250,000 people signed up last year for Veganuary, with more to be expected this year. But why is the month so popular?
Veganism has seen a huge surge in recent months, with many fast-food restaurants bringing out vegan alternatives for January such as KFC, Wagamama and Papa John’s. Environmental and ethical benefits aside, one of the main reason Veganuary has become so popular is due to veganism’s health benefits. Incorporating long-term vegan lifestyle changes can positively affect our bodily functions. And here is why.
Veganuary is a non-profit organization encouraging people to try going vegan for the month of January. Created in 2014, the world-wide campaign promotes eating a plant-based diet to help not only to reduce the killing of animals and to protect the environment but to improve bodily health.
In 2019 alone over 250,000 members participated in Veganuary, with approximately 500 brands and restaurants also supporting the cause. The campaign’s vision includes creating “a world where veganism is a mainstream lifestyle choice, with positive action at all levels of society and government to promote the benefits of plant-based eating”.
Swapping meat and other animal products such as milk, cheese and eggs for vegetables, grains, nuts and fruit can lead to better physical health. As a nutrient intensive diet, going vegan can lower the risk of cancer. With high levels of fibre and vitamin C, a balanced vegan pallet, in particular, lowers the risk of developing prostate and colorectal cancers. Eating plentiful carbohydrates, a vegan staple, is also beneficial. Rice (especially brown) and pasta, contain soluble fiber which cleanses the gut by pushing waste out and with it, softening your stool.
Contrary to popular belief, eating a vegan diet can improve bone density. Whilst calcium in dairy products strengthen our skeletal and dental structure, vegan foods such as kale, spinach and figs can also do the job. Though you may not know it, these products are rich in calcium. There is even scientific research by The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition to suggest that vegans possess more efficient bone metabolism (a.k.a. the process by which the process by which bone tissue forms) than meat-eaters.
Vegans stand a better chance against various chronic diseases as well. Bioactive compounds in vegetables counteract the genetic likelihood of developing type 2 diabetes, whilst natural antioxidants found in corn, papaya and black teas control cell damage associated with cardiovascular disease and tumor growth.
So why not have a go at Veganuary? When the fall out of Christmas means over-indulgence on the turkey, pigs in blankets and eggnog, give your body a much-needed detox this January. Start 2020 off with a brand new vegan diet and pave the way to long-term bodily well-being.
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