The vegan diet has been around forever and has gained lots of momentum in the past decade due to the results of scientific studies as well as the endorsement of many influential doctors. Having always known that eating a plant-based diet had some health benefits, I was still quite surprised while doing this research at the amount of studies correlating the vegan diet with a remarkable reduction of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, inflammatory diseases such as lupus and arthritis, prostate, colon, and breast cancer, muscular degeneration, cataracts, osteoporosis, and of course obesity.
According to Dr. Neal Barnard, a clinical researcher and Founder of the Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine in the United States, the knowledge that a plant-based diet was a healthier diet to follow has been around since the 1950’s but has not reached the mainstream due to the interest of big industries. Today there is even more scientific data available and it is of a remarkable consistency. There are many more Doctors that share this point of view solely in the United States.
After having obtaining his Medical Doctor’s degree, Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, Jr. was practicing as a surgeon, but grew more and more frustrated with the way he and his colleagues were treating cancer and heart disease. He noticed that the reliance on pills and procedures were not healing his patients but was merely managing their diseases. After putting his wife and himself on a plant-based diet, he noticed how healthier they were becoming which became a life-changing experiment. After serving many years on the Cleveland Clinic Board of Governor’s as well as Head of the Thyroid and Parathyroid Surgery and Chair of the Breast Cancer Task Force, Dr. Esselstyn has published over 150 scientific publications. He is the author of books such as “Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease” where he promotes the vegan diet as a better diet alternative in treating cancer and heart disease.
A vegan diet is full of foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, nuts, beans, and soy products. On a nutritional level I have chosen some examples of what this diet means:
Plant-based proteins: We need protein but according to these studies a plant-based diet contains all the proteins we need and does not come with the saturated fats found in meat therefore they are healthier for your heart, for example.
High in Carbohydrates: Carbohydrates provide the energy your body needs so it doesn’t burn muscle tissue.
Less saturated fats: Meat and dairy products contain a large amount of saturated fats; again better for your cardiovascular health. Also meat and dairy products have been linked to inflammatory diseases such as arthritis and lupus.
High in Fiber: A plant-based diet is higher in fiber so in turn leads to healthier bowel movements which helps prevent colon cancer.
High in Magnesium: Magnesium helps the absorption of calcium which is related to bone health.
High in Potassium: Balances the acidity of the body, helps the kidneys eliminate toxins, reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer.
Antioxidants: Protect against cell damage and cancer.
A vegan diet is full of health benefits especially if you compare it to the American Diet which is creating obesity and disease at an alarming rate. I myself believe in these benefits being vegan, but I have to warn you that I did it over many months and I informed myself so as to not lack any nutrients, such as Vitamin B12. ( I take a supplement of B12 every day). I see the difference of this diet on my skin, my hair, my weight as well as an increased amount of energy throughout the day. My blood work has never been better so I believe that the vegan diet is working for me. I hope you will be open-minded enough and give it a try if you have never – what do you have to lose?