Does A Vegan Diet Help Reduce Health Risks?

Understanding The Vegan Diet

Choosing a plant-based diet has become pretty popular in the last 5 years, thanks mostly to celebrity endorsements. The likes of Goop boss and Oscar winner, Gwyneth Paltrow, to even former hardcore meat eaters like boxing heavyweight champion, Mike Tyson, the list grows longer and longer and practitioners begin to swear by this natural diet.

What is a vegan diet? How is it different from being a vegetarian? To make it simple, vegetarians have the option of eating dairy. In fact, those who consider themselves “vegetarians” may actually indulge in eggs and fish. However, a vegan diet is stricter in the sense that it disallows eating anything except fresh fruits and vegetables. Dairy is a strict no-no as well. Those who adhere to the rules of veganism sometimes don’t eat food that has been cooked. Sauces, salads, mains and desserts are swapped with ingredients that are raw.

Many have sworn by this fresh diet, showing visible results. Some even claim to have reversed cancers and other health issues that they had been plagued with earlier. Does a vegan diet help reduce health risks? Let’s understand the pros and cons of adopting a vegan diet:

Pros

  • It is a known fact that meat consumed takes up to 3 days to digest. On the other hand, vegetables digest within a day. Leafy vegetables like kale and spinach help with digestion and ridding the system of toxins.
  • Meat is known to be more acidic, while fresh fruits and vegetables, especially the green kind are alkaline. The body needs an alkaline system to function properly, because acidic properties from meats and other processed foods can cause serious sicknesses like cancer.
  • Fresh fruits and vegetables, especially the organic kind, are designed by nature for helping to heal various parts of the body. They have literally no harmful properties in them that could cause harm and smoothen bodily functions. Meats and other processed foods are cured and may contain ingredients that are not meant to be absorbed by the body, thus leading to their build up that could later on cause sicknesses.

Cons

  • Since ancient times, there has been no recorded tribe that lived only on a plant-based diet. The properties that meat contains, especially proteins, can actually not be replaced by vegetables, unless these vegetables are consumed in extremely large quantities.
  • Dairy products contain high doses of calcium that are necessary for strong bones and if consumed, can help prevent women against menstrual issues and osteoporosis in later life. In fact, there isn’t any other food group that can replace the nutrients that milk and milk products provide. The only way to meet the daily calcium requirement is by consuming supplements.
  • Leafy vegetables contain high doses of fibre that help with the digestive system. However, if consumed in large quantities, they may cause the digestion of nutrients without them first being absorbed by the body. There is no scientific proof that only consuming vegetables can still create a healthy body with a good BMI ratio.

The best solution to prevent any diseases would be to maintain a balanced diet, consuming everything in moderation. Also, avoiding processed foods that are not available readily in nature, but go through manufactured processes is a good way to go to maintain longevity and good health.

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