Is the Vegan Diet Healthy?

When I meet people for the first time and they find out I’m vegan, they often ask me “is the vegan diet healthy?” They also ask “do you get enough protein?” These are questions to ponder especially when you are deciding to transition to the vegan lifestyle. Though it may seem puzzling, you can get enough protein on a vegan diet. The only considerable questions to ask would be “is the vegan diet healthy?” The answer is yes and no.

Eating a vegan diet that consists of process foods, fast food vegan, fried food, and junk foods that replaced the traditional meat meal diet then of course it’s not any healthier than the diet you’re transitioning from. Vegan plant-base is the healthier version of the vegan diet. There is also raw and alkaline but you can live a healthy lifestyle with following just the plant-base vegan diet.

The plant-base vegan diet consists of Whole Foods including grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, fruits, oils, and vegetables. No processed foods and refined foods such as white flour, white rice, pizza dough, pastas, pastries, sugar, and foods that have been processed and stripped of their nutrient compounds such as fiber and bran.

Though these are not part of the plant-base diet the goal is to eat at least 80% wholefoods because in life there are times when we want to celebrate a love one and it often calls for cake, pizza, and treats that are not on the wholefoods diet. The real key to a healthy vegan diet requires balance.

When you’re eating vegan plant-base primarily 80% of the time, the body will performed well, and have the nutrients it needs to prevent any deficiencies. Though 80% is good you can increase the amount to 90% or even 100%, there are so many foods on the wholefoods vegan plant-base diet that you will learn to get creative with making treats that don’t require processed ingredients.

The vegan plant-base diet is a healthy diet and if you’re eating a variety of wholefoods daily your body will reap the many benefits that the diet promises. The vegetables and fruits in a plant-base diet contain phytochemical and antioxidants the vitamins and minerals that the body needs to support a healthy immune system.

Vegetables and fruits also helps reduce inflammation, the phytochemical and antioxidants from the plants cycle through the body “neutralizing toxins from pollution, processed food, bacteria, viruses and more.”(https://www.mdanderson.org)

The antioxidants helps protects the body from the free radicals caused by pollution, tobacco smoke, UV Rays, common bacteria, viruses, and also additives in process foods. What’s harmful about free radicals is that they pair with a healthy cell to make themselves whole and this damages the healthy cells and then disease is created.

A plant-base diet also includes lots of fiber and most Americans are not getting enough fiber in their diet. Fiber is important because it helps “lower cholesterol, stabilize blood sugar, and beneficial to bowel management.”

(https://www.mdanderson.org)

The body is our vehicle, deciding to adopt a vegan diet isn’t going to make you healthier if you continue to choose the same foods that cause disease to grow in the body. The body needs nutrients to thrive and the vegan plant-base diet is going to give you a variety of micronutrients and macronutrients to feed the cells and eliminate a disease environment.

Eating salads and soups is one way to get a variety of vegetables into your diet. I try to include one or two in my weekly meals, these save me time, and they are packed with a variety of nutrients. Try this Thai Broccoli Coconut Soup its delicious, Gluten free, and a wholefood plant base meal.


Thai Broccoli Coconut Soup

Thai Broccoli Coconut Soup

Serves 4 Prep 15 Minutes Cook 20 Minutes

Ingredients:

2 tbsp. olive oil

2 shallots, chopped

4 cloves garlic, chopped

2 tsp. ginger, chopped

1 jalapeño pepper, sliced

1 lemongrass, chopped

4 cups (950ml) vegetable stock

¾ tsp. salt

4 kefir lime leaves (optional)

1 head broccoli

2 medium potatoes, peeled, and chopped

½ cup (120ml) coconut milk, full-fat

1 tsp. maple syrup

7 oz. (200g) spinach

1 bunch cilantro

3 tbsp. fresh lime juice

2 tsp. vegan fish sauce

roasted peanuts, to garnish (optional)


Directions:

Heat oil in a pot over medium heat. Add the shallots, and sauté for 3 minutes. Then, add the garlic, ginger, and jalapeño pepper. Sauté for another 3 minutes then. Add the lemongrass, and sauté for another 1-2 minutes.


Add the vegetable stock, kefir lime leaves (if using), salt, broccoli, and potatoes. Bring to a boil. Lower the heat and cover with lid. Gently simmer, covered for 10-12 minutes.


Once vegetables are tender, take the pot off the heat. Add in the spinach and cilantro. Blend with a hand-blender or in a food processor until very smooth.


Place the blended soup back in the pot, over low heat, stir in the coconut, add in sugar, and stir until warmed through. Do not boil.


Lastly, add the lime juice, and vegan fish sauce to taste.


Divide between the bowls, and garnish with additional cilantro leaves and roasted peanuts (optional).


Share this recipe with a friend or love one who may benefit from it. If you make this recipe, tag me on social media @shundajenkins, Instagram and Facebook.

Are you ready to start the plant-base diet and need some guidance? Book a call today and let me help you get started on your plant-base vegan lifestyle journey.

Citation:

https://www.mdanderson.org/publications/focused-on-health/5-benefits-of-a-plant-based-diet.h20-1592991.html

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