How a Vegan Diet Can Fight Off Disease and Illness
In our article ‘Plant Based & Fit’, we talked about how a plant-based diet helps protect the Earth, not to mention our own lives. It was pointed out as well how healthy living, which is a combination of exercise and proper diet, can increase longevity. The question is how exactly does a vegan diet help improve quality of life and keep you protected from a variety of ailments? Today, let’s look at four different ways on how it helps improve health.
It contributes to a strong immune system
NutritionMD claims that people who follow a plant-based diet have stronger immune systems compared to those who eat meat. They cited studies which showed that a vegans capacity to fight cancer is more than twice than of a meat eater. The reason for this is that vegetarians and vegans eat food rich in vitamins and minerals, strengthening white blood cells in the process. Furthermore, fiber in fruits and vegetables make it easier for the body to eliminate waste. Not eating meat also means less exposure to fat, as well as other toxic substances that can compromise health.
Vegans who have minimized or removed sugar from their diet altogether, tend to further improve their immune systems. Vegaprocity states that sugar – particularly its processed and refined variations – deplete the body of its nutrients, thereby weakening the immune system. Many other artificial ingredients and food items have similar effects, leading to compromised health and making you more prone to life-threatening diseases.
It can lessen risk of cardiovascular and kidney disease
Health IQ shared research on vegan diets and how it helps lessen the risk of succumbing to cardiovascular and kidney diseases. The studies found that vegans have the more elastic arteries compared to many other demographics. This makes them less likely to experience arteriosclerosis, or the hardening of the arteries, a condition that may trigger strokes and heart attacks. Additionally, veganism has been shown to minimize the risk and reduce the impact of kidney diseases. The diet tends to have lower calories and contain less saturated fat. This is precisely the reason why vegans are less likely to become obese compared to meat eaters.
It protects you from developing hereditary illnesses
MedicalNewsToday discussed how a vegan lifestyle can protect you from illnesses that are in your family history. They mentioned that a plant-based diet aids in controlling genetic and other biological factors that would make you more likely to develop a hereditary disease. It’s primarily due to the fact that fruits and vegetables contain bioactive compounds, including high levels of antioxidants.
It helps minimize risk of cancer
Cancer retains a high percentage of fatalities, and research has proven that an unhealthy diet is one of the biggest contributors to getting the disease. In fact, the American Cancer Society suggests that a poor diet can increase the possibility of getting cancer by as much as 30%. An article on the Huffington Post highlighted the ‘China Project’, a study which revealed that protein in meat is a carcinogenic nutrient. Dr. Colin Campbell, who led the research, said that adopting a plant-based diet can make you less susceptible to 80 to 90 percent types of cancer, even all the way into late adulthood. It was discovered as well that plant-based protein, such as those found in soy, have been proven to significantly reduce blood cholesterol.