Benefits of going vegan by vegan guru Alessandra
So what even is veganism? What is all of this organic, whole food, gluten-free business? And why should we go “vegan” anyway? The thing is, most vegans weren’t born vegan, but being vegan is a choice that more and more people seem to be making every single day. Whatever you want to call it, being vegan simply means that you refrain from consuming animals and animal products, and instead go for food, clothing, and self-care products that come from plant-based sources.
These are things that are inspiring more and more people to eat more and more plants each and every day!
1. Improve your health
Your health will improve as you start eating more plant-based whole foods. There are numerous studies on the benefits of plant-based nutrition. Dr. Michael Greger has great resources for everything that you need to know about plant-based eating. Forks Over Knives is also a great documentary to watch for a solid understanding of the science behind the idea of “food as medicine”. Everyone’s body is different, but everyone can be vegan while still catering to their unique dietary needs. Maybe you thrive on a high carb diet, or on lower levels of sugar? Or maybe you feel best when you eat more healthy fats like hemp seeds and avocados? You can find whatever nutrients that your body needs from plant-based sources. And everyone can benefit from the high amount of antioxidants and micronutrients present in plant-based foods.
2. Increase your energy
Ever heard of food coma? Much of the processed foods, meats, and animal products available today take so much energy for the body to digest and are very taxing on our systems. The North American society is becoming known for being “overfed, yet undernourished”, meaning we eat a large amount of high calorie foods that have a low amount of nutrients. Eating foods with a low nutrient-density causes us to crave more and more food, because our bodies are never truly satisfied. When we eat natural, nutrient-dense, plant-based whole foods, we are less prone to overeating and we have more energy because our bodies don’t have to expend so much on digestion.
3. Contribute to a more sustainable planet
Yes, you become a superhero. And it’s oh so easy. Want to know how? Watch COWSPIRACY. The way you eat affects not only your own health, but also the health of everyone on the planet. We all need clean air and fresh water. Did you know that one hamburger takes 660 gallons of water to produce, which is the equivalent of showering for two entire months? Or that it takes 18 times more land to feed a meat eater than it takes to feed a vegan? Check out Cowspiracy to learn about how you can save water, conserve land, and improve the planet’s air quality by simply choosing to consume more plant-based options.
4. Live Compassionately
The inhumane conditions of factory farms are something that often goes ignored. We are all animals. Humans are animals. Dogs are animals. Pigs, cows, lambs…all animals. When you see all animals as equal, this type of compassion translates into all other areas of your life. Compassion for all is a state of mind. Every time that you purchase ethically produced, plant-based goods, you are using your dollar to vote for peace and sustainability. Don’t get overwhelmed though! Take tiny steps daily and make decisions that go in line with what feels right. It’s a journey, and any step you take toward compassion, health, and sustainability will make a better world for you and all of those around you.
5. Become part of a new network
Plants will nourish your body, but people will nourish your soul! After all, the 80 year old Harvard study on happiness found that great relationships are the number one predictor of happiness. There are people all over the world that are excited about plant-based living. Wherever you are and wherever you go, it is likely you’ll be able to find a vegan community group to join and plant-based restaurants to try! Look up vegan Facebook groups and search for #vegan tags on Instagram. You’ll likely connect with some awesome people who are on a very similar journey. Vegan restaurants are also a great place to meet people and get involved in a plant-based community. The app Happy Cow is an amazing directory that will help you find plant-based restaurants anywhere in the world.
So you’re interested in going plant-based? Intention is what will help you form lasting habits. If you want to start living a more plant-based lifestyle, ask yourself “what are the reasons for why I want to start choosing more plant-based options?” Everyone is different, so try to think about why you might be attracted to plant-based living. Is it for your own health? Is it because of compassion for other beings? Is it because you want to preserve the environment? Your story is important. You never know who you’ll inspire by sharing about your journey to healthy, sustainable, compassionate living.