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Happy New Year! Happy 2018! Are you busy making positive change happen? Or maybe you’re still getting back on track after the busy season. Not matter your journey to date, January is a great time to make change happen! Everyone around you is motivated and there are so many opportunities to try new classes, new diets and even new products. We’re supporting the Veganuary campaign this January, a perfect start to your year! This blog is here to encourage you to try something new by going vegan. It can be for one month, for one day a week or as a permanent lifestyle change – Keep reading for our 10 sublime reasons to go vegan.
Reasons to go Vegan
It’s natural to ask the question ‘why?’ when looking to make any changes. And it’s equally important to do your research before jumping into anything! The vegan diet is continuously growing high speed – a 360% increase in the UK in the last 10 years! Whoaah! This is incredible! Interestingly, it’s not weight loss or some other claim driving this movement but actually it’s the perceived health benefits that are driving this rising trend. There are so many reasons to go vegan, for everyone and anyone! Here’s just 10 reasons to check out.
Because it’s January
There is no better time to make change happen than January! Not only is it the month we feel motivated and inspired to get active and healthy, but it’s also the opportunity to get the support of a massive vegan community. Veganuary is a charity based initiative that encourages people to try vegan for the month of January. Their website and social media channels provide plenty of information, recipes and inspiration so you’ll never be stuck for ideas! Check out their website and hashtag: #veganuary2018
Nourish Your Body
A vegan diet is composed of 100% plant-based foods. Vegetables (especially), fruits and grains are some of the most nutrient dense foods you can eat. Rich in minerals, vitamins and antioxidants that you’re now enjoying these foods 100% of the time. Every time you eat is an opportunity to nourish your body so just think of all the nutrition you are providing with plant based foods! All these micronutrients support all the systems in the body to run smoothly from digestion to hormone balance to cardiovascular health.
Boost Your Mood
There are a few studies out there that propose that vegans and vegetarians have healthier mood profiles than meat eaters. Of course this to say that all meat eaters are depressed but it’s an interesting note. The suggested reason behind this is that plant-based eaters have a lower omega-6 (found mainly in red meat, poultry, and some fish) intake. Omega-6 is an essential fatty acid but only in small amounts. It is also inflammatory and needs to be evenly balanced with omega 3 fatty acids. High blood levels of arachidonic acid, in relationship to eicosapentaenoic acid (omega-3), have been linked to clinical symptoms of depression
Anti-ageing Raw Beauty
Eating vegan will make you younger! Eating real food for raw beauty – did you know that the food you eat can have benefits for your skin and ageing? It’s true! Raw food rejuvenates our bodies. It all starts on the inside. A vegan diet supports anti-ageing by lowering toxin intake (i.e. foreign processed ingredients in refined produce), boosting antioxidants (to fight free radicals), minerals and vitamins (to support cells and skin health) and balancing hormones (acne, psoriasis, eczema). Have a read of our blog post ‘food for glowing skin’ for more.
Protecting the Environment
The farming industry contributes significantly to environmental pollution in the form of CO2 emissions and greenhouse gases not to mention the serious issue of toxic waste runoff that leaks into our water supply. In addition, farming includes the heavy use of antibiotics in livestock and pesticide spraying of grains. So while there’s a lot to gain from first removing animal products from your diet, take note that mass produced grains can also have some negatives. This is why it’s a great idea to support your local small farmer and/or look to organic vegetables and produce where possible.
Effortless Weight Loss
Obesity is a massive problem in the Western world. In the UK alone, rates have have doubled in both men and women in the last 10 years. Much of this has to do with all the refined food on the market which comes with the other big culprit: sugar.
A vegan diet is not only plant-based, but for the most part also unprocessed. How do you get effortless weight loss? Plant based foods are filling and satiating and you can also get a lot of bang for your bulk i.e. eating a giant salad for very few calories relative to the weight of the food. In addition to being able to eat quite a bit of food in return for few calories, fruits, vegetables and starches contain plenty of fibre to support good digestion and help fill you up. In short, we’re trying to say that it’s quite normal to naturally consume fewer calories without the need to count or measure anything.
