It's all the rage, it's everywhere and it appears that Veganism is here to stay or even take over! The Vegan Society reports that as of 2018, there were about 600 000 vegans in Great Britain, which is approximately a 300% increase in vegans from 2014. Many sceptics consider veganism to be a passing trend; but if we were to delve deeper, there are numerous benefits to adopting a vegan diet or even incorporating more plant based food into your life.
Boosts Heart Health: meat contains a lot of saturated fat, which can be detrimental to the heart when eaten in excess amounts. By cutting out the meat, you'll be doing your heart a massive favour! Furthermore, a study conducted by The Journal of the American Heart Association found that consuming a plant based diet reduces the risk of developing cardiovascular disease by 16%. Although, this is only part of the solution. Ensuring that you consume healthy plant based alternatives such as whole grains instead of processed vegan substitutes is just as important!
Helps with Diabetes: Diabetes is increasingly becoming a worldwide health issue, with over 370 million people suffering from it around the world. However, switching to a plant based diet has proved to be a viable option to manage Diabetes. Cyrus Khambatta, PhD, discovered that following a whole food plant based diet can: boost insulin sensitivity and reduce insulin use by more than 40% after six months as well as increase blood flow to tissues in the body and reduce the likelihood of diabetes related damage. While it may not be an out and out cure, adopting a plant based diet can go a long way in alleviating the symptoms associated with diabetes.
Reduces Blood Pressure: many studies have shown that adopting a plant based diet reduces blood pressure which reduces the likelihood of developing other conditions such as heart disease, stroke and also Type 2 diabetes. Thus, adopting a vegan diet can act as a ripple effect by protecting us from other health conditions. Sounds like a great deal if you ask me!
They say that the proof is often in the pudding; and as a vegan convert of 2 years, the difference in my life has been like night and day. Before my days of veganism, I would indulge on an assortment of meats, cakes and cheese. Unfortunately, there was a price to pay as I found myself suffering from breakouts of acne, anxiety, low energy and lethargy as well as a lack of focus. But once I fully made the transition, my energy levels have increased tenfold.
I no longer feel tired in the morning; and I went from running out of breath from a light jog to comfortably doing laps around my local park! This shouldn't come as a surprise as many top athletes like Lewis Hamilton and Novak Djokovic have claimed that a vegan diet has boosted their physical and mental performance in their respective sports. And while I have been dubbed as a "grass eater" amongst my loved ones, this is a very small price to pay when we consider the benefits that I have managed to harness!
So, in light of World Vegan Day, why not give it a go? Small steps can go a long way and the benefits that I've mentioned above are just waiting to be discovered by you!
Written by Harin Vinumon