The Benefits of Following a Vegan Lifestyle
by Guest Author: Sumner Bailey
In 1944, animal rights advocate Donald Watson first coined the term vegan, and it has since entered into the mainstream. Proof of it is the massive global vegan food market that reached $12.69 billion in 2018. It's likely to increase given projections that vegan meat alternatives alone will hit $7.5 billion globally by 2025. Equally telling is the 39% of Americans incorporating vegan options into their diets, which further underscores the increasing acceptance of veganism.
With its many benefits, it's no wonder that many are deciding to go vegan. Some of the most notable reasons are as follows:
You get more vital nutrients
Plant-based diets don't result in nutrient deficiencies. If anything, vegans get more nutrients, particularly the following:
- Vitamin A − vital to healthy vision and optimal organ functioning
- Vitamin C − helps repair body tissues and enhances the immune system
- Vitamin E − protects cells from damage
- Antioxidants − protects the cells from free radicals
- Fiber − critical to digestive health
- Magnesium − regulates muscle and nerve function
You become less vulnerable to chronic illness
Going vegan will reduce your risk of chronic illness. Research presented on Healio from Friedman School of Nutrition Science at Tufts University, showed that “participants who followed a higher quality plant-based diet were 27% less likely to die of any cause and 37% less likely to die of cancer.” Another study found that “those who consumed more plant protein and less saturated fat also had a reduced risk for heart disease”. These findings are becoming increasingly important as America faces a chronic illness crisis, as well as the effects of the pandemic. Research that forms the foundation of Maryville University’s online nursing programs shows that by 2025 chronic illnesses will affect nearly half of the American population. The university has directly linked this crisis to the emerging lack of healthcare professionals – a predicted shortage of around 100,000 family medicine doctors also by 2025.
The best way to avoid becoming part of the population with a chronic disease is to improve your diet. PCRM believes that if more people would shift to veganism they could reduce the incidence of chronic disease, specifically cancer, heart disease, and hypertension. That's mainly due to vegans consuming more nutrient-rich fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes, while minimizing their intake of saturated fatty acids.
It’s good for the environment
One of the understated benefits of going vegan is the satisfaction it gives you knowing that you’re not only getting healthier, but are also helping the environment. For years the United Nations have been encouraging people worldwide to decrease their consumption of animal products because of the negative impacts of breeding, raising, and feeding animals. The United Nations noted that these impacts would be reduced only with “a substantial worldwide diet change, away from animal products.”
By going vegan, you are doing your part in saving Mother Earth! Besides, the likelihood is that once you start you'll want to do more. For instance, you can opt for skin care options as shown in our 7 Ways To Improve Your Skin Texture Naturally. You can go green by applying papaya on your skin or using lemon juice as astringent.
You'll get more creative in terms of fashion
Veganism is a lifestyle, so it'll affect other aspects of your life too, like your fashion choices. In particular, being a vegan will teach you how to get creative in your choice of clothes. That's because vegans avoid items made of leather, suede, wool, or silk. This doesn't mean your choices are limited, as vegan fashion is bursting at the seams with creative brands, like Susi Studio, In the Sunshine, and Della. This shows how going vegan will have you both feeling and looking good!
Our vegan readers know fully well how beneficial veganism is, and are already reaping the rewards of going vegan. Now, if you aren't vegan just yet, we suggest you start giving it a try — slowly but surely, as in a week or two first, then up to a month or more. Before you know it, you've gone full vegan. And as always, do keep us posted on your journey towards veganism. Let us know what you're doing and how you're feeling. Your input on everything health-related is most appreciated!