Vegan benefits are hitting mainstream news media outlets everywhere. Over the years, the eating habits of people around the world have changed dramatically. Apart from family customs, social settings, and personal preferences, diets are now influenced by a number of other factors such as environment, media, governments, trade, migration, and nifty kitchen appliances like microwave ovens, toasters, and others. And today there are many kinds of diets which a person can choose from. But of all diets, the vegan benefits stand apart as not just an easy way to weight loss but also a lifestyle choice that is easy on the environment.

Vegan benefits: more than just weight loss

A vegan diet is a lifestyle choice because a person who chooses to be a vegan avoids not only meat and fish, but all kinds of products that come from animals including milk, egg, and honey.  Vegan benefits are not only better health, but also a greater awareness of animal welfare and environmental preservation. People who are vegan avoid using leather, fur, silk, wool, soaps, or any products derived from animals.

Veganism might be complex and difficult to practice for many, but it has a number of health benefits for people according to food science as it is high in dietary fiber, folic acid, iron, phytochemicals, magnesium, and vitamin C and E. And many people have become vegan mainly for deriving health benefits. Some of the vegan benefits for health are:

1) Illnesses and conditions: Eating animal fats and proteins increase the risk of various diseases and There is a much lower risk of developing cancer, diabetes, hypertension, heart diseases, and so on other diseases in vegans.

2) Weight loss: A vegan diet mainly includes whole grains, vegetables, legumes, and fruits that contain no cholesterol and are low in fat –  mainly unsaturated fats which help in weight loss. These high-fiber, nutrient-filled foods make all the difference.

3) Increased life expectancy: According to various global studies, people who eat red meat and processed meat have less life expectancy than vegans. Vegans, in general, eat more healthily (yes, there's vegan junk food, too).

4) PMS: A vegan diet is also known to decrease the intensity of menstrual pain as well as pre-menopausal symptoms and menopausal symptoms.

5) Increased energy: Vegans reportedly feel less sluggish and weighed down after a meal. They have better endurance in exercise and sports are more pronounced as their diet does not include any animal products.

Vegan deficiencies

A vegan diet style has high nutritional and health advantages. But just like any other diet vegan diet, it also has some health risks to be aware of. Some health risks related to a vegan diet are:

1) Vitamin B12 deficiency: Vegans have a high risk of a vitamin B12 deficiency as this vitamin is mostly found in meat and animal products. Lack of vitamin B12 a person can suffer from unusual fatigue, amenorrhea, and nausea and in extreme cases can suffer from severe irreversible brain damage. Simple solution: take a vegan B12 supplement.

2) Infants: Breast milk of vegan mothers has very low critical brain fat, DHA, and other vitamins which can affect breastfeeding children. Infants can suffer from disorders such as anemia, weakness, hematological abnormalities, and other disorders.

3) Intestinal discomfort: A vegan diet has more fiber-rich foods within it, and for new vegans, this can cause intestinal discomfort in the beginning. Are you feeling heavy, low on energy, or not adjusting to vegan choices as well as you'd like? Try detoxing with smoothies.

4) Calcium and vitamin D deficiencies: A vegan diet has very low calcium which can result in future fractures. To remedy this deficiency a vegan diet should be balanced with more spinach and soy products. And since vitamin D aids calcium to build strong bones it is important for vegans to receive enough sunlight.

Lastly, a vegan diet can be very healthy for everyone if it is balanced and well planned.

What vegan benefits have you experienced since going vegan? If you are not vegan yet or having trouble staying on track, how about giving yourself a challenge? Try this to hit the reset button on your health.

 

Source:

http://serendip.brynmawr.edu/biology/b103/f05/web2/shunt.html (B12- PARA 4)
http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/149636.php
http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/89/5/1627S.full
http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-the-vegan-diet.htm
http://www.medicinenet.com/vegetarian_and_vegan_diet/page6.htm#what_are_the_benefits_of_the_various_kinds_of_vegetarian_and_vegan_diets
http://health.allwomenstalk.com/excellent-benefits-of-a-vegan-diet
http://health.allwomenstalk.com/excellent-benefits-of-a-vegan-diet/6/
http://www.oboolo.com/social-studies/sociology/presentation/have-eating-habits-changed-in-the-last-20-years-for-71837.html
http://www.mercola.com/article/diet/former_vegan.htm
http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2012/04/17/is-veganism-good-for-everyone/a-choice-with-definite-risks

Photo Credit: Obra Shalom

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