What is Vegan Food & How Does It Work for Health?
by MedPlus Team, May 13, 2022
The main theme of vegan food is to avoid animal products in our daily food. It is also known as veganism, which has now become mainstream in today’s diet world. Compared to the previous decade, veganism has become more popular in this decade. The percentage of the vegan population is growing notably in our country. For a beginner, vegan food may seem complicated or overly restrictive. People may worry before switching to a vegan diet about finding an alternative to their favorite foods. But after following the vegan food daily it feels like the transition is less difficult than they expected. For vegetarians, it is easy to switch to vegan food compared to non-vegetarians. Let us know more about vegan food and how it works for health.
What is a Vegan Food?
Vegan food is a kind of vegetarian food that excludes meat, eggs, all dairy products, and all other animal-derived ingredients. Many vegans also do not eat processed foods that use animal products like refined white sugar and some wines. The word vegan was invented in the year 1944 by a British woodworker named Donald Watson. He announced that word to differentiate the vegetarians who eat dairy and eggs from those who do not eat them. Veganism is a philosophy and a way of living that excludes all forms of exploitation and cruelty to animals for food, clothing, or any other purposes.
People who are vegans typically aim to exclude animal exploitation or cruelty in all aspects of their lives, including the clothes they wear, the cosmetics they use, and the leisure activities they do in their daily life. In addition to this many vegans avoid purchasing wool coats, leather furniture, pillows, and comforters.
What Do Vegans Eat?
On a vegan diet, people can eat foods made from plants such as:
- Fruits and Vegetables
- Nuts and Seeds
- Legumes such as peas, beans, lentils
- Bread, rice, pasta
- Dairy alternatives such as soya milk, coconut milk, almond milk
- Vegetable oils
What Vegans Can’t Eat?
Vegans can not eat any foods made from animals such as:
- Beef, pork, lamb, and other red meat
- Fish or shellfish such as clams, crabs, and mussels
- Chicken, duck, and other poultry
- Cheese, butter
- Milk, ice cream, cream, and other dairy products
How Does Vegan Food Work For Health?
Rich in Nutrients
Vegan foods are rich in nutrients because they mainly consist of whole grains, fruits, vegetables, beans, peas, nuts, and seeds. These increase the daily intake of several beneficial nutrients. Many researchers stated that a vegan diet provides more fiber, antioxidants, and beneficial plant compounds. They are also rich in potassium, folate, magnesium, and vitamins A, C, and E.
One of the best advantages of switching to vegan food is weight loss. Many people are turning to a plant-based diet to shed excess weight in their bodies. But it is not a guaranteed fact but there are possibilities for weight loss. Many scientists said that people who follow vegan food are more effective in weight loss than compared with other foods.
Lower Blood Sugar Levels
Vegan food also has benefits for type 2 diabetes. Vegans have low blood sugar levels and high insulin sensitivity. A vegan diet lowers the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. People with diabetes who substitute plant protein for meat reduce the risk of poor kidney function.
Reduces The Risk Of Heart Disease
Eating high protein vegan foods like fruits, vegetables, legumes, and fiber reduces the risk of heart disease. A planned vegan diet includes all these foods in amounts higher than the standard western diet. A well-balanced vegan diet includes plenty of whole grains and nuts that are good for the heart.
Reduces Arthritis Pain
Vegan food has positive effects on people who are suffering from several types of arthritis. A vegan diet provides higher energy levels and better general functioning in people. It improves rheumatoid arthritis symptoms such as pain, joint swelling, and morning stiffness. Vegan food contains higher antioxidants, probiotics, and fiber content, as well as it lacks certain trigger foods, which are responsible for these benefits.
Protects From Cancer
Vegans generally eat more legumes, fruits, and vegetables compared to nonvegans. It reduces the risk of developing cancer 15% more than nonvegans. Eating legumes regularly reduce the risk of colorectal cancer by 9-18%. Eating a high amount of plant-based foods reduces the risk of several cancers including stomach, lung, mouth, and throat cancers. It also reduces the risk of colon, prostate, and prostate cancers.
Finally, following a vegan food diet has many health benefits. It reduces the unnecessary fat and cholesterol in our bodies. Helps in weight loss and protects from many health diseases. Make a habit of following a vegan food diet gradually and avoid meat and dairy products.