JPicture of the word vegan in vegetablesTry being Vegan for One Day

Have you been feeling a bit sluggish lately or just not at your best?

Maybe your skin has lost its sparkle or you’ve noticed aches and pains in your joints that haven’t been obvious before. Your diet could be playing a major part in how you feel and look, regardless of healthy you believe it is. Going Vegan for even just one day a week can have drastic improvements on your general health and wellbeing and help to put a spring back in your step.

How does eating animal-based foods affect your body?

Meat, fish and dairy products are packed full of protein which contains essential amino acids associated with almost all biological process. Our bodies need these amino acids as they are the building blocks on which our bodies are built, but when they come from meat, they are not always the best solution for our overall health. Did you know that there are many synthetic chemicals found in animal-based foods, many of which have the potential to be very damaging to anyone exposed to low concentrations over an extended period of time? Synthetic oestrogens and testosterone are often injected into young livestock to make them grow faster. Some of these oestrogen based hormones have been closely linked to some types of cancer and we are fully aware that oestrogen is closely linked to Breast Cancer. We also know that there is much evidence to link animal-based foods to bowel disease, arthritis, diabetes and obesity, but were you aware that the antibiotics injected into many animals on a daily basis could also be contributing to the rise of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, posing a serious danger to our health? The other big problem that our bodies have to contend with when eating an animal product based diet is the lack of fibre content in these food types. A diet high in fibre is associated with a decreased cancer risk, as well as a lower risk of ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, constipation and diverticulitis.

How can I get these essential proteins if I don’t eat meat, fish or dairy products?

A plant-based diet, or vegan diet, will give you many of the proteins your body needs to stay fit and healthy. In fact, there is much evidence to suggest that animal proteins can result in our bodies producing higher levels of the hormone IGF-1 which stimulates cell division is not just healthy cells – but all cells which lead to the association of an animal-based diet and certain cancers. Not only will a plant-based diet give you essential proteins, but it is also packed with fibre, antioxidants and phytonutrients that help us to fight off damaging free radicals and keep your body working properly. We are not suggesting that everyone should suddenly give up eating meat as there are many benefits to eating certain meats, especially those raised in a free range and organic environment where synthetic chemicals are not used in the same way or quantities that they are in mass production. But do you consider the animal-based ingredients in some of the foods we eat on a daily basis? Animal-based ingredients used in food production come from mass farming and these are the products you need to avoid. Cakes, Pastries and biscuits all contain butter and eggs that probably won’t have come from an organic source. Avoiding these along with processed meats and cheap cuts could be a great way to eat a healthier diet.

What are the benefits of a vegan diet for one day?

Let’s break it down into smaller sections, starting with your digestive system: Plant-based foods are essentially fibre, water, healthy fats and plant-based proteins that all keep your digestive system working efficiently and help you to overcome constipation, gas, bloating and indigestion.

Balance blood sugar levels: eating a plant-based diet can slow down blood sugar whilst still allowing insulin to do its job.

Healthier skin: Plant-based foods that are full of vitamins and antioxidants, as well as water and chlorophyll, will help to improve your skin’s health and appearance, eliminating some of that grey pallor and helping to diminish fine lines and wrinkles.

Improve energy: animal foods are harder to digest than plant-based foods which in turn can leave you feeling sluggish. A plant-based diet is will help to ease your digestion and contains energizing properties, putting a spring back into your step!

Reduce inflammation: a plant-based diet that is rich in chlorophyll and omega-3 fats can increase alkalinity that in turn will help to calm inflammation in both the joints as well as the intestine. Diseases like gout and chronic stomach inflammation are associated with diets that promote acidity which can be directly attributed animal-based based foods.

Solid sleep: many foods associated with a plant-based diet contain vitamin B6, tryptophan and magnesium that will help to ensure a healthy sleep cycle. The more sleep we have, the more energy we have and these, in turn, have a positive impact on our overall mental wellbeing.

Nutrient dense foods

Being Vegan for a day allows you to explore the nutritious vegetables, nuts, pulses and seeds that can be used to make a fulfilling and satisfying meal. Those of us who eat meat always base our meals around this ingredient rather than looking at the options there are to use other food types as a meal base that may have more health benefits. If you do a bit of research and some homework, you may well be surprised by how much variety there is available to us to make us think more carefully about the food we eat and the meals we prepare.

Impact on the environment 

Aside from the many health benefits associated with a vegan diet, even for just one day, think about the environmental impact you could have. In one month an individual vegan will help avoid the death of 33 animals, save 33,000 gallons of water used in animal food production, reduce CO2 emissions by 600 pounds and save 1200 pounds of grain used for animal food. It is even more important today to also consider the environmental impact eating an animal-based diet has on the world we live in and how being vegan for just one day could have a huge impact on the world we live in tomorrow.

Do you have health concerns want some Functional Nutrition Coaching? Visit my nutrition website for more information on nutrition plans, functional nutrition testing and coaching

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