We've all heard the term, "An apple a day keeps the doctor away" and society is proving it's authenticity more and more each day through plant based lifestyles.
With athletes, celebrities, and even political figures speaking up about their decisions to live a vegan lifestyle - some may be wondering.. What's the craze about?
Well, an apple a day - in addition to whole foods, legumes, and other organic fruits and vegetables, truly can keep a visit to the doctor astray.
Plant-based foods are all 100% cholesterol-free, generally low in saturated fats, and high in - fiber, complex carbohydrates (the good types of carbs), and other essential nutrients. Therefore making wholesome vegan foods a powerful source to help prevent - and even reverse - many chronic health problems.
Here are just a few of the benefits of a vegan lifestyle :)
1. Unclog your Arteries
- Animal products such as meat, eggs, and dairy are high in cholesterol and saturated fat which can build up inside the walls of our arteries as "plaque" blocking blood flow to all areas of the body. This artery damage is called atherosclerosis. Normal bodily functions become impaired when this occurs as too little blood reaches various regions of the body, leading to a number of diseases, most notably heart disease.
- Heart disease is the number 1 health problem and a leading cause of death in the United States today.
- Good news is: dedicated doctors such as Dr. Dean Ornish, have actually been able to reverse heart disease in patients by putting them on a low-fat vegetarian diet with an exercise program. There is hope for us all!
2. Fight Cancer with Plants!
- Plant based foods contain antioxidants and other phytochemicals, which fight inflammation and knock out carcinogens (the substances capable of causing cancer in living tissue). So in other words, plants are protection!
3. Protects our Brains
- Yep! Research shows that people who avoid "bad fats" such as the kind found in meat, eggs, and especially dairy products - cut their risk of developing Alzheimer's disease by about 2/3rds.
- These "bad fats" are only a part of the issue though. Meat, including lobster, shrimp, and some other kinds of seafood are often high in metals - such as iron, copper, and zinc which have been found in the brains of Alzheimer's patients. Although we do need traces of these metals for our health, we can get them in a healthier fashion through veggies, legumes, and whole grains. Meats on the other hand, tend to overdose us.
- Eating plant-based foods rich in vitamin E, vitamin B, folic acid, and other nutrients can reduce one's risk of developing Alzheimer's by as much as 70%!
4. Prevent and even Reverse diabetes
- Research shows that diabetics who eat low-fat vegan foods are able to stop taking medications - or at least take fewer of them - to manage their disease.
- This is supported by both the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention who advise people to eat more vegetables, beans, and whole grains while decreasing or eliminating animal flesh to ward off diabetes.
5. Save Money
- Research local farmers markets in your areas and shop in season to help save in the store
- "Vegan" foods (which I consider to be foods everyone should consume as staples anyways) include beans, rice, vegetables, tofu, and pasta which all cost less than animal products.
- Plus, in the matter of voting with our dollar, why should we support an industry that is causing harm to our health, animals, and our environment?
- Quality food can be considered not only a source of nutrition, but also of medicine - making it more than worth the extra few bucks, if any.
6. physical benefits of Going Vegan
- Now, I believe that EVERY body is beautiful - and that health is a matter of how we feel - not how we appear. But there is correlating support showing that a healthy vegan diet can lower body mass index.
- Statistics say that on average, vegans weigh 18% less than meat-eaters, and they are nine times less likely to become obese.
- AND you can do so by eating some truly delicious plates and still sticking to your favorites - except without the unhealthy fats of animals products :) Pictured below are Buffalo cauliflower bites, Vegan mac and cheese, and oil free sweet potato fries.. Mmm!!
- Not to mention, your skin will clear up (if it isn't already) and it will begin to GLOW thanks to your increased intake of antioxidants
7. soul benefits of going vegan
- You feel so much more energetic!
- You begin to gain new levels of clarity, allowing you to make better decisions, and have a more positive outlook on life
- Your creativity flows stronger since your body will be physically and energetically cleaner
- New sense of pride by embracing peace on your plate. You can sleep better and walk lighter knowing that your conscious decisions and commitments are helping to save lives and make the world a better place!
- You feel more love and become encompassed by this feeling
In addition to these great benefits, there are also countless advantages that affect not only our personal lives, but also lives all around us!
8. Look at all you'll save!
- Each Vegan individually saves over 190 animals lives a year by not eating them.
- Number of animals slaughtered in the US:
- Per minute - 38,627
- Per hour - 2,317,596
- Per day - 55,622,293
- Per year - Tens of Billions
9. You'll also save human lives by going vegan
This lifestyle helps to alleviate world hunger.
- Did you know that approximately 925 million people worldwide do not have enough to eat. :(
- This is extremely sad considering the world's cattle alone consume enough food to meet the caloric needs of 8.7 billion people.
- According to a 2010 United Nations report, more than half of the world's crops are used to feed animals, not people. Because of a growing population, this statistic has not greatly improved.
- 16 pounds of grain can be fed to only 1 cow supplying just 1 person with 1 meal OR those 16 pounds of grain can be used to provide food for 10 people with food for an entire day.
- With millions of people going hungry, wouldn't you agree that it seems wasteful to funnel edible food through farmed animals doomed for slaughter?
Don't worry about lack in protein.. Plants and natural foods STILL have you covered ;)
As you can see, there is an abundance of plant-based protein options. Some even provide more protein than their animal based alternative.
I can guarantee that a plant based lifestyle will benefit your life in far more ways than one. Even if you make the conscious decision to begin cutting down on meat consumption, you will receive a glance of the advantages that will enhance your life.
Feel free to drop any questions in the comments section.
Om Shanti Shanti.