There are many studies that show that, when followed correctly, the vegan diet has more antioxidants, magnesium, fiber, potassium and vitamins E, C and A. The vegan diet is full of the essential nutrients that we need, but with the absence of meat, it is vital that you ensure that you are still consuming the correct amounts of protein. Protein is made up of amino acids which are what helps your metabolism and your skin, muscles and organs remain healthy. To increase the amount of protein in the vegan diet, legumes, seeds, nuts, peanut butter and grains need to be ingested.
Iron is another essential nutrient that you need as it plays a vital role in the creation of red blood cells. These blood cells are the ones that carry oxygen to all parts of the body. Some of the best sources of iron are broccoli, tofu, raisins, beans and wheat.
Research into the vegan diet has shown that vegans are actually happier than people who eat meat. The studies also found that vegetarians and vegans had lower scores on mood profiles and depression tests when compared to people who eat meat and fish. This could be linked to the freshness of most plant-based dishes, particularly those that come from organic produce. This freshness is sure to keep thoughts positive and purify the mind.
The vegan diet has been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease through the fact that it contains less saturated fats. Data has also shown that vegetarians and vegans suffer from fewer diseases which are generally caused by the modern Western diet. These diseases include constipation, hypertension, coronary heart disease, obesity, gallstones, type 2 diabetes, diverticulitis, diet-related cancers and many more.
This disease prevention has been linked to the higher intake of fiber, flavonoids, carotenoids, antioxidants and phytonutrients. Bacteria, food-borne illnesses, chemical toxins and parasites are more commonly found in commercial poultry, meat and seafood when compared with vegetables. Vegans are also prone to consuming less processed foods than people with meat-based diets.
While the vegan diet plays a role in reducing the risks of certain disease, it has also been shown to help with a reduction of the onset of migraines. Migraines are often linked to diet and food is one of the most common triggers for migraines. Certain foods such as cheese and chocolate are common triggers. Vegan diets are purer and less likely to contain any trigger foods, particularly when it is an organic diet.
Help With Weight Loss
One of the added bonuses of a vegan diet is that it will have a positive effect on your weight. Vegans will generally weigh less due to their diet which offers fewer calories in the form of vegetables, legumes, seeds, nuts grains and fruit. Vegans will also be more aware of healthy foods and often tend to eat better than meat-eaters. Plant-based foods are easier for your digestive system to handle as well.
Improved Athletic Performance
A lot of active people will focus on the amount of protein they ingest, but there are many others who are looking at good-fat, high-carbohydrate, vitamin and mineral-rich vegetarian diets to help boost their performance. There are some conflicting studies on this subject, but the number of world-class vegetarian sportspeople is on the rise. In fact, Venus and Serena Williams announced that they would be going vegan in 2011.
Vegans generally have less macular degeneration and better vision. This is due to the extra vitamin C and collagen in the diet which will lead to better skin.
Helping The Environment
Having a plant-based diet is actually better for the planet because farming for a vegan will use less energy and land. Meat and animal product production is a very heavy burden on the environment from crops and water for feeding the animals to the transportation and processing which needs to be completed before the food reaches the stores. The vast amounts of grain which are required by the meat industry is one of the contributing factors to deforestation. Nowadays, vegan meat is also considered quite good, so it can be a great replacement.