Food may be essential fuel for the body, but good food is fuel for the soul. It is rightly said that you are what you eat. A good and healthy diet not only nourishes the body but also the mind. In dietary terms, veganism is the practice of refraining from using animal products, notably in nutrition as well as anything related to animals, and an individual who follows this philosophy is known as a vegan.
You may ask, how is being a vegan any different from being a vegetarian? Well, vegetarians do not consume meat, fish, or poultry, but they do consume dairy products. On the other hand, vegans are vegetarians who also avoid consuming or using any animal products, such as eggs, gelatin, animal milk, and cheese, and their diets are largely made up of vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds. Moreover, vegans practice not only a diet but also a way of life that opposes animal exploitation, which involves any form of entertainment or study that involves the use of animals.
Being vegan is a personal discipline that entails learning about and having compassion for other living species in the world. So, if you want to do less damage to animals, welcome to veganism. While veganism supports such a noble cause, it also possesses tremendous health benefits for us; and while becoming vegan is not required to be healthy, vegan diets may undoubtedly benefit us as they are properly designed to benefit practically everyone's health and illness prevention, including newborns, children, pregnant women, and athletes. They also have a positive impact on the environment.
So does turning vegan improve your natural immunity? That is an ongoing debate. However, our immune system acts as a barrier to keep us safe from many infections, and helping strengthen our immune system by consuming minerals such as zinc, iron, copper, selenium, and vitamins A, B6, C, and E is essential. The majority of these nutrients may be found in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, or seeds, and a plant-based diet rich in antioxidants only enhances the immune system. Furthermore, vegetarians and vegans consume more vegetables, fruits, and plant sterols than non-vegetarians, resulting in better health.
Also Read: Vegan Ayurveda: A step towards self-love and healing
Here are a few health benefits of going vegan:
- 1. When well-planned and composed of full, unprocessed foods, the vegan diet is one of the most potent weapons for preventing cardiovascular disease and also reducing the pain from arthritis.
- 2. Vegans consume fewer saturated fats, have lower amounts of cholesterol in their blood, have lower blood pressure and are less prone to developing hypertension.
- 3. Overall, consuming plant-based foods minimises the danger of cancer. In fact, certain components of the plant-based diet may ensure protection against numerous forms of cancer, including prostate, breast, stomach, and colorectal cancer.
- 4. Vegan diets help to prevent type 2 diabetes. While it is not necessary to go completely vegan, increasing your plant-based intake helps to manage the risk of type 2 diabetes.
- 5. Weight loss can be achieved by following a vegan diet. While being vegan is not necessarily associated with losing weight, it has proven to have greater health benefits and reduce any unneeded fat.
While too much of anything is not always good, turning vegan might have its own cons. When it comes to animal meat, it consists of all the nutrients required for our bodies. Although vegan food diets are often comparatively high in some nutrients, poorly designed vegan diets can lead to nutritional shortages in a variety of critical components. It may lack certain nutrients, like vitamin B12, Omega 3 and fatty acids, for which one might have to consume supplements.
Despite the fact that veganism is currently a widely accepted philosophy, it is still important to take into account the unique requirements of each human body. A vegan diet may offer a variety of health advantages, but they are not universal and, most importantly, it may not make you disease-proof, but it surely does boost your immune system and help you stay healthy. To live a healthy life, combine a balanced plant-based diet with adequate sleep, frequent movement, stress management, and basic cleanliness.