how to take it in a healthy way?

  • In The newspaper We talked with a specialist about the benefits of veganism and the impact it has on the body

There are approximately 79 million vegans in the world and there are currently more and more who want to start in that lifestyle, especially the younger population. However, it is important to have prior guidance so that the change in diet does not have a negative impact on the body.

Nutritionist July Silva explained that veganism refers to a lifestyle in which no product or food of animal origin is consumed. In addition, she commented that being vegan does not only refer to a type of diet, but also to the non-use of any product that has been made with elements that come from animals.

World Vegan Day. It is celebrated on November 1 of each year since 1994.

To have a healthy vegan life, the specialist indicated that all the nutrients that the body needs must be consumed, which can be achieved by eating the different food groups in a variety of ways (carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals).

That is why he considers it a priority to educate himself to know where to find proteins, vitamins and minerals in plant-based foods.

Vegan food: how to lead this lifestyle in a healthy way?
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Veganism and its positive impact on the body

The specialist explained that a vegan person consumes any type of food from the “vegetable kingdom”, which includes cereals, fruits, seeds, vegetables, grains, among others.

He clarified that in veganism there is no distinction on the way in which this type of food is consumed, that is, they can be processed, refined or natural.

Silva specified that a “well-cared” vegan diet, balanced and that includes a variety of foods, has many benefits. “It has positive effects on a physical, mental and spiritual level,” he added.

“People with this type of diet have a lower cardiovascular risk because their lipid profile is better, because they do not consume cholesterol and bad fats,” he pointed out.

He argued that by consuming enough vegetables, there is a lower risk of suffering from hypertension, diabetes, heart attacks or strokes. In addition, vegans also have a lower risk of being overweight.

Less risk of disease. The World Health Organization (WHO) points out that a plant-based diet reduces the risk of suffering from some diseases such as cancer, obesity or type 2 diabetes.

“The fact of having a vegan diet protects organs such as the liver and kidneys. As there is not as much protein consumption, then they work much less”, highlighted the doctor July Silva.

In his opinion, veganism also provides energy benefits, because by consuming foods of plant origin, especially raw, it is possible to obtain more “vital energy”. The same thing happens on a spiritual level, where there is improvement because the person is not in contact with the “energy of the dead animal” and is not an accomplice in its slaughter.

Necessary supplementation

The nutritionist indicated that the only supplement that vegans should consume is vitamin B12, since cobalamin is not found in any plant-based food. This is important because it helps make red blood cells, DNA, RNA, energy, and tissue, and helps keep nerve cells healthy.

According to the specialist, there are other nutrients that can also be supplemented, in case the person feels that they are not eating in a varied and balanced way, such as calcium, iron and vitamin D.

Silva pointed out that if vitamin B12 supplements are not taken, the person will have neurological symptoms and there may also be a decrease in hemoglobin. In the case of iron deficiency, you can have anemia; and the lack of calcium can cause decalcification of the bones, which can cause osteoporosis.

To avoid excessive weight loss, people must correctly substitute macronutrients.

“Vegans can lose weight because they are cutting out a group of animal foods that contain fat. By removing certain foods, not substituting them and suppressing the fat that is in animal proteins, there can be weight loss”, explained July Silva.

However, he argued that it is not something that always happens because if the person adequately substitutes proteins or carbohydrates, there should be no weight loss.

Recommendations for a healthy vegan diet

The specialist commented that people who want to be vegan must be documented, know the food groups and how to substitute animal protein for vegetable protein. In addition, it is important that they know their protein requirement so that there is no deficit.

He stressed that calcium-rich foods should be included, such as sesame, cabbages (broccoli, cauliflower, brussels, among others), citrus fruits, nuts, seeds and grains. Add the consumption of raw foods such as green leaves, this includes spinach, watercress, kale, parsley and cilantro.

Vegan food: how to lead this lifestyle in a healthy way?
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People can also choose to consume foods derived or prepared from the grain, such as soy meat, tempe, tofu, among others.

“It is important to see a specialist because this is the one who can indicate what the macronutrient requirements are, especially protein. The main thing is not to have any deficit”, he pointed out.

The nutritionist emphasized the importance of the specialist being consulted dealing with vegan or vegetarian nutrition, in such a way that they can provide better guidance.

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