There are more vegans than ever before in the UK (over half a million according to recent studies in fact!) and in most towns and cities you’ll now be able to find vegan-friendly, or fully vegan cafes, restaurants, shops, and supermarket sections where you can buy vegan produce.
A vegan may have decided to change to this diet for several reasons, but in recent years there has been an upward trend of those looking to go vegan purely for health reasons.
Boost Your Nutrient Intake
Through a traditional western diet you are using meat to bulk up meals when cooking. Although you will gain nutrients through this type of diet, with a vegan diet you can increase these levels significantly. Instead of thinking about the nutrients you are losing out on by stopping eating meat, think about the many different types of ingredients you can use to bulk up meals through a vegan lifestyle. You’ll naturally eat more fruit and vegetables, but a vegan diet also consists of plenty of peas, nuts, beans, and legumes. Nuts provide you with all the fatty acids and zinc you require, with vitamin B12 and protein coming from beans and legumes. As long as you are sensible and varied with your choices you won’t be lacking in nutrients. You can also use supplements to give a boost if you are worried.
Lower Blood Sugar
With Type II diabetes on the rise the vegan lifestyle offers a real, achievable solution. For most vegans they will experience a significant reduction in blood sugar levels after just a short while eating vegan food. What this means is that you can recover from damage caused by high sugar intake, as well as become less likely to get Type II diabetes in the future.
Better Kidney Functioning
High meat consumption isn’t great for your bodily functions, and one area where a vegan diet and lifestyle has been shown to help is with your kidneys. By switching the type of protein you consume you can reduce the risk of poor functioning kidneys, with a plant-based diet healthier for your organs than meat generally – with production levels in both the kidney and liver thought to improve with a plant-based diet.
Lower Risk of Heart Disease
The more red meat you eat the higher the risk of heart disease due to the levels of saturated fats which increase cholesterol and blood pressure, which in turn add more strain to your heart and blood flow. A vegan diet helps a person to reduce the chances of having a heart attack, a much lower chance of suffering from high blood pressure, and lowers CHolestoral levels. This is before you throw in the additional benefits of eating nuts, vegetables, whole grains, and fruit.
Lose Weight and Get Fitter
If you are trying to lose weight for health reasons a vegan diet is one of the healthiest and most natural ways to do so. Animal products are naturally higher in fat, and through a plant-based diet, you are more likely to experience a faster rate of weight loss than if you stick with a meat-based diet and attempt to lose weight. As a vegan, you can also enjoy more food because of the lower calories in each item. What this ensures is that a vegan is less likely to suffer from hunger, helping to get rid of cravings and to improve the weight loss process. With a balanced and varied vegan diet you can easily increase your protein levels, which in turn will help power you to new levels of physical fitness (with shorter recovery times than meat-eaters and lower risk of injury).
Deciding whether or not to take on a vegan diet and lifestyle is a very personal choice. As you can see there are many health benefits to becoming vegan, and plenty of ways in which you can ensure your body is receiving all of the nutrients that it needs to thrive.