health benefits of veganism
The word ‘vegan’ is a bit of a buzzword recently. Food
chains, supermarkets and even celebrity chefs have been adding more vegan
options than ever before. But what is all the fuss about? What does
veganism mean and why do people choose to go vegan?
Why go vegan?
three different reasons that people usually state for going vegan. Some people
go vegan for environmental reasons. Animal agriculture is
responsible for 18 percent of greenhouse gas emissions. This is more
than the combined exhaust from all transportation. For many, the threat of
climate change is a compelling reason to give up or cut down on animal
Other people decide to go vegan for ethical reasons. Factory and industrial
scale farming leads to cruel treatment of animals. Vegans
believe that people don’t have a right to take the life of another being, since
it is not necessary for balanced diet and healthy life.
For the purposes of this post, we’re going to talk about the health benefits of
veganism. This is another reason why people choose to go vegan.
What is the difference between veganism and plant-based eating?
is a belief system, whereas plant-based eating is a diet. There is no such
thing as a ‘part-time’ vegan. This is why the word ‘plant-based’ is useful. Many people have chosen to cut down on their consumption
of animal products, rather than giving them up altogether. People can
still enjoy many health benefits from eating this way. It is also a good way of
reducing your carbon footprint.
Health benefits of veganism
are the health benefits of veganism? Research has linked vegan diets with lower
blood pressure and cholesterol. Plant-based diets
are also linked with lower rates of diabetes, heart disease, and some cancers.
The World Health Organisation has classified processed meat as a cause of
cancer. Meat and dairy are high in saturated fat. A
well-planned vegan diet contains more fibre, magnesium, potassium, antioxidants
and vitamins A, C and E.
Many athletes and sportspeople have transitioned to
a vegan diet and continued to thrive. Well-known
vegans include tennis stars Venus and Serena Williams, boxer David Haye and
footballer Chris Smalling.
nutrients do you need?
true that a vegan diet involves more planning an organisation. But there are
more and more options for vegans on the high street recently. Even grabbing
food on the go is easier now.
important to make sure that you have a good source of vitamin B12 in your diet.
This particular nutrient is not produced by plants, so many vegan foods are fortified with it. These include plant milks,
spreads and cereals. We need B12 for a healthy nervous system.
also need to ensure they get enough Omega-3 and Omega-6 fats. We need these for
a healthy immune system, brain, nerves and eyes. Good sources include rapeseed
oil, chia seeds, hemp seeds, walnuts and ground linseed.
often thought that we need dairy products to get enough calcium. However, there are many
vegetables naturally high in calcium, for healthy bones and teeth.
Green leafy veggies such as kale, pak choi and spring greens are excellent
sources. Many cereals and plant milks, as well as tofu, are fortified with calcium too. Other good sources
include chia seeds and almonds.
If you are eating a diet that is full of a variety of fruits and
vegetables, as well as nuts, seeds, wholegrains and fortified plant milks or
soy products, you will find it easy to get all the nutrients that your body
What about protein?
those looking to make serious gains in the gym will be able to get all the
protein they need from a vegan diet. Just make
sure that most of your meals contain a good source of protein. These include
beans, lentils, chickpeas, nuts, tofu and soy products. You can also buy good quality vegan-friendly protein powders and shakes if you do feel like you need
an extra protein boost.
The Vegan Society has lots of useful resources and information on
their website for anyone interested in the health benefits of veganism. Our personal trainers are qualified in nutrition too, so drop us a line if you want to have a consultation.