Not only was November 1 the day South Africans came together to cast their ballot, but vegans had something to celebrate too. Every year on November 1, the vegan community comes together to share in their love of meatless Mondays… and every other meatless, egg-less and dairy-free day of the week. According to your vegan friend or family member, embracing this kind of lifestyle can enhance your health while protecting the well-being of the environment.
To celebrate World Vegan Day, we’re looking at five benefits to adopting a plant-based diet. Or at least, cutting down on meat.
Improves your overall health, weight loss and maintenance
Vegan diets, which excludes all animal products, has been linked to reduced risk of heart disease and cancer. Various studies have also concluded that limiting the amount of meat you consume may help with weight loss and weight management, which could be due to the higher consumption of plant compounds, including fibre, micronutrients and antioxidants.
Can improve your gut
Plant-based diets are often teeming with nutritious fibres found in fruits, vegetables, legumes and grains. These fibres feed the beneficial bacteria in your gut that help to reduce inflammation and provide immune support to the body. Basically, eating meals that have a ton of vegetables is a great way to improve your gut.
Lowers risk of heart disease
There’s plenty of debate around the benefits of indulging in a plant-based diet and how this affects heart health, with research indicating that there is a link between animal products and the increased risk of heart disease. However, meat products such as bacon, sausage and fatty cuts of red meat are often high in saturated fat, which can increase the risk of heart disease.
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Studies suggest it can help prevent certain cancers
Various studies have suggested that restricting the amount of meat you consume could help reduce your risk of certain cancers. Adding plenty of processed meats to your diets, such as bacon and cured meats, has been linked to a higher risk of developing colorectal cancer. According to Healthline, certain plant sources seem to have a protective effect against developing colorectal and other cancers.
Reap the rewards of having less meat in your diet
If the thought of completely cutting out meat has you shedding a few tears, don’t worry. There are plenty of benefits associated with reduced meat consumption, with research suggesting that you can still reap the benefits of a vegan or vegetarian diet by simply limiting your meat intake. Consumption of foods such as poultry and fish coupled with an array of veggies will ensure that your gut and overall health thanks you.
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