Plant based diet benefits – Plant-based living has taken center stage in modern health consciousness.
The vegan movement has seen many people adopting an exclusively plant-sourced diet for several different reasons.
3 Reasons To Consider Going Vegan
For some, going vegan is an ideological statement against the inhumane treatment against animal treatment in the agricultural industry.
It is true that animals reared for human consumption of their products have historically been treated poorly.
This coupled with the fact that the size of the meat and animal product industry has lead to overcrowding and shortcut methods of raising and harvesting that leave animals in a constant state of shock, distress, and fear before their impending deaths.
These shortcut methods may include force-feeding and the injection of growth hormones.
The poultry industry has a particularly dark history when it comes to the treatment of animals.
One example is how newly hatched chicks are sorted for the egg industry.
When hatchlings are being sorted, the females, which obviously produce the eggs, are selected and kept alive.
The male chicks, on the other hand, are immediately disposed of, typically in an industrial-grade meat grinder or similar apparatus
This jarring and abnormal lifestyle.
A second reason a plant based diet benefits and plant-based lifestyle might be appealing is because of the environmental impact of raising livestock.
Vast tracts of land are claimed and modified for the raising of animals, leading to mass destruction of natural ecosystems.
Deforestation and the building of dams and reservoirs for water supply means a significant environmental impact is suffered in order to sustain a large scale livestock operations.
This not only leads to environmental degradation and loss of habitat for existing biomes, but it can also alter the local climate since plant and animal activities have a great influence on the water cycle, which stimulates weather patterns.
Added to this, essential resources such as water and feed, that could otherwise be used by human populations in need, are expended on livestock instead.
On the topic of feed, soy, a major constituent of animal feed, is itself blamed for the rampant abuse of the planet’s natural ecosystem for the purpose of farming.
Large swathes of rainforest have been forever lost to the soy industry, and a large driver for this expansion is the production of cheap animal feed.
You can also consider the fact that animals such as cows produce so much methane that the beef industry is literally destroying the ozone layer.
The farts of cattle have been shown to be a major contributor to atmospheric degradation and it’s only getting worse.
For many, a plant based diet benefits is simply a matter of optimizing health.
We can all agree that loading up on fruits, veggies, nuts, and seeds will give you the best shot of meeting your daily nutrient requirements.
Most vitamins and minerals essential to your health are found in greater quantity in plants.
Plants are also our main source of dietary fiber.
Fiber is important in helping regulate blood sugar levels. It does this by slowing down the uptake of glucose from the food in our digestive system.
Without fiber, we would be more susceptible to insulin resistance and the resultant metabolic issues such as diabetes.
Fiber is also well known for its involvement in gut motility. That means it helps keep the gut clean by assisting in the movement of waste material.
Lastly, fiber, in many cases, is prebiotic.
What this means is fiber nourishes the good gut bacteria found in the human colon.
This bacteria plays many helpful roles that keep your health in check.
The metabolic reactions of these bacteria produce some essential vitamins and fatty acids.
Plants are a bountiful source of antioxidants in the form of phytochemicals.
Antioxidants are known to protect and boost the health of cells through the scavenging of free radicals, unstable molecules that cause disruption to the structural integrity of cells.
Antioxidants in this way, limit the impact of aging, reduce inflammation, and help improve the effectiveness of your immune system.
Dangers of Meat and Animal Products
Another health-related motivation for sticking to plant sources is the well-recorded health risks associated with animal products, especially industrially processed ones.
Processed meat is a big example of this as research is advancing that increasingly shows a link between the consumption of processed meats and an increased risk of developing cancer.
This is especially true for pork containing processed meats.
Even some non-meat animal products have been linked to adverse health.
For instance, dairy products are being shown to contribute to the year on year decline in average serum testosterone levels in men globally.
This is said to be linked to the presence of estrogenic compounds in cow’s milk, as a result of exogenous hormones and the heavy inclusion of soy in the diet of these animals.
Soy is known to contain phytoestrogens which may potentially block the function of testosterone in the male body.
While Plant based diet benefits actually sources present a healthy, ethical and eco-friendly alternative to the commonly available animal-based options, it doesn’t mean animal-sourced foods are completely bad and plant-sourced foods are 100% ideal.
Life is about mindful balance. Consumption of meat and other animal products should be done ethically and in moderation, for us to be able to enjoy the benefits with less of the consequences.
It is also important to remember that a completely plant-based diet will require many special considerations in order to make it work for the full benefit of your health.