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A new veganing

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Emilee Wentland

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What can veganism do for you?

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I can preach — and have preached — about how being vegan will help the environment, and that’s great and all, but at the end of the day, you’re probably still wondering what veganism can do for you.

I get that.

Here’s the good news: Vegan and vegetarian diets can prevent all sorts of diseases and problems meat-eaters often have later in life.

According to The Atlantic, a low-fat vegan diet reduces the risk of getting colon cancer, can help combat obesity and can substantially lessen the impacts of Parkinson’s disease, type 2 diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis.

The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) website lists additional perks to going vegan. One that stood out to me the most was cancer prevention.

“Interestingly, Japanese women who follow Western-style, meat-based diets are eight times more likely to develop breast cancer than women who follow a more traditional plant-based diet,” PCRM reported. “Meat and dairy products contribute to many forms of cancer, including cancer of the colon, breast, ovaries, and prostate.”

Additionally, a low-fat, high-fiber vegetarian diet can prevent or reverse symptoms of heart diseases such as atherosclerosis, a buildup of plaque in arteries that causes the obstruction of blood flow. PCRM said lean meat diets will only slow the development of atherosclerosis rather than prevent it.

PCRM also said a plant-based diet lowers blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Unlike animal products, plants don’t have any cholesterol. Plus, they’re typically lower in fat and sodium and low in potassium, thus lowering blood pressure.

A plant-based diet additionally has some less extreme — but still beneficial — perks, as well.

Brownble, a vegan cooking and lifestyle blog, explained some benefits its writers experienced along with some they’d heard about from their readers. They listed having more energy, pooping more (yes, really), weight loss and having shinier hair. Cool, right? And hey, people with uteruses, a vegan diet could help bring about less severe PMS symptoms.

Anna Magee, a writer for the U.K.’s Telegraph tested a vegan diet for 60 days to see how it would affect her health.

“ … the most startling effect of my diet during the entire 60 days was just how upset meat eaters were by my vegan existence — and how vocal they were about it,” Magee wrote.

I’ve found the above to be true. While Magee thought this diet would turn her into a “anaemic, hungry mess,” after the two months her cholesterol levels dropped and her blood lipid levels did the same — in just 60 days.

Additionally, her zinc and folate levels were above average. Zinc is great for detoxification and skin health, while folate converts food into energy, which is why vegans tend to have more energy.

Before the diet, Magee thought she’d want to eat meat after the two months were up. However, she found the opposite to be true.

“Moreover, 60 days in, I feel so good I don’t even care who hates me at dinner parties,” Magee wrote. “And yes, I will tell everyone who listens that I am a vegan and loving it — usually within the first 12 seconds of the conversation.”

Personally, after I went vegan, I lost weight right away, and that’s the only change I remember initially noticing. I can’t say anything about preventing heart disease or cancer — but hey, I don’t have either — and I think my hair is shinier and my nails are stronger. As for nutrient levels, I’m unsure, but hopefully someday I’ll remember to get that checked to make sure I’m not dying.

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A new veganing