August 12, 2010

Veganism 101

Healthy Living, Vegan NutritionVeganism is a lifestyle choice to avoid both the consumption of animal products such as meat, fish, eggs, and dairy and additionally refrain from the use of animal by-products such as leather, wool, and cosmetics, medications or soaps that have been derived from animals.

Why Veganism?

People choose to be vegan for a variety of reasons. While most popular reason for pertaining to a vegan lifestyle is out of respect for animal welfare, others choose veganism because the cultivation of plant food has a very small impact on the environment in comparison to the production of food from animals. Health benefits are another factor for many vegans’ lifestyle choice. Patients with diabetes and prostate cancer have shown major improvement while pertaining to a vegan lifestyle. Many vegans also enjoy the reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and colon cancer as a result of their high vegetable diets. The plant-based vegan diet has additionally been associated with lower obesity rates in nations with mainly vegetarian diets.

But is being Vegan actually healthy?

Although a plant-based diet should technically contain all nutrients that are required by the human bodies; in North America it may be more difficult to ensure that you receive all of the nutrients that you need. Certain minerals and vitamins are primarily supplied through animal foods, such as vitamin B12, which can be obtained through B12 supplements or fortified soy milk. Other nutrients, such as calcium, can be obtained through soy milk and also by eating dark green vegetables like broccoli and kale. And Protein? Though it won’t be jam-packed into your favorite meat source, protein is easy to consume – it’s in your veggies, nuts, seeds and legumes. A vegan diet is similar to any regular diet; for it to be healthy it must contain a balance of the different nutrients, minerals and vitamins that we need every day, the difference is just that you refrain from obtaining them from animal products.

Medicines Approved for Vegan Use

If you’re considering taking up a vegan lifestyle, after giving up steaks and any purchases of leather or wool, you may wish to consider which medications are not derived from animal products. You can talk to your doctor about taking only vegan medicines which may include prescription medications (vitamins, flu medicines, or cancer treatments), contraception (birth control, condoms, or a contraceptive patch) and non-prescription medications (cough medicine, pain relief medicine or indigestion medicines).

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