts of protein than other grains and seeds.
One ounce of hemp seed contains 9 grams of easily digestible protein. The ratio of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acid in hemp seeds is considered sufficient for human health. Hemp seeds also prove to be very effective at diminishing symptoms of menopause and premenstrual syndrome.
Chia and flaxseeds are also high in alpha-linolenic acid; an essential omega-three fatty acid can partly convert into docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA).
They both play a vital role in nervous system development and maintenance. These long-chain fatty acids also play beneficial roles in pain, inflammation, depression, and anxiety.
Chia seeds and flax seeds are an excellent substitute for eggs in baking and extremely healthy.
- Nuts, nut butter, and seeds: A vegan can add these nuts, and byproducts in the pantry or refrigerator. A 1 ounce serving of nuts and can provide you 5-12 grams of protein.
They are the best alternative to protein-rich animal products. Also, they are a great source of fiber, magnesium, vitamin E, and zinc. They also contain antioxidants and beneficial compounds.
They are also very versatile. Either you can consume it whole or use it in desserts, cheese, gravies, etc. Consuming cheese with cashews is a great option.
Make sure you use unprocessed varieties as nutrients are lost while processing. Use natural nut butter.
- Tofu and other substitutes of processed meat: tofu and tempeh are prepared to substitute of meat made from soya beans. They are good sources of iron and calcium. They both also contain 16-19 grams of protein in 3.5 ounces. Tofu is prepared by pressing soybean curds, and it is considered as a popular substitute for meats. It can be sautéed, scrambled, or grilled. It is a popular alternative to eggs and can be recipes such as omelets, quiche, and frittatas.
Tempeh is made by fermented soybeans. Its unique flavor makes it a popular alternative for fish.
Due to the fermentation process, tempeh has a meager amount of vitamin B12. This is mainly found in animal products as the quantity of vitamin B12 is low. So, a vegan should not solely rely on tempeh for this.
Seiten is also considered as a tasty meat substitute. It provides about 25 grams of wheat protein per 3.5 ounces. It also contains little amount of iron, calcium, and phosphorus. However, individuals who are gluten intolerant cant consume this due to its high gluten content.
- Yogurts and calcium-fortified plant milk: Vegans consume a minimal amount of calcium per day than vegetarian or meat-eaters, which may negatively impact on your bone health.
Vegan attempts to prepare plain yogurts and calcium-fortified plant milk as a part of your daily menu.
Vegans can increase their protein intake by milk and yogurts made from hemp and soy. Almond, coconut, oat, and rice milk are lower protein alternatives.
- Whole grains and cereals: They are a good source of complex carbohydrates, fiber, and iron. They are also rich in B vitamins, magnesium, zinc, phosphorus, and selenium.
These grains are more nutritious and especially when we talk about protein.
The ancient grains like teff and spelled in the ground state contain 12 grams of protein per cooked cup compared to wheat and rice.
The pseudocereals quinoa and amaranth contain about 8 grams of protein per cooked cup.
- Nutritional yeast: It is made of the deactivated strain of Saccharomyces cerevisiae yeast. I can be found in the form of yellow powder in supermarkets.
It contains 14 grams of protein and 7 grams of fiber. It is commonly fortified with magnesium, zinc, copper, B vitamins, and manganese, and it also contains vitamin B12.
Therefore it is considered a practical way for vegans to reach their daily intake recommendation of vitamin B12.
- Fruits and vegetables: Vegans rely on vegan junk food and mock meats to replace their favorite animal foods. These food are highly processed and consider unhealthy.
One can replace these with vitamins and minerals rich fruit and vegetables.
Mashed banana is an excellent substitute for eggs in baking recipes. Likewise, Banana ice-cream is also an excellent replacement for dairy based ice-creams. Blend a frozen banana until it is creamy and smooth, then enjoy it with your preferred toppings.
Portobello and cremini mushrooms can satiate your cravings for a meaty texture. One can even enjoy them grilled. Also, jackfruit is an excellent substitute for meat in savory items.
The vegan diet is low in iron and calcium. A vegan must go for leafy vegetables like spinach, kale, Bok-Choy, mustard greens, and watercress.
So far, we have discussed what a vegan can eat and food that provides them more energy. Now let’s talk about some health benefits of consuming a planned vegan diet:
- A planned Vegan diet is rich in nutrients like fiber and antioxidants. They are also rich in potassium, magnesium, Vitamin A, C, E, and folate.
- It will help to lose more weight, as per a study it was found that vegans have lower body mass index than non-vegans.
- It will reduce the risk of certain cancers like colorectal, prostate, breast, and colon.
- It improves kidney function and lower blood sugar levels.
- It will improve your sleep quality.
- It promotes collagen production, and that is the reason why vegans look younger.
- It is also strongly linked to a lower risk of heart disease.
- It can reduce pain from arthritis.
A well planned vegan diet can provide an array of health benefits. But a vegan may find it difficult to eat these nutrients as mentioned above, rich fortified food. Hence should consider taking the following supplements:
- Vitamin B12
- Vitamin D
- DHA and EPA
Eat vegan, stay healthy.
A planned vegan diet is easily digestible and highly nutritious as compared to animal foods. You’ll feel lethargic, low, and drained when your digestive system is overworked.
That’s the reason why including a plant-based diet that vegan eats will increase your energy levels. This will help you to be productive throughout the day. Also, it will help you to look and feel younger.