10 Benefits of Going Vegan
November is World Vegan Month, so there’s no better time to try veganism for a day, or a week, or a lifetime.
For those not in the know, vegans differ from vegetarians. Vegetarians do not eat meat, fish or poultry. Vegans, in addition to being vegetarian, do not use other animal products and by-products such as eggs, dairy, honey, leather, fur, silk, wool, cosmetics, and soaps derived from animal products. Veganism is much more than just a diet. It is a life philosophy.
There are many benefits to veganism. Jessica Fucale, a marketing executive from The Cookware Company, the maker of the Original GreenPan, has been a vegan for three years and vegetarian for many years before that. In addition to working for The Cookware Company, Jessica is a Reiki master, a health coach and is studying to be a yoga instructor. Fucale shared with LadyLUX her 10 favorite benefits of veganism:
Clear conscious, clean energy. Aside from all of the health facts about being vegan, I am a huge believer in karma. While you physically may not be the one killing animals in factory farming, inhumane ways, you are still supporting this industry with the purchase of meats and animal products. Clear them out of your life and clear your conscious. According to PETA, each vegan saves about 200 animals a year When animals are killed for our food, they are living, in most scenarios, in horrible conditions, have gone stir crazy, are depressed and almost literally scared to death as they are on the conveyor belt watching their peers being killed. That bad energy is included in what you eat. Can you say mood swings? Clear your conscious and eat some clean energy.
Detoxify your body: Meat that comes from factory farms and unkempt conditions have animals that are pumped with antibiotics to fight off the diseases they are inevitably bound to get and hormones to make them grow faster than they should so they can be killed and sold at a faster rate. Those drugs don’t go away when the animal is killed. It stays in their system and transfers to your body when you eat it. Going vegan allows your body to detoxify itself, clean out all of those second hand drugs and start fresh.
You are what you eat: Did you know that every 35 days you skin replaces itself? Your liver takes about a month. Your body makes these new cells from the food you eat. The saying is truer than true. So, would you rather be a made from a juicy apple or a 99-cent greasy fast food burger made of decomposing animal flesh? The answer is pretty obvious. If you want clear skin, eat clean food.
Lose weight: Still trying to lose those last 10 pounds? Many studies show that a lifestyle without meat products leads to weight loss and overall lower BMI then our meat-eating counterparts. If you don’t want to be fat, don’t eat fat.
Nutritional benefits: Following a vegan lifestyle means eating plenty of fresh fruits and veggies, whole grains, beans, nuts, the occasional soy product, and the elimination of drug filled animal products. This means that your body is getting all of the vitamins and minerals it needs to live a healthy, vibrant life naturally.
More energy: When you eat a whole foods vegan diet, you are giving your body exclusive super power fuel. It is the most natural source of energy. Falling asleep at 2:30 p.m.? Put down the milkshake/Frappuccino/candy bar and grab an apple, handful of walnuts, or carrot sticks. You’ll get way more energy from natural sources then you would from dairy, meat laden, or animal derived snacks. Plus, becoming vegan helps you sleep better. Try pigging out on natural foods before going to bed. You won’t be bloated, gassy or have that uncomfortable full feeling. You will be satisfied, happy and able to sleep all night long.
Stronger nails, shinier hair: When becoming vegan, it is normal that a large portion of your meals will be replaced with veggies, veggies and more veggies. So it’s no wonder that the more veggies you eat, the more vitamins you are feeding your body, the better your hair will grow and nails will grow. Healthy nails are a sign of a healthy body.
Prevent major health problems: It’s pretty safe to say you won’t get mad cow disease, salmonella or E. coli from fruits and vegetables. Not only this, but you will also have lower blood pressure and cholesterol, naturally. You can throw away those pills now.
Environmentally friendly: People eat twice as many animals today than we did 30 years ago. Because we are eating more, the demand is higher, meaning there are more animals being bred, raised, fed, and slaughtered. Which equals twice as much greenhouse gasses and physical wastes. In 2006, the UN concluded that the combined climate change emissions of animals bred for their meat were about 18 percent of the global total. This was more than cars, planes and all other forms of transportation put together. If that was true in 2006, imagine what it is today. Growing plants takes up much fewer resources then raising animals. Eat more plants and save the world.
Longer life: There have been numerous studies done to prove this, but it makes perfect sense. Meat, eggs and dairy products are all high in cholesterol, calories and saturated fats. These are all things doctors are constantly trying to get us to lower, and inevitably putting us on meds to take care of the problem. Plus, these foods are filled with the antibiotics and hormones. The natural foods that vegans eat are cholesterol free and full of essential nutrients. You will totally live longer because you are eliminating all of the things that would normally kill you if you ate meat and animal products.
Consider all of these options and think about trying a vegan lifestyle and diet for even a week and see if how your body responds to natural, healthy foods. If you’re unsure about what to eat, the newly updated Vegan Diet Pyramid gives helpful suggestions.
If you’re still doubting the benefits of a vegan, or even vegetarian diet, consider a recent study published in June in JAMA Internal Medicine, a journal of the American Medical Association. The study tracked 73,308 members of the Seventh-day Adventist Church for almost six years, and found that vegetarians in the study experienced 12 percent fewer deaths over the period. The consensus was that vegetarians live longer than meat eaters.