Top 4 Reasons Why You Should Eat Vegan

More than 65% of Americans are overweight or obese, and almost half of all Americans have at least one major risk factor for America’s #1 killer – heart disease. Lifestyle factors such as exercise, sleep patterns and stress levels all impact your overall health and disease risk; however, the most profound influence by far is your diet. The Standard American Diet (SAD) — high in animal products, sugar and processed foods, has caused nearly one in two Americans to suffer from chronic disease, and has actually reduced the life expectancy of Americans. Fortunately, there is a simple solution – veganism. If you’re not convinced, check out these 4 remarkable benefits of eating vegan.

#1 Helps Reduce Cardiovascular Disease Risk

Veganism helps reduce multiple risk factors for cardiovascular disease (CVD). The vegan diet results in lower total and LDL cholesterol levels, as well as lower blood pressure. It also helps promote a healthy body weight (vegans tend to be markedly slimmer than their animal eating counterparts), and a healthy body weight is directly linked to reduced CVD and heart attack risk. Also worth noting, vegans consume considerably greater quantities of fruits and vegetables, which is associated not only with lower blood cholesterol concentrations, but also with reduced stroke incidences, and a lower risk of mortality from both stroke and heart disease. The Ornish diet is a low-fat, low-sugar, vegan-based diet (with the exception of egg whites and non-fat dairy). It’s very strict, but it’s worth following if you have heart concerns because it not only helps prevent CVD, it’s also one of the only programs really documented to reverse heart disease.

#2 Enhances Health and Reduces Chronic Disease Risk

The vegan diet is lower in saturated fat, cholesterol and calories; and higher in disease-fighting nutrients than the Omnivorous diet. Vegans typically consume more fiber, which helps to promote healthy digestion, bowel regularity and healthy weight loss. Vegan diets are also higher in folic acid, potassium, magnesium, vitamins C, and K — all of which promote strong immunity and support healthy aging. Finally, vegan diets are high in phytochemicals. Phytochemicals are naturally occurring plant compounds that help prevent disease by scavenging free radicals and preventing oxidative damage to your cells and DNA. Vegan diets are not only associated with a lower CVD and heart disease risk, but also a reduced risk for obesity, type-2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, osteoporosis and certain types of cancer (including colon and prostate cancer).
#3 Promotes the Reduction of Body Fat and Improves Physical Fitness

A Vegan diet not only reduces disease risk, it also boosts energy levels, so that you can push yourself further in the gym. Renowned anti-aging doctor, Dr. Jeff Life, is a huge supporter of the mostly vegan – Ornish diet and following it helped him to drop a substantial amount of body fat – he went from 12 percent to 3 or 4 percent without changing anything else, just his diet. Perhaps more importantly, he maintained his muscle mass throughout. Many people mistakenly believe veganism will result in muscle loss but consuming plenty of beans and legumes, with the optional addition of vegan protein powders such as brown rice or pea protein, will ensure you are receiving more than enough protein for muscle mass growth (even if you are a professional weight lifter). When Dr. Life went completely vegan and gave up the occasional chicken and egg whites, he was surprised to discover that his muscle density actually improved, because his diet allowed him to increase his exercise intensity.

#4 Optimizes Testosterone Level

Optimal testosterone levels are required for increasing and maintaining muscle mass, sustaining healthy sexual function and reducing the risk for heart disease and prostate cancer. Unfortunately, between the ages of 25-30, testosterone begins to decline, however veganism helps to boost testosterone levels naturally. In fact, vegan men have been found to have 13% higher testosterone levels than their omnivore counterparts. Additional benefits of optimal testosterone levels include: reduced body fat, improved concentration, better sleep, enhanced bone density, increased athletic performance and strength, improved insulin sensitivity, healthy erectile function, heightened motivation and an enhanced sense of wellbeing.

Additional References:

http://www.cdc.gov/heartdisease/facts.htm
http://www.cdc.gov/chronicdisease/pdf/2009-power-of-prevention.pdf http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/89/5/1627S.full
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2374537/pdf/83-6691152a.pdf
http://tctmed.com/benefits-of-testosterone-therapy-trt/