Ten reasons to eat more plant based foods
The plant-based movement has seen tremendous growth in recent years – helped by ground-breaking documentaries, countlessly cool shots of falafels on insta, mainstream chefs showing us new ways with veg and big supermarket chains dedicating entire aisles to plant-based alternatives.
This starry-lit, cultural shift towards veganism has created a resurgence in our consumption of plant- based foods. But we’d be thoroughly mistaken to class this as just another food fad.
According to The Vegan Society, 2020 was a pretty monumental year for veganism. Every top supermarket introduced their own plant-based range, every top restaurant and food-to-go outlet offered a vegan dish, vegan food orders on Deliveroo grew by 115% and the number of books with ‘vegan’ in the title at Waterstones grew to 10,000 (compared to just 944 in 2018). With growth on this level, it seems our appetite for plant-based food is here to stay and for good reason!
Veganism is a way of eating (and living) that offers serious health benefits – not just for us, but for the world we live in and the species that inhabit it. So, whether you’re pledging to cut down on meat, taking part in Veganuary, upping your intake of veggies like riced cauliflower or wondering what the heck this vegan lifestyle lark is all about, here’s TEN reasons why we think it’s worth your time:-
1. Vegan foods are super rich in nutrients.
A healthy, balanced diet rich in wholefoods like fruits, vegetables, pulses, grains, nuts and seeds provides the body with all the key nutrients. In fact, many studies have reported that people who eat vegan tend to consume more fibre, antioxidants, potassium, magnesium, folate, and vitamins A, C, and E than their meat-eating counterparts.
2. A plant-based diet can reduce our risk of disease
Plant-based foods are loaded with phytochemicals including powerful antioxidants found in fruit and veggies. Eating more of these (and less processed meat) can help reduce our risk of diseases like Heart disease and some cancers, leading to more positive health outcomes.
3. It’s a positive move for the planet
Raising animals for flesh, eggs and dairy causes a staggering 65% of all nitrous-oxide emissions. Nitrous oxide has 296 times the global-warming potential of carbon dioxide.* So in short, every step we take away from meat is a win for the planet. To put this in perspective, if the entire world went vegan, it could save 8 million human lives by 2050, reduce greenhouse gas emissions by two thirds and lead to healthcare-related savings and avoided climate damages of $1.5 trillion.*
4. It’s great for maintaining a healthy weight
Vegan foods are naturally lower in calories and saturated fats than animal products, which can support with weight maintenance or healthy weight loss goals. This gives you the benefit of being able to eat a healthy, balanced diet that helps you feel satiated and gives your body all the nutrients it needs, without actively counting calories.
5. It’s a great mood-booster
There’s truth in the saying good food = good mood! Treating your body with respect and giving thought to food sources and the life cycle of food is a compassionate and meaningful way to live. Embracing a plant-based lifestyle not only gives us all the nutrition we need, it encourages us to get creative with flavour and eat with a clearer conscience. All great mood boosters!
6. Less meat = less land = greater protection of wildlife
Meat consumption is thought to be one of the leading causes of modern species extinctions. Industrialized animal agriculture is inefficiently using the world’s land (over 51 million kilometres in fact)*. And as the land is cleared for animals to graze or to grow feed for them, wildlife habitats are destroyed, leading to species extinction.
7. Our guts love wholefoods
What we eat affects our gut bacteria and these bacteria produce many of the active hormones of the brain. Fiber is a key nutrient for our guts, helping us to produce those mood-enhancing hormones that can improve mental clarity and make us feel great. Where do we find them? In whole plant foods of course…
8. Less meat = less water
A staggering 76 gallons of water is needed to make animal products for one person for one year. That’s 15,000 litres of water a day – PER PERSON!* Not only is this excessively wasteful, it’s a stark contrast to the one-fifth of the world’s population (roughly 1.2 billion people) who face water shortages.
9. A plant-based diet can help prevent Type 2 Diabetes
Several studies have shown that people who eat a plant-based diet tend to have lower blood sugar levels than meat eaters with a greatly reduced risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes. Plant-based folk also consume more natural wholefoods which can prevent obesity – a key risk factor for diabetes.
10. It’s less destructive for our planet’s rainforests
Clearing land for animal agriculture is a key culprit in deforestation and is responsible for up to 91% of the destruction of the Amazon rainforest. Every 1.2 seconds man destroys an area the size of a football field* creating huge problems for our climate and our living world. Fullgreen have pledged to support One Tree Planted to contribute to their reforestation programs (you can read more about that here) but we can work harder to collectively save our landscapes – by eating a plant based diet.