The Fast Growth of Veganism
More than 3.5 million people in the UK and about 6 to 8 million people in the USA are living on a vegetarian diet. Veganism is growing faster than we thought, particularly among younger generation aged 15 to 34.
According to Harvard Medical School, there are some different types of vegetarians:
- 100% vegetarians (Vegans): people who don’t eat any animal-derived foods.
- Lacto-ovo vegetarians: people who don’t eat meat, poultry or fish, however they still eat eggs and dairy products.
- Lacto vegetarians: people who don’t eat meat, poultry, fish or eggs, but they still eat dairy products.
- Ovo vegetarians: people who don’t eat meat, poultry, fish or dairy products, however they still eat eggs.
- Pesco vegetarians : people who don’t eat meat or poultry, but they still eat fish.
- Pollo vegetarians: people who don’t eat meat or fish, however they still eat poultry.
The Health Benefits of A Vegan Diet
Improving health is the main reason for the majority of people for following a plant-based diet. Fruits and vegetables are known to be beneficial for human health. Eating fruits and vegetables regularly helps reduce the risk for some diseases such as:
According to many studies, eating lots of different fruits and vegetables everyday can reduce the risk of developing cancers. Also, by avoiding red meat, we can significantly reduce the risk for colon cancer.
Five prospective studies involving more than 76,000 participants suggested that vegetarians were 25% less likely to die from heart disease. Eating nuts, whole grains and legumes helps keep your blood sugar levels steady, reduce bad cholesterol levels and protect your heart.
However, vegans and vegetarians need to minimise the consumption of refined carbohydrates and starches like potatoes, white rice and white-flour products as these foods can increase the risk for heart attack and diabetes.
Type 2 Diabetes
Some studies suggested that vegetarians were 50% less likely to catch type 2 diabetes compared to non-vegetarians. The risk for type 2 diabetes is higher among overweight people. Vegans and vegetarians are usually less likely to suffer from obesity, therefore they are at lower risk of suffering from type 2 diabetes.
The risks of A Vegan Diet
A Vegan or vegetarian diet can be healthier options for most of us. Nevertheless, there are some common concerns that being a vegan or vegetarian may deprive your body of certain nutrients such as:
According to EPIC-Oxford study, 75% of vegans get less than recommended daily intake of calcium, therefore the risk of bone fractures are relatively high among vegans. Vegans are highly recommended to eat calcium-rich-vegetables like bok choy, broccoli, chinese cabbage, collards and kale.
Vitamin B12, D and K
There is no or not enough vegan source(s) of vitamin B12, D and K, therefore vegans should consider taking a supplement to get the daily intake of these vitamins. Alternatively, there are some fortified foods such as soya milk, fruit juices and breakfast cereals that contain these vitamins.
There are many vegan sources of protein such as peas, beans, lentils, chickpeas, seeds, nuts, soy products and whole grains. So if you are a vegan, try to include them in your diets.
Although there are some vegan sources of iron, they provide less active iron compared to the one from meat. To boost the iron intake through your diet, make sure that you eat plenty of pulses, watercress, broccoli, nuts and dry fruits such as apricots, prunes and figs. Foods that are rich in vitamin C help your body absorbing iron more effectively. Therefore, it is good to eat both types of foods at the same time.
Whole grains, seeds, beans and legumes contain phytic acid which reduces the zinc absorption in your body. To get your daily intake of zinc, make sure that you eat plenty of tofu, chickpeas, walnuts, cashew nuts, chia and pumpkin seeds.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Vegetarian diets that exclude fish and eggs are low in omega-3 fatty acids. To make sure that your body is not deprived of the essential fatty acids, eat plenty of chia seeds, flaxseed, walnuts and hemp seeds. Use rapeseed oil as your main cooking oil as it is particularly rich in omega-3 fatty acids.
Henry Tianus is a multi-award-winning Anti-Ageing Scientist based in London, UK. Read >>>
Resveratrol Protects Skin From Free Radicals and Oxidative Stress. Read >>>
You may also like:
Rose Gold Antioxidant Youthful Serum with 24-karat nano gold, rose extract, allantoin, pro-vitamin B5, saccharide isomerate, prickly pear and cacay oil to help prevent premature skin ageing and reduce the existing signs of ageing.
