Virtures Of Vegan

I’ve always been put off by anything that I regard as being fanatic. This included being vegan. I couldn’t comprehend why my vegan friend couldn’t have a slice of birthday cake and ice cream or some pizza, even if it was vegetarian. I’ve basically been vegetarian for quite a while with occasional indulgences of fish in my diet. That is until I watched a movie on Netflix called The Game Changers. I had no idea what the movie was about before I turned it on. But by the end of the film I was almost ready to turn vegan. In fact I stopped buying eggs and milk and stopped eating fish after watching the film.  

I was astounded at the results that athletes were achieving simply by eliminating animal products from their diets. Many could run faster, lift more weights, and be a better fighter and football player. I was surprised to see that Arnold Schwarzenegger has become vegan and was a producer of the film. Patrik Baboumian was voted the strongest man in 2015. When Patrik was asked how he could be as strong as an ox not eating meat, he replied “Have you ever seen an ox eat meat?” 

Actually the strongest animals like gorillas, oxen, elephants. horses and rhinos are all plant eaters. The animals that are consumed by humans such as cows, pigs, sheep and chickens are just the “middle-man” in the food chain. They all get their energy from plants. However the amount of water and land to grow crops to feed these animals hardly compensates for the amount of energy that is produced to feed humans.  1 kilo of beef requires 6810 liters of water, which includes irrigation of the grains and grasses in feed, plus water for drinking and processing. 1 slice of bread requires 42 liters of water.

I found it interesting to watch three football players being given an animal based meal and the next day only plant based. The difference in the plasma of their blood was astounding. The plant based blood tests revealed clear plasma and the meat based was cloudy. It was amusing to see the results of 3 football players and the size and number of erections during their sleep being a big difference after eating a plant based meal. Something to think about before a taking a woman out for a big date.

What are the benefits of being vegan?

1. A vegan diet is richer in certain nutrients.

This can contribute to a higher daily intake of certain beneficial nutrients. Several studies have reported that vegan diets tend to provide more fiber, antioxidants and beneficial plant compounds, being richer in potassium, magnesium, folate and vitamins A, C and E. For instance, poorly planned vegan diets may provide insufficient amounts of essential fatty acids, vitamin B12, iron, calcium, iodine or zinc. That’s why it’s important to stay away from nutrient-poor, fast-food vegan options. Instead, base your diet around nutrient-rich whole plants and fortified foods. You may also want to consider supplements like vitamin B12.

2. Lose excess weight

Many studies show that vegans tend to be thinner and have lower body mass indexes (BMIs) than non-vegans.

3. Lowers blood sugar levels and improves kidney function

This is beneficial for reducing the risk of developing type 2 diabetes and declining kidney function.

4. May protect against certain cancers

According to the World Health Organization, about one-third of all cancers can be prevented by factors within your control, including diet. Vegans generally eat considerably more legumes, fruit and vegetables than non-vegans. This may explain why a recent review of 96 studies found that vegans may benefit from a 15% lower risk of developing or dying from cancer. Also, vegan diets generally contain more soy products, which may offer some protection against breast cancer.

5. Lower risk of heart disease

Eating fresh fruits, vegetables, legumes and fiber is linked to a lower risk of heart disease.  All of these are generally eaten in large amounts in well-planned vegan diets.

Observational studies comparing vegans to vegetarians and the general population report that vegans may benefit from up to a 75% lower risk of developing high blood pressure. This may be particularly beneficial to heart health since reducing high blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels may reduce the risk of heart disease by as much as 46%.

In the film The Game Changers group of firemen were put on a vegan diet for a week and all of them had a considerable reduction of blood pressure and cholesterol results.

6. Reduce pain from arthritis

Vegan diets based on probiotic-rich whole foods can significantly decrease symptoms of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

7.  Healthier Skin

A plant-based diet could boost your beauty regime by helping your skin stay healthy. An increasing number of studies are linking dairy to skin problems like acne. Dairy products contain growth hormones and are also treated with artificial hormones, which can affect the human body’s hormone system.

Many celebrities credit veganism for their youthful looks. American singer-songwriter Mýa says that her vegan lifestyle is to thank for her “fountain of youth.” Fifty-eight-year-old actor Woody Harrelson said his plant-based diet is “crucial” for his youthful appearance, and 77-year-old rock ‘n’ roll legend Paul McCartney not only looks younger than he is but completes his solo world tours – playing more than 30 songs per show over the span of two and a half hours – on a vegan diet. McCartney famously said, “If slaughterhouses had glass walls, everyone would be vegetarian.”  In a short film called “One Day a Week,” which encourages people to eat less meat, McCartney said, “If we all join together in this effort, we can help improve the environment, reduce the negative impacts of climate change, and even improve people’s health.”

Now that you’re aware of your personal health benefits of being vegan also think about the benefits for the planet. Fewer greenhouse gas emissions from animal food production.  Smaller water footprint with 92 percent of the planet’s water footprint is linked to agriculture, with livestock making up one-third of the figure. Less deforestation showing that beef production requires 36 times more land than plant-based protein like peas. Save the oceans and fish as factory farm runoff and livestock grazing is also a major contributor to river and lake pollution. And save the bees, which is crucial to the plant production of the world.

Are you ready to make a change? Start with Meat free Mondays. The more Mondays you have meatless, the easier it may be to add more days each week.

By Shari

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