A vegan diet has many benefits for your health. However, there are a few vitamins that you will lack if you are on a vegan diet. Vegan diets have been popular for a long time and seem to be becoming more prolific by the day. Furthermore, scientists have discovered several benefits of a vegan diet.
There are a few celebrities out there that swear they live off a vegan diet. Both Venus Williams and Novak Djokovic are just two of the top-performing athletes on a vegan diet. If you want to understand why they are on a vegan diet, then here are some health benefits it can give you. A vegan diet is a way to improve physical performance which is one of the reasons why so many athletes consider this diet.
Rich in Nutrients
Do not read the title and believe that you will be able to get all of the nutrients that you require to remain healthy. Switching from a typical western diet to a vegan diet will eliminate meat. There are a few nutrients that meats have that vegetables and fruits don’t have. For example, vitamin B12 and vitamin D are difficult to find in vegetables.
Without meat, you will be relying on other foods such as whole grains, fruits, vegetables, beans, peas, nuts, and seeds. Those foods that have just been mentioned are rich in fibre, antioxidants, and plant compounds. Not to mention that potassium, magnesium, folate, and vitamins, A, C, and E are also quite lavish. Those that have a vegan diet are also richer in Iron.
We stated before that a vegan diet will lack both vitamin D and vitamin B12. However, there are many more vitamins than a vegan will be short of if it is not well balanced. When choosing a vegan diet, you have to make sure that you are aware of all of the nutrients that you need. As well as the daily requirements.
You must keep track of all of the foods that you consume when you are on a vegan diet. Supplements are recommended when you are on a vegan diet. Simply because of the lack of meats that you are having which offer many vitamins and minerals.
Can Help Lose Weight
One of the reasons why a vegan diet is so popular today is due to many people believing that it will help lose weight. It is found that those who are vegan will have a lower body mass than those who are non-vegan. Several studies have shown that a vegan diet is one of the best diets to lose weight compared to others.
There is no scientific evidence that a vegan diet can help you lose more weight than a non-vegan diet. Calorie intake has a massive effect on your weight. Exercising can also have an effect. But, in terms of the speed of losing or gaining weight, it is heavily dependent on your calorie intake, no matter what type of diet you consume.
Potentially Lowers Blood Sugar and Improve Kidney Function
It is believed that a vegan diet helps reduce declining kidney function. More often than not, vegans will have lower blood sugar than those who are on a non-vegan. A vegan diet will also have lower sugar levels than those who are non-vegan. In a study back in 2009, around 43% of the participants who had a vegan diet managed to reduce their dosage of blood sugar-lowering medication.
Other studies have suggested that people with diabetes who substitute protein from meat with vegetarian protein will reduce the chances of having poor kidneys. However, there isn’t any proven evidence for this, and more research is needed about the study. Overall, there is a possibility that a vegan diet can reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. But like mentioned before, it hasn’t been fully proven yet.
Possibility of Protecting Yourself from Certain Cancers
The WHO (World Health Organisation) has stated that a third of all cancers are in your control. Depending on how healthy your diet is. Research has also suggested that eating at least seven portions of fresh fruit and vegetables can lower the risk of dying from cancer by up to 15%. Processed meats are believed to increase the chances of some cancers due to them being cooked at high temperatures.
Vegan Diet Can Help Reduce Pain from Arthritis
There have been a few studies that have shown a vegan diet can help with the symptoms of arthritis. In one study, 40 people who had arthritis were told to have a vegan diet or an omnivorous diet and reported that the vegan people had higher energy levels and functioned better. Compared to those that had an omnivorous diet.
Again, there is no definite scientific evidence to prove that a vegan diet can help with arthritis. Only a couple of studies have argued this case. However, the vegan diet is new to the world and will need many years of research before doctors can promote this.
Is It Recommended That Vegans Take Supplements?
It is recommended that vegans consider taking certain vitamin supplements because they are hard to find in plant-based foods. Yes, plants contain many vitamins and minerals which are highly beneficial for the health of your body. However, they will lack both vitamin B12 and vitamin D.
Your body will produce vitamin D when it is in contact with direct sunlight for 15 minutes or longer. During the winter months, there is going to be little sunlight. Meaning it will be hard to get your recommended amount of Vitamin D. Those who are on an omnivore diet will be able to get their daily requirement of vitamin D through certain meats such as red meat. During the winter months, when there is a lack of sunlight, it is encouraged that you should take a vitamin D3 supplement to get your daily requirement.
Vitamins and Minerals That a Vegan Might Be Missing
We quickly discussed some of the nutrients that you could be missing. It is suggested that you take supplements for some vitamins such as vitamin D and vitamin B-12. Iron and calcium are other nutrients that are potentially missed, depending on the foods that are consumed in your diet.
Iron is needed to keep our blood healthy. Both beans and dark leafy greens are popular foods for a vegan. There are many vegan dishes out there that you can cook, especially ones that contain plenty of iron. Consider cooking sweet red bean pecan pie during the winter months. The best bit about cooking this meal, you can use it over the next couple of days as there will be plenty to eat.
As you may already know, calcium is needed to keep both your teeth and bones healthy. Again, a vegan will struggle to have any calcium in their diet unless they eat enough leafy greens, tofu, tahini. These foods are great to make sure that you get your daily amount of calcium. Omega-3 fatty acids, Zinc, iodine are other nutrients that a vegan will struggle to have in their diet.
There are many health benefits that a vegan diet brings to the table. However, it has to be done properly. A vegan must make sure that they have all of the required nutrients to remain healthy. More often than not, there will be plant-based foods that offer the same number of nutrients. There are many vegans out there that will eat meat once a week. It is something that you could consider just in case you ever want to go back to a meat-eating diet. A vegan diet is a simple way to make your family healthy.