Posted on May 4, 2010 by VeganUrbanite
59 Health Benefits of Being Vegan
Vegans are frequently misunderstood as fringe eaters with an unusual passion for animal rights. Many vegans do feel passionately about animals, but its time for others to see that a vegan diet and lifestyle goes beyond ethics into the realms of nutrition and health. Following a healthy, balanced vegan diet ensures a host of health benefits as well as prevention of the major diseases striking people in affluent Countries.
All of the following nutritional benefits come from a vegan diet full of foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, nuts, beans, and soy products. And the removal of toxic substances found only in animal meat.
Reduced saturated fats. Dairy products and meats contain a large amount of saturated fats. By reducing the amount of saturated fats from your diet, you’ll improve your health tremendously, especially when it comes to cardiovascular health.
Carbohydrates. Carbohydrates provide energy for your body. When you don’t have enough carbohydrates, your body will burn muscle tissue. Don’t believe the low-carb diet fab. You need Carbohydrates to think. Without them you’ll be a skinny drone.
Fiber. A diet high in fiber (especially found in fruits and vegetables) leads to healthier bowel movements. Keeping you feeling light and healthy. High fiber diets help fight against colon cancer.
Magnesium. Aiding in the absorption of calcium, magnesium is an often overlooked vitamin in importance to a healthy diet. Nuts, seeds, and dark leafy greens are an excellent source of magnesium.
Potassium. Potassium balances water and acidity in your body and stimulates the kidneys to eliminate toxins. Diets high in potassium have shown to reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases and cancer.
Folate. This B vitamin is an important part of a healthy diet. Folate helps with cell repair, generating red and white blood cells, and metabolizing amino acids. If you’re concerned about what you’ve heard regarding B-12, it’s as simple as taking supplement. The only essential supplement a vegan requires.
Antioxidants. For protection against cell damage, antioxidants are one of the best ways to help your body. Many researchers also believe that antioxidants help protect your body against forming some types of cancer. They are rumoured to do wonders for you skin. Making you beautiful from the organs out.
Vitamin C. Besides boosting your immune system, Vitamin C also helps keep your gums healthy and helps your bruises heal faster. Vitamin C is also an antioxidant.
Vitamin E. This powerful vitamin has benefits for your heart, skin, eyes, brain, and may even help prevent Alzheimer’s Disease. A diet high in grains, nuts, and dark leafy greens is full of Vitamin E.
Phytochemicals. Plant-based foods provide phytochemicals, which help to prevent and heal the body from cancer, boost protective enzymes, and work with antioxidants in the body.
Protein. That protein is good for your body is no surprise. It may be a surprise to learn that most Americans eat too much protein and in forms such as red meat that are not healthy ways of getting protein. If you too roll your eyes every time you hear the absurd question, “Where do you get your protein?” you know that they don’t know where the best sources of heart healthy protein is. Beans, nuts, peas, lentils, and soy products are all great ways to get the right amount of protein. It’s not difficult is much more varied.
Eating a healthy vegan diet has shown to prevent a number of diseases. Find out from the list below what you could potentially avoid just by switching to a healthy, balanced vegan way of eating.
Cardiovascular disease. Eating nuts and whole grains, while eliminating dairy products and meat, will improve your cardiovascular health. A British study indicates that a vegan diet reduces the risk for heart disease and Type 2 diabetes. Vegan diets go far in preventing heart attack and stroke, as your not clogging yourself with saturated fats and cholesterol.
Cholesterol. Eliminating any food that comes from an animal and you will eliminate all dietary cholesterol from your diet. You read that correctly. If only the National Health System promoted a vegan diet. We could save thousands of lives and millions of dollars.
Blood pressure. A diet rich in whole grains is beneficial to your health in many ways. A major advantage is lowering high blood pressure.
Type 2 diabetes. Not only is a vegan diet a weapon against Type 2 diabetes, it is also “easier to follow than the standard diet recommended by the American Diabetic Association.”
