Since vegan diets consist of only plant-based foods, they may appear to be restricting, but they can also provide you with all the essential nutrients you need. Dietary professionals agree that plant-based foods such as nuts, seeds, legumes, beans, and tofu can provide valuable and affordable sources of essential nutrients. Including a variety of these foods in your diet will provide your body with a wide range of important vitamins, minerals, healthy fats, and protein. All you need to do is pay attention to where you are getting the nutrients from to ensure you get your daily nutrition requirement.
Enhancing public health is a significant part in the development of a nation, especially when it comes to developing countries – in such cases, following a vegan diet can help improve public health significantly.
Here are FIVE main health benefits of plant-based diets:
1. A vegan diet is richer in certain nutrients.
Switching to a vegan diet can be challenging at first. You have to cut back on certain foods and ensure that you are getting all the right supplements too. Since foods like whole grains, fruits and vegetables, beans, etc., are a large part of a vegan diet, they help increase your daily intake of beneficial nutrients.
According to several PubMed studies, vegan diets provide more fiber, antioxidants, and beneficial plant compounds and are rich sources of potassium, magnesium, and vitamins A, C, and E.
However, a poorly planned vegan diet may not provide sufficient amounts of essential nutrients and lead to deficiencies. This is why it is important to include whole plant foods, fortified foods, and certain supplements for nutrients like vitamins B12 and D, zinc, and calcium.
2. It helps you lose excess weight.
One of the reasons why people opt for plant-based diets is because it helps you lose excess weight. Vegan diets naturally reduce your calorie intake. This is why people on a vegan diet tend to have a lower body mass index (BMI) than those following other diets.
Many animal-based foods are high in fat and calories, so replacing these with low-calorie plant-based foods can help people manage their weight. Vegan diets effectively promote weight loss without consciously cutting back on calories.
However, it is important to remember that consuming high amounts of processed or high-fat plant-based foods can lead to unhealthful weight gain.
3. It helps lower blood sugar levels and improves kidney function.
Vegan diets help reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes and reduce blood sugar levels. They also help prevent other medical issues from developing.
People who follow a vegan diet tend to have lower blood sugar levels and higher insulin sensitivity. Also, several studies report that a vegan diet may be able to relieve symptoms of systemic distal polyneuropathy, a condition in people with diabetes that causes sharp, burning pain.
4. It helps lower the risk of heart disease.
It is a known fact that consuming fresh fruits and vegetables, legumes, and fiber helps lower the risk of heart disease, and a well-planned vegan diet includes large amounts of these foods.
Low-carb diets consist of plant-based foods that are high in fat, which leads to an increase in blood levels of “good” HDL cholesterol. It is beneficial to heart health as it helps in reducing high blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar levels.
5. It reduces pain from arthritis.
One of the leading causes of arthritis is meat, so switching to a plant-based diet can benefit people with arthritis.
Vegan diets are based on probiotic-rich whole foods, which help decrease osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis symptoms. Thus, helping in reducing pain from arthritis significantly.
How Is Veganism Good For The Economy and health care?
Now that you know about the various benefits of following a vegan diet, let’s look at how veganism helps the economy and public health.
Veganism has immense economic benefits, and having a plant-based economic approach could save billions of dollars for countries around the world. According to research by Bloomberg Intelligence, the plant-based foods market could make up to 7.7% of the global protein market by 2030, with a value of over $162 billion, up from $29.4 billion in 2020. Furthermore, global forecasts indicate that plant-based alternatives might grow to USD 27.9 billion by 2025.
Among developing countries, Brazil has slowly begun to transition from meat-heavy diets to plant-based. According to a 2018 poll, 14% of the population, that is 30 million Brazilians, reported that they were vegan.
In recent years, as veganism gains prominence, accessing vegan options has become easier. This is mainly due to financial globalization, and switching to a plant-based diet will result in lower commodity prices. Plant-based economies will also improve the overall health and wellness of people around the world by reducing hunger in developing countries. Hence, increasing the availability of plant-based alternatives in developing countries will be a step in the right direction.