The Benefits of Opting to Lead a Vegan Lifestyle

contributed by Jennifer Oates

Many of the visitors to Rainbow Blossom Natural Food Markets are committed to living dedicated vegan lifestyles. Vegans don’t ingest anything of animal origin; this is usually a decision made for moral reasons but increasingly people have turned to veganism because of its health benefits too. Despite veganism being viewed rather suspiciously by the mainstream media, there are many benefits of choosing to lead a vegan lifestyle. A large glut of research has been conducted into these benefits and found that a vegan lifestyle can be amongst one of the healthiest ways to eat. Interested in veganism and want to find out more? Here are just some of the main reasons people choose to opt for a vegan lifestyle, and how to do so in the healthiest way possible:

The Right Kind of Vegan Diet

The assumption is made that a vegan diet is a healthy and nutritional diet. However this doesn’t necessarily have to be true.  Whilst many vegans do enjoy diets that are full of delicious and wholesome fruits and vegetables, it is entirely possible to eat an unhealthy vegan diet loaded with French fries and donuts, provided they are cooked in vegan vegetable oil rather than butter or lard. [1] Just like any lifestyle choice, if you want to be unhealthy and eat junk food then there’s always a way. So opting for a vegan diet isn’t enough: opting for a healthy vegan diet is much more important. Choose the right types of foods though and a vegan diet can be one of the healthiest ways to eat and despite popular opinion, it is possible to get all of the vitamins and minerals you need simply by enjoying a plant based diet. [2] However you may need to take a daily supplement in order to ensure you intake all of the vitamin B12 you need, as this is one of the most common vitamins omitted from a vegan diet, and vitamin B12 deficiency is the most common vegan complaints. Most people get the vitamin B12 they need from drinking milk and milk based produced, as the vitamin is routinely added to this, but of course that isn’t an option for those seeking to lead a vegan lifestyle and avoid all animal produce.

Amazing Health Benefits

Research has shown that vegetarians live longer than meat eaters because of their diet [3] with vegetarians being 12% less likely to die of any natural cause. There are several reasons posed for this. Vegans tend to have lower cholesterol levels, owing to the smaller amount of fat (particularly the lack of animal fat) in their diets which will lower their risks of suffering from several chronic conditions, such as high blood pressure, metabolic syndrome, diabetes and heart disease. What is interesting is that vegans and vegetarians tend to drink less alcohol than their meat eating counterparts. Whilst there are both vegetarian and vegan alcohol options available[4] people choosing these lifestyles don’t tend to binge drink or become drunk on a regular basis. This is attributed to vegans and vegetarians having a higher level of health awareness, because of the lifestyle choices they make and is another reason why vegetarians and vegans tend to be healthier and live longer lives.

The Physical Benefits of Becoming Vegan

As well as the multitude of health benefits there is also a host of physical benefits of opting for a vegan lifestyle: no doubt one of the main reasons this lifestyle is so popular amongst celebrities. Vegan diets are generally packed full of vitamins A and E, owing to the large number of nuts and vegetables they contain. These vitamins play a big role in keeping skin looking clear and healthy: if you switch to a vegan diet you should notice an immediate reduction in the amount of blemishes and imperfections you have. [5] Smart veganism can also lead to weight loss, provided you eliminate all of the unhealthy fat rich foods that tend to be associated with a non-vegan diet. Recent studies have shown that a diet without meat (be that vegan or vegetarian) leads to a lower BMI. This is usually an indicator of a healthy weight and lack of fat on the body. With so many wonderful benefits, why not try veganism for yourself?

References

[1] http://www.oprah.com/health/The-Benefits-and-Dangers-of-a-Vegan-Diet-Advice-from-Dr-Katz 
[2] http://www.vegetariantimes.com/article/why-go-veg-learn-about-becoming-a-vegetarian/ 
[3] http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2335444/Are-vegetarian-diets-secret-long-life-People-avoid-meat-better-health-lower-blood-pressure.html 
[4] https://www.vegsoc.org/alcohol 
[5] http://www.wildflourveganbakerycafe.com/2011/08/42-health-benefits-of-going-vegan/

Rainbow Blossom

Rainbow Blossom Natural Food Markets, 3738 Lexington Road, Louisville, KY 40207