Believe it or not, only a few decades ago, vegans and vegetarians were considered social outcasts. Today, the situation could not be more different, with famous athletes and celebrities speaking out in favor of veganism and vegetarianism and millions around the globe making the switch to a plant-based diet.
Such has been the increase in popularity of plant-based living and the demand for vegan and vegetarian food that many brands and restaurants exclusively catering to the vegan market have sprung up around places like Salt Lake City. There are also numerous accounts on social media sites, like Instagram and Pinterest, that regularly post vegan recipes or recommendations.
Today, it is easier than ever to adopt a plant-based diet and lifestyle. Here are some reasons to do so:
Get essential nutrients
Even young children know the importance of fruits and vegetables in your diet. These are rich in the essential vitamins and minerals that keep our bodies healthy. Furthermore, fruits and vegetables do not contain harmful substances, such as saturated and trans fats, that increase the risk of chronic diseases like diabetes and heart disease. People who practice vegan diets have been found to have lower rates of cancer, high blood pressure, and stroke.
Improve your fitness and energy levels
Plant-based foods are low in fat and caloric density compared to animal products. This means that you do not need to eat so many fruits and vegetables to be full and gain the nutrients your body needs. This, in turn, helps vegans and vegetarians lose weight faster and stay lean, as it is much harder for them to put on body fat.
Furthermore, meat and dairy products are more difficult to digest, draining your energy and making you tire quickly. In contrast, plant-based diets offer a good amount of protein and a low amount of fat, making it easier to build lean muscle. Fruits and vegetables also contain antioxidants, which help reduce your stress and elevate your mood.
Broaden your palate
Gone are the days when a plant-based diet meant boring, tasteless food. Today, there are various vegan alternatives to meat-based products such as hamburgers and steaks that put their unique taste on these dishes. In light of the edible plant species in the world, there is so much to discover in terms of plant-based cuisine. This will make you more open to trying new and different flavors, which will come in handy in the future.
Contribute to sustainability
One of the main reasons why many people are choosing to become vegans or vegetarians today is the sheer amount of pollution generated by the meat industry. Rearing livestock and poultry today takes a good deal more natural resources compared with growing vegetables. Given the precarious state of the climate today, avoiding meat products is one way to do our part in preventing the loss of the planet’s natural resources.
Today, adopting a plant-based diet isn’t as difficult as people think. It can make you feel much better about yourself and your body, which is why many who go vegan do not end up going back to meat.