Let’s face it; people who already on a vegan diet will love it, and those who don’t will despise it. Although this is not a reflection of the worlds total population, it’s fair to say that these are the sentiments of a lot of people about going vegan.
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The vegan diet has become more and more mainstream in recent years, and the UAE is no stranger to it. However, no matter how much you want to question its ethical and environmental motives, the vegan diet can benefit your health.
Just like a vegetarian diet, vegan diets are the same thing, although one step further. You cannot eat food or products from animal-derived ingredients. Foods such as nuts, legumes, seeds, beans, vegetables, and fruits are all common in vegan diets.
Here are 8 health benefits of going vegan that you might know.
1. Improve physical fitness levels
Author Julieanna Hever of the book The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Plant-Based Nutrition, says that a vegan diet can significantly improve performance and recovery in regards to fitness. “This is because a plant-based diet gives more energy, fewer aches, and overall better health”.
2. Healthier food options
It’s pretty straightforward that a plant-based diet will contain lots of fresh, natural and organic foods. Having a vegan diet means that you’ll be getting plenty of it. However, do keep in mind that the way you prepare meals is also important. As long as you’re eating plenty of fresh foods, your healthy food options are endless.
3. Vegan diets promote weight loss
Vegan or vegetarian diets will help you lose weight, especially in the early stages of adopting this type of diet. This is because most plant-based foods are nutrient dense and lower in fat. They also have a lower calorie count in general as opposed to meats.
Another reason why people tend to lose weight on a vegan diet is that saturated fats are reduced significantly. That is the type of fat that is commonly found in meat and is responsible for your stubborn fat.
4. Prevented food poisoning or illnesses
Lots of cases of food poisoning or diseases happen from contaminated meats. Whether it’s because of the way some meats are prepared or the farm they were processed, people all over the world suffer from bacteria contamination from meats.
Adopting a vegan diet basically means you’re sidestepping this potential risk. Although food poisoning is a potential factor in plant-based diets, you’re less likely to suffer from it if you’ve stopped eating meats.
5. Fewer migraines
Though more research needs to be done on this matter. It is thought that vegans have much fewer migraines than people on regular diets. Multiple studies have shown that people who strictly only eat plant-based foods have much fewer migraines.
6. Balances hormones
Balancing your hormone levels are important for every aspect of your health. It affects your mood, energy levels, major body functions, as well as emotions. Oestrogen is one of the main hormones you get from meat and is responsible for high blood pressure as well as certain types of cancer. Plant-based foods contain a particular type of carrier molecule called hormone binding globulin. This helps to regulate estrogen in the blood, preventing it from spiking.
7. Reduce the risk of kidney failure
It’s important to know that meats are not all that bad. They provide essential proteins and fats you can’t find anywhere else. However, high consumption of it can pose risks, and one of them is your kidneys. Though plant-based proteins may not be better than meats for the muscle, they are better in terms of organs.
It means you’re still getting enough proteins, without taking a toll on your kidneys and other organs. However, more research needs to be done on this matter before we can conclude this as a fact.
8. Improved skin complexion
Foods that are low in fat and high in vitamins and antioxidants are always going to benefit your skin. Multiple studies have shown that dairy products can lead to acne and blemishes. A vegan diet eliminates this while also providing essential nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, which are all known to improve overall skin and complexion.
A vegan diet is not something you should take lightly. It’s not just something you can wake up and do. It takes lots of discipline and understanding. No matter what your motives are for going vegan, make sure your body and health are up for it.
You still need to be exercising well, frequently hydrating, resting enough and getting health check-ups as per usual. If you’re unsure as to how you can start your diet, speak with your medical practitioner on how you can approach becoming a vegan.
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