Over the past years, plant-based living has gained popularity. Major cities like London, New York, Berlin, Paris, Stockholm and Prague have jumped on the vegan bandwagon and offer a vast choice of plant-based restaurants and options, making this the best time to add more greens to your diet.
Even people who only partly adopt this wholesome way of eating stand to experience a range of benefits and contribute to positive impact through their choices.
Being plant-based means getting all your energy from fruits, veggies, grains, nuts, beans and legumes, while avoiding animal-derived products and substituting them with plant-based alternatives when needed.
People often choose to eat a vegan diet for health reasons. The well-known China Study, which was the largest study on human nutrition ever conducted, has shown that vegans experience a lot less of the common diseases in today’s world, such as heart disease and certain kinds of cancer. What’s more, practitioners like Dr. Dean Ornish have documented cases where a wholefoods, plant-based diet even reverses heart disease, pointing to the transformative power of natural plant foods.
But did you also know that by incorporating more vegan foods to your diet, you are also contributing to resource preservation?
That’s right. Ecology has become a major factor in choosing plant-based foods. Animal agriculture is a significant factor in environmental degradation. To give one striking example, the majority of soy in the world is not grown for human consumption, but for animal feed that is used on farms. This already gives you an idea of how many crops are being grown not for direct human needs, but in order to supply the large amount of feed necessary for farm animals. According to most recent calculations, it takes 2,500 gallons of water, 12 pounds of grain, 35 pounds of topsoil and the energy equivalent of one gallon of gasoline to produce one pound of feedlot beef.
Whole foods plant-based diets provide everything we need for a healthy life
You can get the same nutrients through a plant-based diet as you can through an omnivore diet. Some people are worried about vitamin B12, as many believe that it is only found in animal products. This, however, is not the whole truth. B12 is a vitamin that is actually produced from bacteria in the soil. This means that in a less sanitized world, we would get in contact with this nutrient through dirty, soiled fruits or vegetables. Since almost all farm animals are raised in controlled and sanitized conditions, they are actually injected with B12, which is how the vitamin ends up in the final animal product.
If you are concerned about your B12 intake, you have two choices- consuming it indirectly through the animal, or directly by taking quality supplements. In any case, you don’t have to worry about your vitamin consumption as a whole when choosing vegan foods: whole foods plant based diets are among the most nutrient rich options, and keeping a good mix of fruits, veggies, beans, nuts and legumes ensures you are getting a wide range of nutrients. One simple rule to follow is to simply eat all the colors of the rainbow on a daily basis.
Eating more vegan foods protects the soil & saves water
Studies have shown that animal husbandry contributes to soil erosion, desertification and limiting the forest area. As a result of these processes, about one-third of the arable land in the United States alone has been lost.
Agriculture and breeding also account for over 70% of drinking water consumption world. Production of a kilo of beef requires between 100 and 200 times more water than one kilogram of plant food. The UN considered that animal husbandry probably the most is responsible for water pollution. Giving up meat can have a greater positive effect on the state of Earth's water than turning off the tap while brushing your teeth, or taking a shower instead of taking a bath.
… and your body will thank you too!
A diet rich in whole grains, cereals, fruits and vegetables provide you with adequate intake of dietary fiber, which reduces the risk of many common diseases. Besides, eating foods rich in antioxidant vitamins and minerals improves skin, hair, and nails.
Thanks to the vegan diet, we will also lose unnecessary kilograms!
With so many positive effects... eating more vegan foods needs no more convincing! Are you ready to include more nutrient rich foods in your diet?