The vegan lifestyle is not a new concept to society. Its origin dates back to the 1700’s and was popular then and is today. The term vegan comes from the word vegetus. The vegan lifestyle is based on ethics as well as being a diet that promotes awareness of how foods affect our bodies. There is strict opposition to hunting but strong support to help the earth’s environment. Those who practice the vegan lifestyle feel assured that they are healthier and the benefits to their health are greater.
The vegan diet is an excellent diet to promote weight loss and is economical on the food budget. The vegan diet eliminates foods that are high in cholesterol and saturated fat and encourages eating more fiber which helps an individual to feel full and satisfied. Foods that are definitely not eaten on this diet focus are eggs, dairy products, meat products, sugar and honey. Foods that are eaten on the vegan diet are healthy, delicious and can be prepared in many different ways.
Studies have shown that some individuals who follow this lifestyle and diet are at lower risk for heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, various kinds of cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, allergies and degenerative conditions. Individual following vegan eating habits seem to have less colds, flu illnesses and suffer less with asthma conditions. From the statistics shown it does appear that this style of eating may definitely improve and strengthen the immune system. One factor is the high antioxidants found.
As with any eating lifestyle the diet and meal preparation must be carefully planned and considered. There must be adequate and sufficient amounts of vitamin B-12, iron, vitamin D, calcium, iodine, omega 3 acids, proteins, vitamin B-2 and zinc consumed in the foods that are eaten to maintain a healthy body. Below are listed some of the necessary vitamins the body requires and food sources that contain a healthy supply:
(1) B-12 and B-2 are found in brewer’s yeast, almonds, mushrooms, whole grains, soybeans, green leafy vegetables.
(2) Vitamin D can be attained by taking vitamin supplements, eating fortified foods and getting sunshine
(3) Calcium is found in tofu, seeds, nuts, legumes and dark green vegetables.
(4) Iron is rich in abundance in raisins, figs, whole wheat and potatoes.
(5) Vitamin C is found in fruits and an abundance in tomatoes.
(6) Zinc is in various kinds of nuts and pumpkin seeds.