So as I start my venture into a 30 day Vegan adventure, I have tried to bring purpose into my new way of life. Not only is Veganism important for the well being of all living creatures but it is also amazing for your health. Many people have voiced their concerns that going vegan will not be my healthiest avenue, due to lack of protein and essential vitamins, but there are pleanty of foods that provide even better nutrients than animal based foods, such as:
Textured Vegetable Protein (TVP) – a dried soy product that can be used in place of ground beef in stews, chili, tacos, pasta sauce, etc.
Lentils – a small but nutritionally mighty member of the legume family, loaded with minerals, B vitamins, and protein–all with virtually no fat. Lentils are excellent in soups, stews, and curries.
Tofu – a product made from soybeans, is the king of versatility. It has a bland taste on its own but it absorbs the flavors of the other foods and seasonings cooked with it. Firm tofu can be used in place of meat in stir-fries or marinated and baked, while soft tofu can be used in dips and deserts like pudding, pie, and smoothies.
Seitan – also known as “wheat gluten”, is a chewy meat-substitute that is the protein part of wheat which is left after the starch and bran are removed.
Tempeh – a fermented soy product with a slightly nutty flavor and a firm texture similar to meat.
Quinoa and Brown Rice
According to the American Dietetic Association’s position paper, vegetarians on average have lower body weight, cholesterol, and blood pressure, and lower rates of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, prostate cancer, and colon cancer.
Like everyone, vegans should eat a well-balanced diet. Protein, vitamins B12 and D, omega-3 fats, calcium, and iodine are important. Fortunately, there are plenty of nutritious and convenient options for vegans today, including various high-protein meat sub-titutes and fortified dairy alternatives.
Heart disease is the number one cause of death in America today, and it is caused by the build-up of cholesterol and saturated fat from animal products in our arteries. According to GoVeg.com, the only two doctors in human history who have successfully reversed heart disease have included an exclusively vegetarian diet as a part of their programs. The average vegan cholesterol level is 133 (compared to 210 for meat-eaters). There are no documented cases of heart attacks in individuals with cholesterol under 150. Other health problems tied to clogged arteries, like poor circulation and atherosclerotic strokes, can be virtually eliminated with a vegan diet.
Vegans are approximately one-ninth as likely to be obese as meat-eaters and have a cancer rate that is only 40 percent that of meat-eaters. People who consume animal products are also at increased risk for many other illnesses, including strokes, obesity, osteoporosis, arthritis, Alzheimer’s, multiple allergies, diabetes, and food poisoning.