Studies and research has shown that not only do vegans on average have a lower BMI, but that as a diet approach it also results in more weight loss compared to some other popular diets.
Improve gut health and digestion
When you eat food in its natural state your body will thank you for it. Food is not only that which we consume. The official definition extends to define food as that which we digest, absorb and assimilate into our cells for use. Plant based foods provide plenty of nutrients for the cells to use, plenty of fibre to help keep everything moving and the lack of ‘foreign’ ingredients just makes life so much easier for your digestive tract.
It’s a very well known argument that doesn’t require much explaining. When you eat vegan, you are choosing to
But there is another big health benefit to avoiding meat! Many conventional farming methods make use of antibiotics to keep the animal in good health for slaughter. As the saying goes, you are what you eat – so when you buy these products on the shelves they may contain traces of these antibiotics. The figures are terrifying and thought to be a major contributor to the issue of antibiotic resistance: Nearly 50% of antibiotics used in the UK are used in animal agriculture, and in the USA this figure is a staggering 70%+.
Our body thrives on micronutrients and a natural diet. Refined foods tend to either be void in nutrients or contain foreign ingredients that add burden on your digestive system, namely the liver. Finally, many of these foods are inflammatory which can create chronic inflammation in the body. Certain health markers like your weight, body composition, blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol depend on many variables but one of the most important is the food you take in day-to-day. Studies have shown that a vegan diet can help to reduce risk of type 2 diabetes, support cardiovascular health, support gut health and lower cholesterol.
Can you really think of a reason not to try and eat 100% plant based for one month, one day or even forever? You can use this diet to boost your body a few times a year or try the popular idea of #meatlessmonday.
What is a vegan diet?
A vegan diet is not a diet…..it’s a lifestyle! To eat vegan means to cut out all animal products such as meat, fish, dairy and products that contain any animal based ingredients. Technically, it doesn’t stop there, as a vegan lifestyle also means swapping out other products like makeup, cleaning detergents and clothing! Overall, the vegan approach consists of consuming 100% plant based foods as close to whole food as possible. There are variations close to this approach like vegetarian (includes eggs and dairy), pescatarian (includes fish) and raw vegan, our founder Asa’s favourite!
So what do vegans eat?
So we’ve established that vegans eat 100% plant-based, but what does this look like? What normally happens is that people fixate on the ‘can’t haves’ and get stressed out. It takes a bit of practice but there is so much you can eat! Here are just some ideas!
- All fruits & vegetables
- Grains (try to buy whole organic sources)
- Nuts and seeds
- Nut butters
- Sprouts and sprouted grains
- Fermented foods
- Legumes: beans, lentils.
- Cold pressed (organic) vegetable based oils and fats like coconut & olive oil
- Natural sugars like maple syrup and coconut sugar.
- Dried fruit & vegetables
- Super powders : maca, spirulina, matcha.
- Dark chocolate
How can you go vegan this January?
If you’re still a newbie and feeling stuck, try these ideas to get started
- Try a cooking class – There is no better way to learn than to do it yourself. Why not challenge yourself and try a cooking class to get ideas and tips on vegan cooking. Yuuga Kemistri is one option boasting over 3000+ happy students. Check out upcoming classes.
- Look to vegan products – While you’re learning the ropes, why not make life easier by buying some vegan products. There are so many on the market to choose from! At iRaw, you can be sure that all of our products meet the highest of standards – Organic, Vegan and Raw! Our whole ethos lies in creating functional, nutrient dense food without compromising on taste. Our full range is perfect whether you need snacks, meals on the go or desserts. Check out the shop: irawuk.com/shop
- Get on Instagram – you can find so much inspiration on instagram! Use the #vegan hashtag to get started and follow some vegan accounts. They’ll inspire you to try new things!
- Make-Up & Fashion: Not ready to change your diet? You can look to making conscious choices as a consumer by swapping your toiletries, candles, bed sheets, clothes, shoes, make-up, detergents and so on. Start educating yourself and making some simple swaps. We also recently wrote about reducing food waste, a definite must read.