Are you lactose intolerant? Do you wish to make more ethical food choices? Well then maybe you should consider veganism. And while you consider this lifestyle change, you be in the know of the many health benefits that going vegan offers.
Vegans consume a plant-based diet and shun all and any animal products including dairy, meat, eggs, honey, and gelatin. Does being a vegan include only consuming a plant-based diet? Absolutely not, it goes much beyond that.
Veganism is not a diet plan but rather a lifestyle that tries to as far as possible to prohibit all kinds of exploitation or cruelty against animals for any purpose.
That said, it also offers a plethora of health benefits. Here nutritionist and founder of Diet Podium, Shikha Mahajan, shares five health benefits a vegan lifestyle has on your health:
1. It can reduce your risk of cancer
In 2015, the World Health Organisation (WHO) named red meat a “group 2 carcinogen.” This implies it becoming a probable cause for cancer in humans. The World Health Organisation has placed processed meat in the group 1 category, which means it is carcinogenic to humans.
Contrary to popular assumptions, even small amounts of meat can increase the risk of cancer. In a study by Oxford University, it was found that eating just 3 rashers of bacon a day can increase cancer risk by 20%.
2. The risk of diabetes reduces
Multiple types of research have concluded that a plant-based diet can reduce the risk of developing diabetes or even reverse the disease completely.
With a study involving more than 2,000 adults, it was found that people who increased the number of fruit, vegetables, and nuts in their diet over the duration of 20 years reduced their risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 60 % more than those who did not.
3. Being vegan can keep you in good spirits
In a study by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM), it looked at the eating patterns and moods of 3,486 people over a five-year period. The results showcased that the participants who consumed whole, plant foods showed fewer signs of depression.
In a different study, it was conferred that vegetarians usually experience more positive moods than meat-eaters.
4. You shall get the healthy skin of your dreams
A plant-based diet might be a boost to your beauty regime. It assists your skin in staying healthy.
Many studies have associated dairy to skin problems such as acne. Dairy products might have growth hormones and are also sometimes infused with artificial hormones, which can disrupt the hormone system in a healthy body.
5. Your chances of having cardiovascular disease may reduce
Meat contains a high quantity of saturated and trans-fats which can increase blood cholesterol.
Bad cholesterol can create fatty deposits in the blood vessels that increase the risk of stroke, peripheral artery disease, and heart disease. Vegan foods in its essence have no dietary cholesterol. Alternatively, a diet high in fat and cholesterol can also lead to high blood pressure.
So should you switch to becoming a vegan right away? No. You must educate yourself on all the pros & cons of becoming a vegan and meet with a nutritionist to help make an informed decision that is compatible with your individual needs. Even though you choose to not becoming a vegan, you can add vegan foods in your diet to enjoy its phenomenal health benefits.
(With inputs from IANS)