How a Vegan Diet Will Change Your Life

(image: Pexels)

(image: Pexels)

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By Clara Corinne

As our interest in health rises, so too does the abundance of plant-based establishments. Veganism, while not new, has grown more popular over the last few years thanks, in part, to social media influencers who actively promote wellness. Veganism is not just another trend to hop on to, but a real lifestyle shift that brings positive changes to one’s health and overall wellbeing.

For the longest time, veganism received criticism for being a starvation diet, but it really isn’t. As Koya Webb previously pointed out, you can completely indulge without harming other creatures. It’s becoming more common to see no-meat burgers, juice bars, dairy-free desserts, smoothie bowls, and other cruelty-free offerings in vegan joints. But if you want to be dedicated to a healthy lifestyle, you also want to curb your appetite for junk food and sweets. Then you’ll be able to witness how this diet can really change your life.

One of the main benefits of a diet free of animal protein is the increased heart protection. The journal of Progress in Cardiovascular Disease supplied evidence that those who follow a plant-based diet can reduce their risk of coronary heart disease by 40%. Researchers also found that 91% of patients with blocked arteries were cleared partially or fully from occlusion, while the chances of getting hypertension decreases by 34%. Cholesterol levels were also significantly lower than patients who consumed animal products. Veganism has always been targeted by critics as an unfounded nutrition plan but here is verifiable information to support its claims of improved health. One example is former president Bill Clinton who switched to a predominantly plant based diet in 2010 after undergoing surgery for chest pains.

With the elimination of processed meats and dairy, it’s also easier to manage one’s weight on a vegan diet. Alanis Morissette famously lost 20 pounds a decade ago after adopting a vegan diet. The Canadian singer said she ate too much processed and salty food which led to a weight gain but reversed it with a healthy lifestyle. It can also help you steer clear of weight-related conditions such as obesity and diabetes. For those living with Type 2 diabetes, a diet of mostly non-starchy vegetables, beans, nuts, and seeds is low on the glycemic index and will aid in controlling blood sugar levels. If you’re struggling to keep your weight down, it might be time to consider reducing your meat intake while upping your consumption of plants.

One of the most common mistakes of those starting out with veganism is just eating bland, caloric-sparse salads. You might get symptoms such as light-headedness and a general lack of energy. However, when planned carefully, veganism can help you boost your energy levels. To illustrate, let’s look at professional tennis player Venus Williams. Live Kindly described how the older Williams sister shifted to a mostly raw vegan diet after being diagnosed with Sjögren’s syndrome. One of the symptoms of the autoimmune disease is prolonged fatigue, which the seven-Grand Slam title holders has successfully overcome. Williams may not be the player that she once was but she remains a household name and is behind her younger sister, Serena, as the highest earning female tennis player of all-time. That said, a clean diet has helped Venus remain active on the court and will also help others feel more active and healthier.

The choice to ditch the meat doesn’t just improve one’s personal health; it helps heal our planet, too. The Conversation detailed that the meat industry causes significant damage to the earth’s resources and produces greenhouse gas emissions larger than those of ships, planes, trucks, and cars combined. However, if more people shift to eating more plants, the demand for meat will decrease as well as the supply. The grains that are used feeding livestock can also be reallocated to alleviating world hunger.

Veganism is more than a diet. It’s a selfless gesture that we can do to help our personal health and well-being, as well as the other inhabitants of this world we share.

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