Positive things you need to know about Veganism

By Lucy Boulton, Childcare and Wellbeing specialist at The Lady

For the past few years January has seen increasing numbers of people sign up for Veganuary challenges, which involves consuming zero animal products for the entire month.

Pair that with dry January and you’re basically on the path to being reborn!

Well, perhaps not, but you will feel a whole lot better and it will give your system a chance to reset and your liver a nice little holiday from constantly trying to process toxins from foods and the environment around us.

Or perhaps you’ve been living under a rock and are incredibly confused as to why your local Greggs has a line out of the door for what looks exactly like a steak bake? Or why a whole new isle has appeared in most supermarkets?

If you’re curious and want to know a bit more, then here are some key pointers to help you understand what veganism is and why it’s good for you, plus how implementing even small changes can make all the difference.

What is veganism?

Being vegan involves eating only foods made from plants and avoiding all products sourced or made from animals.

Many vegans choose this way of life to take better care of the earth and environment, to reap the benefits of a plant based lifestyle and for ethical reasons towards animals.

Why are more and more people opting to eat plant based?

Having been plant based for almost two years, my health has never been better. I have abundant energy, clearer skin and zero brain fog plus I don’t crave unhealthy foods anywhere near as much as I used to!

This is what works for me though, and we are all completely different.

Maintaining a plant based diet has become ingrained in my everyday lifestyle and as routine as much my morning coffee. Now that I know how good I can really feel from eating things that contain essential living nutrients and vitamins, I don’t even think about slipping back into previous habits of fish and chips on a Friday and a full English with all the trimmings each Sunday.

If it works for you that’s all that matters and more and more people are feeling ENERGISED by opting to shake up their lifestyle and eat more plants.

In all honesty, it is pretty simple but let’s look at the facts too.

Dr Daniel Fenton, Clinical Director at London Doctors Clinic, explains everything you need to know about going vegan…

What are the health benefits of a vegan lifestyle?

1. A more varied and balanced diet

Eliminating meat and animal products will inevitably lead you to rely more heavily on other foods. Substitutes usually take the form of whole grains, fruits, vegetables, beans, peas, nuts and seeds. Since these foods make up a larger proportion of a vegan diet than a typical western diet, they can contribute to a higher daily intake of certain beneficial nutrients.

Studies have consistently reported that well-planned vegan diets tend to be higher in dietary fibre, magnesium, potassium folate, vitamins A, C and E, and phytochemicals (beneficial plant compounds).

2. Weight management

Vegan diets have a natural tendency to reduce your calorie intake. This makes them effective at promoting weight loss without the need to actively focus on calorie restriction.

Several observational studies show that vegans tend to be thinner and have lower body mass indices (BMIs) than non-vegans. In addition, several randomised controlled studies — the gold standard in scientific research — have reported that vegan diets are more effective for weight loss, than the reference diets they were compared to.

3. Reduced diabetes risk

Going vegan may also have benefits for the prevention of type 2 diabetes. Vegans tend to have lower blood sugar levels, and up to a 50–78% lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

4. Reduced risk of high blood pressure and heart disease

Eating fresh fruits, vegetables, legumes and fibre are linked to a lower risk of heart disease.

All of these are generally eaten in large amounts in well-planned vegan diets. Observational studies comparing vegans to the general population report that vegans may benefit from up to a 75% lower risk of developing high blood pressure, and an up to 42% lower risk of dying from heart disease.

5. Reduced cancer risk

According to the World Health Organization, about one-third of all cancers can be prevented by factors within our control, including diet. For instance, studies have shown that regularly eating legumes, may reduce your risk of bowel cancer by about 9–18%.

Research also suggests that eating at least seven portions of fresh fruits and vegetables per day may lower your risk of dying from cancer by up to 15%. Vegans generally eat considerably more legumes, fruit and vegetables than non-vegans.

This may explain why a recent review of 96 studies found that vegans may benefit from a 15% lower risk of developing or dying from cancer. Vegan diets generally contain more soy products, which may offer some protection against breast cancer.

Ultimately, your lifestyle is your choice but who wouldn’t want to feel a little better each day?

For further information visit https://www.londondoctorsclinic.co.uk/

Former Career Nanny and now Childcare and Wellbeing specialist at The Lady, Lucy Boulton has over 12 years’ experience with children of all ages, is a certified yoga teacher and loves promoting a plant based lifestyle brought about from her nutrition studies in the USA. Lucy is delighted to be offering regular features alongside helping families find the perfect nanny through the services provided by The Lady.

If you or someone you know is searching for an experienced Nanny, contact Lucy today on lucy.boulton@lady.co.uk

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