The advantages of turning to a plant-based diet. The disadvantages of turning to myths.
To BeVegan, a plant-based diet is the way to go; no animal-derived ingredients are allowed. That much is quite self-explanatory. Here’s the twist; to BeVegan does not mean that dinner time would be dull. Images of a dry bowl of salad should not come to mind when you’re contemplating this life-altering decision. You aren’t trying to graze on grass. Veganism is anything but boring.
Meat-lovers are quick to wage a culinary war against their vegan counterparts for all sorts of reasons:
“Our traditional recipes have been compromised.”
“Are there enough options to make veganism practical?”
“Can a plant-based diet really sustain the body?”
The anxieties of a meat-eater can be galore. Could it be the abundance of arachidonic acid in the diet? Commonly found in meat, arachidonic acid (AA) can negatively impact emotional reactions and anxiety levels if consumed in abundance. There are no traces of it in a vegan diet because plants don’t produce AA. Ask any newly-converted vegan and they’d tell you the sun feels nicer on them, the air fresher around them, the grass greener on their side.
To satisfy your culinary passions, there are vegan alternatives for many traditional meat-based recipes.
To answer health concerns, the Stanford University vouches that a plant-based diet can offer a complete source of proteins.
Going the plant-based route can mean different things for different people. The reasons can range from a genuine love for animals to realizing how ruthless the meat and dairy industry can be. We have made a list of seven ways the grass on your side could be greener.
You’ll feel happier
Many reasons come to mind when trying to explain why vegans are usually happier people. The Nutrition Journal conducted a research study on mood swings and diets. According to their findings, their subjects who were on a vegetarian diet went through positive mood changes during a two-week experiment compared to their omnivorous counterparts. It was inferred that high intake of AA can result in changes in the brain that can impact the brain negatively.
The meat and fast-food industries are ruthless. Animals are subjected to cruelty and as these industries adopt increasingly questionable ways, we are forced to wonder if eating that hamburger is really worth our conscience. There are many documentaries on how brutally animals are treated and tortured in the meat and dairy industries. By turning to a plant-based diet, you’ll be creating a difference in making the world a better place.
Another reason that a plant-based diet can result in temporary and short-term feelings of happiness is a healthy body without a heavy conscience weighing it down. Celebrate with a comforting meal of curry pie and roasted sweet potato to go with. It’s guilt-free.
You’ll save the environment
According to the University of Oxford, key components of a plant-based diet have the lowest environmental impact. You can now enjoy your vegetable, fruit, legumes and whole grains whole-heartedly. Processed food and red meats have the most negative impact on the environment as well as being susceptible to spreading disease. Most of the viruses we hear of have been meat-derived, haven’t they? Plants and grains seldom give you such problems.
You can rest assured that if you choose to BeVegan, you’ll be reducing your carbon footprint and contributing in off-setting environmental emissions and reversing global-warming. The grass will be greener on your side, as in literally!
Your conscience won’t weigh you down.
We are all living in the age of social media and even if fleetingly, we hear about the meat industry and its many exploitations finally unveiled. It is a brutal industry - to the animals it is slaughtering, and to the humans it is feeding. Therefore, with the absence of AA in your non-meaty vegan meal, you’ll be happier. You wouldn’t have had to eat an animal to enjoy your meal. Eating a scrumptious vegan meatball and spaghetti would not only impact your short-term happiness, it would probably contribute to a life-long contentment of being cruelty-free and environment-friendly.
Your body benefits.
This one is the real nut to crack. The previous three ways of getting the grass greener on your side dealt with conviction and ethics. This one deals with hard facts, but it also has the most meat-loving naysayers. The one argument against the vegan diet is that it does not provide a complete source of protein. BeVegan is here to tell you that it actually could do that, and it has Stanford Food and Health to back up its claim.
It is true that animal-derived protein sources like fish and egg provide all the essential amino-acids needed for the human body. We can’t say the same about plant-based sources of protein like legumes, nuts and beans; they are incomplete sources of protein indeed. Even so, it is still healthier for your body to adapt to a plant-based diet because of how negatively meat and animal-derived products can affect it. Here is a combination of micronutrients and macronutrients that will give you a complete source of plant-based protein:
Seeds + Nuts + Legumes + Vegetables + Grains.
This combination also contains more fiber and less fat compared to a ‘complete source of protein’ from an animal. Meat contains saturated fat which elevates LDL cholesterol if consumed regularly. There are many traditional recipes with the above combination. It’s time to whip up a vegan recipe that you’ll be proud to pass to generations after you.
You feel more energetic mentally and physically.
A plant-based diet has polyphenols in abundance. These are plant compounds that are linked to boosting digestion and protect against cardiovascular dysfunction. That’s one immunity booster right in front of you. A great source of polyphenols is the acai berry that you can incorporate in many more recipes than just your breakfast bowl…
A vegan diet is also rich in phytonutrients that act as antioxidants for your body reducing inflammation and promoting the reversal of DNA damage caused by toxins. Good sources of phytonutrients are soya, berries and spinach.
There is a plethora of new recipes to try
The culinary world is your oyster if you’re in the kitchen and innovating with vegan recipes. Many traditional recipes from around the world can been veganized and still retain their rich flavors. The Shepherd pie, lasagna, spaghetti Bolognese, Shish kebabs and even steaks, are some traditional dishes that can be given a healthier, vegan spin without taking away their essence. Then there are some traditional recipes that don’t require any tweaking. We are talking about hummus, falafels, masala dosa, gallo pinto, lentil soup and a thousand other recipes.
If you want to BeVegan, you do not have to compromise your taste-buds to monotonous meals. Additionally, upon close contemplation, you will hopefully realize that the many benefits of a vegan diet might trump the ‘habit’ of being a meat-eater.
You’ll be doing yourself a service; you’ll be doing the world a service.