What is Vegan Nutrition and What are its Benefits?

It is the strictest form of vegetarianism, a way of life that aims to exclude all forms of exploitation and cruelty of animals. No animal products, including plant-based, eggs and milk, are to be eaten. The advocated benefit of veganism is that it provides a lower body mass index and lower blood pressure, in this context, it is associated with a reduced risk of heart disease, diabetes and cancer and a longer life. Although this diet style can be healthy, it lacks sufficient protein, calcium, iron and B12. If vegan individuals cannot provide adequate intake in line with their diet, they should definitely use vitamin/mineral supplements.

What can vegans get nutrients from?

Kalsiyum: Zenginleştirilmiş soya veya pirinç sütü, zenginleştirilmiş portakal suyu, kalsiyum eklenmiş tofu, brokoli, fasülye vb. baklagiller, yeşil yapraklı sebzeler, badem, badem ezmesi, susam, soya fasulyesi

Demir: Soya fıstığı, soya peyniri, kale, ıspanak, fasulye vb. baklagiller, fıstık ezmesi

Protein: Mercimek ve fasulye gibi baklagiller, kinoa, yulaf ezmesi, fındık vb. kabuklu yemişler

B12: Zenginleştirilmiş soya sütü, portakal suyu ve tahıllar

What are the Benefits of Vegan Nutrition?

Vegan Diet Is Rich in Certain Nutrients: If you switch from a typical Western diet to a vegan diet, you eliminate meat and animal products. This will inevitably lead you to rely more on other foods. When it comes to a whole food vegan diet, substitutes are whole grains, fruits, vegetables, beans, peas, nuts, and seeds. Because these foods make up a larger vegan diet than a typical Western diet, they may contribute to higher daily intakes of certain beneficial nutrients. Several studies have reported that vegan diets tend to provide more fiber, antioxidants, and beneficial plant compounds. They also appear to be richer in potassium, magnesium, folate, and vitamins A, C, and E. Vegan diets appear to be higher in iron, although the form of iron provided by plants is not as bioavailable as the form found in animal foods. However, not all vegan diets are created equal. For example, poorly planned vegan diets may not provide adequate amounts of essential fatty acids, vitamin B12, niacin, riboflavin (vitamin B2), vitamin D, calcium, iodine, selenium, or zinc. Therefore, it is very important to choose whole plant foods and fortified foods. You may need to consider supplements for nutrients such as vitamins B12 and D, zinc, and calcium, as these may be deficient in a vegan diet.

May Cause Weight Loss: An increasing number of people are turning to plant-based diets in hopes of losing excess weight. This may be a good reason. Many observational studies show that vegans tend to be thinner and have lower body mass indexes (BMIs) than non-vegans. In addition, several randomized controlled trials, the gold standard in scientific research, report that vegan diets are more effective than the diets to which they are compared. What's more, a small study comparing the weight-loss effects of five different diets concluded that vegetarian and vegan diets were considered just as good as semi-vegetarian and standard Western diets. Even if they didn't follow their diets perfectly, participants in the vegetarian and vegan groups lost slightly more weight than those on a standard Western diet.

Improves Blood Sugar and Kidney Function: Going vegan may also provide benefits for type 2 diabetes and declining kidney function. Indeed, vegans tend to have lower blood sugar levels and higher insulin sensitivity and may have a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Studies have indicated that vegan diets lower blood sugar levels in people with diabetes. Research also suggests that people with diabetes who replace meat with plant protein may reduce their risk of kidney dysfunction, but more research is needed on this topic.

A Vegan Diet May Protect Against Certain Cancers: According to the World Health Organization, approximately one-third of all cancers can be prevented by factors under your control, including diet. For example, eating legumes regularly may reduce your risk of colorectal cancer by 9-18%. Research also shows that eating at least 7 servings of fresh fruits and vegetables a day can reduce your risk of dying from cancer by up to 15%. Additionally, vegan diets often contain more soy products, which may provide some protection against breast cancer. Avoiding some animal products may also help reduce the risk of prostate, breast and colon cancer. This may be because vegan diets are devoid of smoked or processed meats and meats cooked at high temperatures, which are thought to promote certain types of cancer. Vegans also avoid dairy products, which some studies suggest may slightly increase the risk of prostate cancer. On the other hand, there is evidence that dairy products may help reduce the risk of other cancers, such as colorectal cancer. So, it's probably not dairy abstinence that reduces vegans' overall cancer risk. It is important to note that these studies are observational.

Linked to Heart Disease: Eating fresh fruits and vegetables, legumes, and fiber is linked to a lower risk of heart disease. Well-planned vegan diets often include all of these foods in large amounts. Observational studies comparing vegans with vegetarians and the general population report that vegans may benefit from up to a 75% lower risk of developing high blood pressure. Vegans may also have up to a 42% lower risk of dying from heart disease. Compared to the general population, vegans tend to consume more whole grains and nuts, both of which are good for your heart. Even if you are not vegan, it should be one of the foods you should include in your diet.

A Vegan Diet May Reduce Pain from Arthritis: Several studies have reported positive effects of a vegan diet in people with different types of arthritis. Those on vegan diets reported higher energy levels and better overall functioning than those who did not change their diets. The vegan diet's high antioxidant, probiotic, and fiber content, as well as the absence of certain trigger foods, may be responsible for these benefits.