One huge mistake people make when thinking of veganism is that all vegans are healthy. Which couldn’t be any further from the truth. I’ve seen a lot of vegans live off of processed snacks and empty calories, with very few vegetables or whole foods in their every day diet. I used to make sure I drank at least 8 cups of water every day. I’d only have red meat a few times a month. I’d make sure I at fish 2-3 times a week – of course, combined with vegetable sides. I wouldn’t ever drink milk, and my post-workout meals usually consisted of eggs or a shake – cause, you know, protein. I was the healthiest I’d ever been in my life. Or so I thought.
I look back on those days and can only shake my head at what I actually thought was the picture of health looked like. I was admittedly ignorant and wouldn’t find out what be being truly healthy really was until I committed to going vegan. And as I dived deeper into the world of healthy vegan eating, I discovered a few health benefits I either didn’t know, or hadn’t considered.
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I know many vegans state vitality and enthusiasm as a major vegan benefit, but I think because it usually takes years of misuse before things (especially our bodies) start to break down, we take the pitfalls that a bad diet brings and don’t take it seriously. We forget about the reduction and reversal from potential diseases, such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes, dementia, and high blood pressure – to name a few – and keep doing what we’ve been doing – because it’s comfortable. But for anyone reading this, I implore you to go further with your research and learn all you can about. This is a great place to start: http://www.nutritionfacts.org
You’ve got to take it easy on your digestive system – which of course, is all about what you eat. It makes all the difference when it comes to your energy levels. Especially since animal foods are much more difficult for your body to digest.
An overworked digestive system can make you feel lethargic and constantly tired. A plant-based diet can eliminate all of that and get your energy levels back to where they naturally should be. Which means no more mid-afternoon fatigue and coffee binging. And a better, more productive you – every day.
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Cow’s milk does not give anyone strong bones, except for baby calves, which it’s genetically made for. And it really is insanity to think anything different.
But another reality that many people don’t know is that calcium also isn’t the end-all be-all in terms of keeping your bones strong. Don’t get me wrong, it’s important, but not the ONLY way to have strong bones. Eating a wide-ranging and balanced diet will aid you in meeting your requirements for other nutrients needed for bone health – most notably, vitamin K. Staying active and challenging your body is also ideal. Activities that require weight-bearing movements is definitely the way to go if keeping your bones strong is something you want as you grow older.
Stay Young Forever
Ok, maybe I’m exaggerating a little by saying you’ll stay young forever by eating vegan. But there’s still some validity to it. Many vegans point to veganism as the reason for their healthier, clearer, less zitty skin. Myself being one of them. Because I have oily skin, blackheads used to frequently visit the area around my nostrils. And that all cleared up when I ditched animal products. Come to think of it, I don’t know any vegans with bad skin. I’m not saying they’re all models or anything, they just don’t have bad skin. Which makes sense because eating a plant-based diet means they’re injecting more vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and water than most people do.
The plant-based also promotes collagen production. Which is important since collagen is naturally lost as we age, which in turn makes skin look thinner, saggier and more wrinkled.
When you go vegan, it’s undeniable (for many) that you’ll notice that you have improved sleep. And that has everything to do with the food you consume.
Not only are vegan foods light, but they also are rich in nutrients that aid sleep and, basically, you being able to sleep peacefully. Plant-based foods are usually high in vitamin B6, magnesium and potassium, which help in your body producing serotonin – which relaxes the body and mind.
Are we biased?
Yes! A million times over. But that’s because we not only read study after study backing veganism, but at the same time we’ve FELT the results too. So, of course we’re going to be a little biased. That being said, I implore you to do your own research and see for yourselves if veganism is all that we say it is.
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Gerry Warren is the co-creator is Vegr: the #1 plant-based people connection tool. Visit govegr.com to connect to the plant-based community. He’s equal parts driven, intellectual, and goofy. As well as being vegan af!
Have you made the change to a vegan diet? What was your experience like?