Prostate cancer. A major study showed that men in the early stages of prostate cancer who switched to a vegan diet either stopped the progress of the cancer or may have even reversed the illness.
Colon cancer. Eating a diet consisting of whole grains, along with fresh fruits and vegetables, can greatly reduce your chances of colon cancer.
Breast cancer. Countries where women eat very little meat and animal products have a much lower rate of breast cancer than do the women in countries that consume more animal products. (See the China Study)
Macular degeneration. Diets with lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, especially leafy greens, carrots, pumpkin, and sweet potatoes, can help prevent the onset of age-related macular degeneration. (Age related macular degeneration is a medical condition that results in a loss of vision in the center of the visual field [the macular]because of damage to the retina.)
Cataracts. Much the same way macular degeneration is headed off by a vegan diet, cataracts are also thought to be prevented through the intake of the same fruits and vegetables. Produce high in antioxidants are also believed to help prevent cataracts.
Arthritis. Eliminating dairy consumption has long been connected with alleviating arthritis symptoms, but a new study indicates that a combination of gluten-free and vegan diet is very promising for improving the health of those suffering from rheumatoid arthritis.
Osteoporosis. Bone health depends on a balance of neither too much or too little protein, adequate calcium intake, high potassium, and low sodium. With a healthy vegan diet, all four of these points set a perfect scenario for preventing osteoporosis.High protein intake will leach the bones of calcium in attempts to digest the dense amino acids. This is especially important for women over 50.
In addition to good nutrition and disease prevention, eating vegan also provides many physical benefits. Find out how a vegan diet makes your body stronger, more attractive, and more energetic.
Body Mass Index. Several population studies show that a diet without meat leads to lower BMIs–usually an indicator of a healthy weight and lack of fat on the body. Which makes sense as there isn’t alot of fat in a carrot.
Weight loss. A healthy weight loss is a typical result of a smart vegan diet. Eating vegan eliminates most of the unhealthy foods that tend to cause weight issues.
Energy. When following a healthy vegan diet, you will find your energy is much higher. Did you know that NFL tight-end Tony Gonzalez started eating vegan and gained energy–while playing football. Not quite the same, but I too went from sleeping 8 hours and feeling good, to sleeping 6 hours and feeling amazing.
Healthy skin. The nuts and vitamins A and E from vegetables play a big role in healthy skin, so vegans will usually have good skin health. Many people who switch to a vegan diet will notice a remarkable reduction in blemishes as well.
Longer life. Several studies indicate that those following a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle live an average of three to six years longer than those who do not.
Body odor. Eliminating dairy and red meat from the diet significantly reduces body odor. Going vegan means smelling better. Warning: Go easy on the garlic in the Hummus.
Bad breath. Vegans frequently experience a reduction in bad breath. Imagine waking up in the morning and not having morning breath.
Hair. Many who follow vegan diets report that their hair becomes stronger, has more body, and looks healthier.
Nails. Healthy vegan diets are also responsible for much stronger, healthier nails. Due in part to the heart healthy fats in nuts such as Omega-2. You do not have to eat a ton of endangered Blue-Fin Tuna to get adequate Omega-3 in your diet. Nail health is said to be an indicator of overall health.
PMS. When switching to a vegan diet, many women tell how PMS symptoms become much less intense or disappear altogether. The elimination of dairy is thought to help with those suffering with PMS. As diary contain hormones necessary for a young calf.
Migraines. Migraine suffers who go on vegan diets often discover relief from their migraines.
Allergies. Reduction in dairy, meat, and eggs is often tied to alleviation of allergy symptoms. Many vegans report much fewer runny noses and congestion problems. Vegans smell the roses.
Too Much in the American Diet
The typical American diet not only consists of too much food, it also relies on too much of unnecessary food products or toxins. The following list explains how a vegan diet can eliminate these problems.
