Veganism and the Benefits of a Plant-Based Diet

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Woman cuts various vegetables in a salad bowl

Veganism is a type of lifestyle that excludes the exploitation of animals for food, clothing or any other purposes.

Vegan lifestyle vs. Plant-based diet

Veganism differentiates with a plant-based diet in that, a plant-based diet focuses primarily on plants as the major source of food such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, oils, legumes, whole grains and beans without eliminating animal products such as dairy, eggs, and honey or even clothing such as wool and leather. Which is the case is veganism.

Zucchini, asparagus and tomatoes lie together with a barbecue pliers on a grill

A Plant Based Diet

A vegan diet is a type of vegetarian diet that eliminates the use of animal products such as meat, fish, poultry, dairy products, eggs and any food that contains these products.

Vegan vs. Vegetarian

When talking about a vegetarian diet, most people think of entirely off animal products, but a vegetarian diet can be classified depending on what type of food is included. Other classes of a vegetarian diet include:

Ovo-vegetarian diet which allows eggs but excludes other animal products including dairy products, poultry, meat, and seafood.

Lacto-vegetarian diet includes dairy products like cheese, milk, butter, and yogurt but factor out meat, eggs, poultry, and fish or any other foods containing them.

Lacto-Ovo vegetarian diet incorporates eggs and dairy products but excludes fish, poultry and meat.

Pescatarian diet allows fish but eliminates meat, eggs, poultry, and dairy products

Flexitarian or semi-vegetarian diets- Here the primary food is from plants but occasionally or in little amounts include meat, eggs, poultry, fish, and dairy products

Bowl with cooked mushrooms, peppers, zucchini and herbs on a wooden table

Benefits of a plant-based diet

Incorporating more of plant food but less of animal products has proven some tremendous benefits to the health and wellbeing. Some of these benefits include:

 

1. A lowered risk of developing type 2 diabetes due to the increased insulin sensitivity. This diet also regulates and controls high blood sugars.

2. It lowers the risk of high blood pressure, cardiovascular diseases and stroke. A plant-based diet additionally lowers high cholesterol levels.

3. A vegetarian diet plays an essential role in losing excess fat and maintaining healthy body weight.

4. It’s high in dietary fiber that aids digestion and prevents constipation.

5. Vegetables for example carrots are packed with vitamin A which aids your night vision. Moreover; Kale, kiwi, grapes, squash and spinach contain zeaxanthin and lutein which have been shown to prevent macular degeneration and cataracts.

6. Phytochemicals in veggies and fruits promote healthy skin. Additionally, vitamin c such as in sweet potatoes supports collagen production which helps smooth out wrinkles. Tomatoes as well contain lycopene which helps protect the skin from harmful rays of the sun.

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Many people may find it challenging to cut off animal products from their diet completely, but the good news is, there are a variety of vegetarian diets to choose from. Besides, a diet rich in vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts, and seeds may come with different health benefits such as a reduced risk of lifestyle diseases, improving skin health, losing extra pounds and maintaining healthy body weight.

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