Whether you’re planning to ditch all meat, fish, dairy and eggs from your diet and become a full-time vegan, or you’re interested in going vegan for a few days every week or month, there are many health benefits. Here, Naturopathic Nutritionist Amy Morris from Water for Health explains more.
Get more ZZZZZs– On a vegan diet you will naturally consume more sleep-inducing nutrients like magnesium, vitamin B6 and calcium from the increased amount of plant-based foods you will be eating. Many of us are deficient in magnesium, which is known for its ability to relieve insomnia, and calcium, which is used by the brain to produce the sleep inducing substance melatonin. Good sources include almonds, sunflower seeds, oats, leafy greens and bananas.
Improve Digestion – The more challenged your digestive tract is, the less chance you stand of accessing the health building nutrients you need to thrive. Meat typically sits in our digestive system for several days, whereas most plant-based foods take typically only take 6-8 hours to digest, making your digestive tract happier. When increasing fibre rich foods such as lentils and sprouts, be sure to increase your water consumption too to avoid constipation.
Live Longer – The better the cells in our body perform, the better we age – this is called metabolic health. A 2013 study suggested that due to the high consumption and variety of quality nutrients typically eaten in a vegan diet, eating in this way could improve our overall lifespans. Try Pumpkin Seed Protein Powder (available for £23.75 for 600g from (www.water-for-health.co.uk), which has a high protein content and contains a complete spread of amino acids and is rich in many other vital nutrients.
Boost Underactive Thyroid - One in seven people are estimated to suffer with hypoactive/under active thyroid disorder globally, although this is a conservative figure given the lack of testing. If you have been diagnosed with an underactive thyroid, a vegan diet has consistently shown positive results.
Improvement Arthritis Symptoms – Rheumatoid Arthritis is the most common type of autoimmune arthritis, and is a chronic inflammatory disorder that can affect more than just your joints. Two studies back up the notion that food can be used as medicine, and both research teams concluded that a vegan diet can improve symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis.
Reduce Inflammation – Inflammation is often the root cause of many chronic illnesses. Many people respond well to a diet that is low in inflammatory agents, and have eased their symptoms by switching to a plant-based diet. Animal based diets can be too challenging to some, due to animal protein being highly inflammatory as it is very acidic. Try Rejuvenate (available for £33.75 for 213g www.water-for-health.co.uk) which is an easy way to start including more plant-based nutrients into your life. One scoop is the equivalent to 3-4 of your recommended daily intake, and can be added to soups, smoothies and yoghurt.
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