Animal proteins. The average American eats twice as much protein as necessary for a healthy diet and much of that is from red meat. Getting protein from beans and grains is much healthier and reduces the risk for osteoporosis (see above).
Cow’s milk dairy. The human body is not designed to digest cow milk and cow milk dairy products, yet the idea of milk being healthy is pushed through advertising. As many as 75% of people in the world may be lactose intolerant and many people suffer from undiagnosed milk allergies or sensitivities (especially is Asia where this process of artificially inseminating cows to get them pregnant to take their calves milk, is fairly new.). By eliminating cow’s milk from your diet, you are improving your overall health.
Eggs. Many nutritionists believe that the number of eggs in the American diet is too high. While sometimes disputed, it has been shown that eggs can raise cholesterol levels.
Mercury. Most of the fish and shellfish consumed has mercury in it. While some fish have less than others, it is almost impossible not to be putting mercury in your body when you eat fish. Have you seen The Cove?
Sugar. Most people have heard that North Americans consume way too much sugar. Relying on other sweeteners that are not synthetic, processed, or derived from animal products is a healthier way to eat. Many vegans do not eat processed sugar due to the fact that most of the cane sugar is refined through activated charcoal, most of which comes from animal bones.
In addition to the health benefits above, following a vegan lifestyle and diet also provides these benefits as well. From helping the environment to avoiding serious bacterial infections, learn other benefits to eating the vegan way below.
Animals. Many people begin a vegan diet out of concern for animals. Whether opposed to the conditions of animals intended for food or eating animals in general, going vegan will help your conscience rest easily. The attitude is out dated. It’s a smart choice not a fashion statement.From an animal lovers perspective, going vegan is the right thing to do and those that mock vegans for be “self-righteous” haven’t read the facts.
Environment. Growing plants takes much fewer resources than growing animals. By eating vegan, you can help reduce the toll on the environment.
E. coli. E. coli comes from eating contaminated red meat and is the leading cause of bloody diarrhea. Young children, those with compromised immune systems, and elderly people can become extremely ill or die from E. coli. Eating vegan means completely avoiding the risk of E. coli infection. There is no chance of getting Salmonella or E.coli if you eat Vegan.
Salmonella. Another gastrointestinal illness from animal products, salmonella food poisoning is closely related to E. coli. The most frequent way people contract salmonella food poisoning is through contact with raw eggs or raw chicken meat from chickens infected with salmonella. Again, going vegan means eliminating this risk altogether.
Mad cow disease. It’s safe to say that most people would want to avoid contracting a fatal, non-treatable disease. One way to make sure you don’t get Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease is by not eating animals infected with mad cow disease.
Global food supply. Feeding grain to animals meant as food sources reduces the amount of food that is available to underdeveloped nations. Many people will go hungry while that same food they could be eating is given to animals raised for slaughter. Eating vegan ensures that you have removed yourself from the participation of this imbalance. “More than half the U.S. grain and nearly 40 percent of world grain is being fed to livestock rather than being consumed directly by humans,” Pimentel of Cornell has said.
Global Energy supply. A study at Cornell reveals that Chicken meat production consumes energy in a 4:1 ratio and beef cattle production requires an energy input to protein output ratio of 54:1.
Water supply. That same Cornell study shows that a carnivorous diet requires far greater quantities of water than a vegan diet. Grain-fed beef production takes 100,000 liters of water for every kilogram of food. Raising broiler chickens takes 3,500 liters of water to make a kilogram of meat.
Hormone consumption. Eating animals that have been given hormones to speed growth (a common practice in the meat industry) means those hormones go into your body. Not only can this disrupt the natural balance of your hormones, but some of the hormones given to animals have shown to cause tumor growth in humans.
Antibiotics. Antibiotics are frequently given to feed animals, which can lead to bacterial resistance. Many of the antibiotics used to treat human infections are also used in feed animals.
What more can be said?