Veganuary 2020 is set to be bigger than ever with over 350,000 people proposing to take part.
Here are five reasons to give it a try;
1. For Your Health
A healthy, plant-based diet emphasises nutrient-dense plant foods and limits or excludes animal products and processed foods. It encourages all vegetables (cooked or raw), fruits, beans, peas, lentils, soybeans, whole grains, seeds, and nuts.
A plant-based diet encompasses vital nutrients which are abundant in colourful plant foods. These include vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and polyphenols which are essential for optimal health.
Research shows that plant-based diets are effective lifestyle interventions that may lower body mass index, blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol levels.
They may also reduce the number of medications needed to treat chronic diseases, lower rates of heart disease and even prevent some cancers.
2. For Weight Loss
Plant-based diets are an effective solution for weight loss.
Research has shown that weight loss in those following plant-based diets are not dependent on exercise, and occurs at approximately one pound per week.
The research revealed a completely vegan diet causes more calories to be burned after meals, in contrast to non-vegan diets which may cause fewer calories to be burned because food is stored as fat.
The high quality of foods in a plant-based diet is also a factor in weight loss compared to other weight loss diets.
Plant foods are naturally high in fibre which helps you feel fuller longer and allows nutrients to be released into the bloodstream slowly, therefore avoiding blood sugar imbalances.
3. It’s Good for the Environment
A recent study published in the journal Science, is one of the most comprehensive analyses to date into the detrimental effects farming can have on the environment. The study included data on nearly 40,000 farms in 119 countries.
Researchers showed that meat and dairy production is responsible for 60 per cent of agriculture’s greenhouse gas emissions. The products themselves, however, provide just 18 per cent of calories and 37 per cent of protein levels around the world.
The study included a total of 40 agricultural products, covering 90 per cent of all food eaten, globally.
If everyone stopped eating animal products, the researchers hypothesised that global farmland use could be reduced by 75 per cent, an area equivalent to the size of the US, China Australia and the EU combined.
Not only would this result in a significant drop in greenhouse gas emissions, it would also free up wild land lost to agriculture, one of the primary causes for mass wildlife extinction.
4. It Prevents the Exploitation of Animals
Avoiding animal products is one of the best ways to stand against animal cruelty and exploitation. Not purchasing animal products reduces demand for them, meaning fewer animals are bred to suffer and die on farms and in slaughterhouses.
The idea that animals roam freely on green pastures before they reach our plate isn’t usually true, even in “free-range” environments.
Modern factory farming aims to produce meat and dairy products at high volume and low cost, often meaning the animals are given the bare minimum they need to survive.
Animals produced for meat, dairy and eggs in environments such as this mean they will likely never roam freely, breathe fresh air or even see daylight. They are then slaughtered years before they would naturally die, some of them at just a few months old.
5. A Plant-Based Diet is Delicious
You don’t need to be a master chef to create delicious, satisfying vegan meals to impress a crowd.
A plan which involves nutrient-rich, colourful, tasty recipes using a wide variety of ingredients will give you the confidence you need to adapt to a healthy and fulfilling way of life.
My Ultimate Veganuary Guide includes four weeks of meal plans, shopping lists and mouth-watering recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks to introduce you to flavour, texture and aroma experiences you may never have known existed.
Trying a plant-based diet encourages you to be more adventurous and diverse with plant foods when cooking, which is not just good for your taste buds, but also your health as a whole.
Take a look at my Ultimate Veganuary Guide with Four Weeks of Meal Plans and experience all the benefits a plant-based diet can bring.