Veganism bears fruit

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Veganism, Health

It all starts with a smoothie … and soon you’ll be hooked.

The elevator pitch is: In a world beset by animal cruelty, veganism is an ethical commitment to impose the least possible harm on the animals with whom we share the earth.

For the sake of avoiding morbidity, let’s not detail the well-documented, indescribable horrors and suffering at slaughterhouses, dairy farms, animal transport, egg production, fish farms and so forth. This is one of the major reasons why vegan diets typically exclude meat, fish, eggs, dairy products, honey and all other animal-derived ingredients. Many vegans go beyond diet by not owning leather products and rejecting cosmetics tested on animals or made from animal ingredients.

Save our planet

A move towards plant-based diets is one of the most important actions individuals can take to reduce their carbon footprint and stop environmental degradation. In 2018, the journal Science[1] published a study which found that even the most sustainably produced animal-based products have a much greater environmental footprint than the least sustainably produced plant-based foods. Researchers concluded, ‘A vegan diet is probably the single biggest way to reduce your impact on the planet’.

Then there’s the matter of global warming and animal agriculture happens to be one of the biggest contributors. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization[2] estimated animal agri to be responsible for 18 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. That’s more than the combined vehicle exhaust emissions in the world!

For health’s sake

The majority of anti-inflammatory compounds are found in plant foods. Therefore, with a plant-based diet the stress hormone cortisol decreases. This translates to less sugar and coffee needed for vooma.

Plants also beat the blues by restoring balance to certain neurotransmitters affected by depression[3]. And when it comes to ‘the silent killer’, vegan and vegetarian diets are associated with lower cholesterol levels than omnivorous diets, as per a review of 49 studies[4].

As for ship-shape hormones, plants reign supreme. Cow’s milk contains estrogen, cortisol, testosterone, progesterone and other hormones. These can throw your hormones out of whack and may create insulin issues, mood swings and even cancer growth.

The list goes on: from glowing skin health to osteoporosis prevention, studies laud a plant-based diet.

The food of champs

After trying high carb, low carb, high protein, low protein and whatnot, many elite athletes have switched to plant-based diets to fuel strength, health and fitness – and they haven’t looked back. Fitness experts corroborated the move, saying the rewards of a plant-based diet can include more energy, deeper sleep and better performance.

Ready for a life-changing step?

Getting up to speed on reasons to go vegan would require reams of reading. But I’m sure you get the drift on why the payoff is huge.

The vegan journey is different for everyone. Some may purge their fridges and food cupboards straightaway, while others may gradually slide down the plant-based slope. Or you can make small changes such as meatless weekends.

If you’re ready to embrace health and wellbeing, plus the welfare of animals and our burning planet, the pleasure you’ll derive from insanely delicious plant-based eating will grow by leaps and bounds.

Ref: [1] https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/may/31/avoiding-meat-and-dairy-is-single-biggest-way-to-reduce-your-impact-on-earth; [2] https://www.fao.org/3/a0701e/a0701e00.htm; [3] https://www.pcrm.org/good-nutrition/food-and-mood; [4] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5914369/