The Profound Impact of Plant-Based Living Part 1

5 Jan 2018

@loosi profile image
loosi

A trend, a fad, a passing phase… these labels were thrown around by critics dismissing the adoption of veganism, vegetarianism and a plant-based lifestyle by millions of people around the world...

How wrong they were.

Nutritious vegan bowl

In the past, the choice to be plant-based was largely driven by religion and cultural traditions. More recently there’s been a conscious awakening to the physical and environmental damage associated with meat, fish and dairy consumption. Whether you care about human health, animal welfare, climate change or resources for future generations, the journey towards a better future can easily begin by becoming plant-based. There’s no wonder that so many people around the world are embracing a plant-based lifestyle, choosing to live richer, healthier lives all the while making a positive impact in their communities and for the earth.

If you haven’t experienced the wonders of being plant-based, now’s a great time to start. As the new year rolls in, embracing a plant-based lifestyle can guarantee 2018 will be your best year yet!

Healthy body

Your body

The benefits of a plant-based diet change your body on a deep, foundational level. Right down to the tiniest microscopic cell in your body, the effects a vegan or vegetarian diet can physically, and dramatically, change your life.

Plant-based diets are packed with nutrients. We’re talking A LOT of nutrients. In addition to common vitamins and minerals, plant-based ingredients provide the added bonus of copious antioxidants. Did you know, plant-based foods contain 64 times more antioxidants than animal-based foods!

These health boosting molecules are extremely beneficial for your cells and help them to function correctly. Your cells are the building blocks of your body and when functioning properly they help maintain all of the processes your body runs on a daily basis.

Healthy grapes

The reality is you can be sick and overweight from being vegan if all you're eating is processed foods and sugars. Eating plant-based means that vegans and vegetarian are choosing healthy, wholesome foods derived from plants. Forget the processed packaged foods - the benefits of a plant-based diet comes from the fresh, natural ‘untouched’ foods that our earth provides.

Your revitalized cells will improve your digestion, boost your energy and improve your sleep. From the inside out, you will feel a sense of reawakened vitality that is reflected in your overall health.

Inflammation

A plant-based lifestyle does more than just enhance your health and make you feel good. It can save your life.

Inflammation is an epidemic. The inflammatory response in all its forms puts your body under stress that’s detrimental to your health. Chronic, or long-term inflammation is the cause of major illnesses including diabetes, obesity, heart disease and cancer.

I know what you’re thinking, “Well, that’s an easy fix. Just eliminate the inflammation and we’re out of danger”.

You’re absolutely correct.

Row of cows

Meat is a major contributor to inflammation in the body. Studies show when meat is reduced or eliminated entirely from the diet the prevalence of Type 2 diabetes plummets. We’re talking dropping your risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes from 78% down to 22%.

Vegans and vegetarians are less likely to be obese compared to their meat-eating counterparts and have a reduced risk of heart disease. Why? Because nutrient-dense plant-based foods are significantly lower in calories than other food groups, especially meat. A high percentage of body fat puts your internal organs under stress which, you guessed it, leads to chronic inflammation. Lose the weight, remove the stress.

We live in a world where everyone either knows of a person touched by cancer or has experienced it first-hand themselves. Just as with obesity and diabetes, cancer has been linked to diets with higher quantities of meat. The World Health Organization (WHO) states that for every 50 gram portion of processed meat eaten daily your risk of colorectal cancer increases by about 18%.

Caged chicken

It’s not just processed meats that cause cancer; unprocessed animal protein plays a role in enhancing the production of this IGF-1, a growth hormone that encourages the development of common cancers. **Research shows** eating a combination of processed and unprocessed red meat escalates your risk of colorectal cancer by 14%, colon cancer by 25% and rectal cancer by 31% for every 100g daily increase!

The WHO has categorized processed red meat as a Type 1 carcinogen. This means it contains an agent that is known to cause cancer. In generations past, meat did not exist in people’s diets - or it was consumed only as a rarity - and the rates of cancer were much lower. Fast forward to today and we can see the relative cancer rate has increased as people started consuming meat on a daily basis.

Considering there are no plants (excluding tobacco!) that are considered a carcinogen it is clear that a plant-based diet will ensure you’re at less risk of developing cancer. Embracing a more natural diet will help your body thrive in a natural and healthy way.

Sharing a vegetable dish

From improving your body’s systems to supporting the optimal function of your organs, a plant-based lifestyle is more than just what you eat. Look out for Part 2 of this series to learn how a vegan diet can benefit so much more than just your physical body.

Sources: Diabetes Care Journal, World Health Organisation, NutritionFacts.org, T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies, Plos One

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@vikas profile image
vikas4 YEARS AGO
From my experience talking with people, so few are aware of the health risks posed by red meat, and hardly anyone knows that processed red meat is a type-1 carcinogen, right up there with tobacco, which as you pointed out is the only plant on the list!
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@elysesimpson profile image
elysesimpson1 YEAR AGO
This is so important and not too mention the strong development of antibiotic resistant due to consuming animal products
REPLY