Bio-Renewal Face Oil, a rejuvenating radiance oil with blue chamomile, frankincense, coenzyme Q10, cacay and rosehip oil to boost skin radiance, even out complexion and minimise the appearance of wrinkles, fine lines and age spots.
Nano Gold Nourishing Cream with 24-karat colloidal gold, saccharide isomerate, blue chamomile, frankincense, shea butter, rosehip and rice bran oil to prevent skin dryness and minimise the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines.
Ultra Smoothing Cellulite Serum Oil with vitamin E, menthol, palmarosa, grapefruit, lemon, rosemary, black pepper and sweet fennel essential oils to firm and smooth the appearance of orange-peel skin.
Bio-Collagen Serum, an award-winning rejuvenating lifting serum with ultra-low-molecular-weight hyaluronic acid, coenzyme Q10, ferulic acid, resveratrol, vitamin E, nano gold particles, rose and scutellaria extract.
Melt Away, a Triple Action Facial Cleanser that can also be used as a makeup remover, deep-cleansing mask and gentle exfoliator.
Hair Growth Serum, a scalp revitaliser for thinning hair with caffeine, niacinamide, menthol, rosemary, thyme, ylang ylang and cedarwood essential oils to reduce hair loss and stimulate hair growth.
Ultra Nourishing Repair Balm for Stretch Marks and Dry Skin with vitamin E, Rosewood, Neroli, Prickly Pear, Pomegranate, Sea Buckthorn, Chia Seed and Evening Primrose oil to reduce the appearance of stretch marks, dry patches and signs of ageing. Perfect for dry lips, hands and feet too.
Bio-Collagen Skincare Collection, the Ultimate Anti-Ageing Skincare Collection to rejuvenate your skin and slow down the signs of ageing. Highly recommended for those in their 40s, 50s, 60s and beyond or for younger people who suffer from premature skin ageing.
Hair Loss Solution for Men and Women, a set of thinning hair treatment products to rejuvenate hair follicles and stimulates hair growth.
Antioxidant Youthful Essence, a multi-award-winning Anti-Pollution Hydrating Mist with allantoin, panthenol, turmeric, ginkgo and blue chamomile essential oil to protect skin from free radicals and pollutants.
Flower Essence Hydra-Calming Toner with a synergistic blend of nine flower extracts to gently awaken the sense and instantly freshen tired skin.
Bio-Collagen Ageless Cream, an extra firming and lifting cream with ultra-low-molecular-weight hyaluronic acid, niacinamide, n-acetyl glucosamine, coenzyme Q10, argan oil, shea butter, 24-karat gold nanoparticles, vitamin E, gotu kola and rose extract.
Scalp Stimulator, a pre-shampoo hair root activator for thinning hair with cannabis sativa, rice bran, menthol, vitamin E, rosemary, cedarwood, thyme, ylang ylang and lemon essential oils to revitalise hair follicles and boost hair growth.
Neroli Antioxidant Cream, award winning Anti-Pollution Dry Skin Moisturiser to replenish skin's lipid barriers, restore healthy moisture levels, strengthen skin's defense against premature ageing and environmental damage.
Overnight Skin Perfector, an advanced complexion repair serum with blue chamomile, liquorice root, panthenol, alpha and beta hydroxy acids to boost cell renewal, even out skin tone and diminish the look of wrinkles and lines.
Rose and Cacay Hydrating Cream, the award-winning antioxidant hydrating moisturiser with rose extract, cacay oil and saccharide isomerate to boost skin's hydration levels, plump up and reduce the appearance of wrinkles and lines.
Hydra Calm, a two-in-one Ultra Comforting Cleansing Cream and Soothing Mask to remove all traces of dirt including makeup, or alternatively to hydrate and comfort sensitive skin.
Blemish Clearing Serum, a 2% Salicylic Acid Solution to unclog congested pores, regulate sebum production and renew the appearance of blemished skin.
Chamomile & Cacay Oil, a 100% natural botanical formula with blue chamomile, rice bran and cacay oil to lock in moisture, strengthen skin's natural defense, soothe and revitalise undernourished sensitive skin.
Bio-Collagen Eye and Lip Cream with Resveratrol, Niacinamide, N-Acetyl Glucosamine, Caffeine and Hyaluronic Acid oil to reduce signs of ageing and get rid of puffy eyes and dark circles.
Sources: Becoming Vegetarian, Harvard Health Publishing, Harvard Medical School; The Vegan Society; NHS UK www.nhs.uk.