A vegan diet can be very rich in nutrients. By switching to a vegan diet you will rely on other healthier foods. In the case of whole foods plant-based diet, these will be whole grains, fruit, vegetables, beans, peas, nuts and seeds. This will mean and higher intake of beneficial nutrients when compared to an omnivore diet. One of the main factors in our life that can control our health is our diet. This is the case for many cancers. By eating more legumes and fruit and vegetables the risk of dying from cancer can be reduced dramatically. Also by eating soy the risk of breast cancer is reduced. Recently processed meats were added to the WHO’S list of carcinogenic foods particularly those meats which are cooked at high temperatures.
Vegans tend to have more fibre and antioxidants in their diets. They are also higher in potassium, magnesium, folate and Vitamins A, C, and E. However if you do not follow the vegan diet carefully you may be lacking in fatty acids, vitamin b12, iron, calcium, iodine and zinc. In particular, in the case of vitamin B12, a supplement may be necessary.
Veganism can also lead to weight loss. Vegans do tend to be thinner and have a lower BMI than omnivores. Weight loss can even be easier when following the vegan diet. As you are eating a diet which is rich in fibre you will feel fuller faster and for longer. So more rumbling tummies. Vegans also have lower blood sugar and are more sensitive to insulin and are at a much lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes. It can also be beneficial for your kidneys as animal-based protein is known to be harmful to the kidneys.
It is well publicised that eating fruits, vegetables and legumes are linked to a lower risk of heart disease. As these form the basis of a vegan diet then it should really go without saying that a vegan diet reduces your risk of dying from heart disease which is one of the biggest killers in the last 50 years. Vegans tend to consume more heart-healthy fats in the form of omega 3 and polyunsaturated fats.
It is clear from this and a number of other factors that veganism does have great health benefits but if you are not ready to take the plunge into what is undeniably a tricky lifestyle to follow, why not try – for now, increasing the amount of plant-based foods in your diet and reducing animal-based products. It can only do you good.