03 January 2019

What is Veganuary? We explore the movement taking the UK by storm

We're at the beginning of a brand new year, and many of us are considering our New Year's resolutions for 2019. 

You may have already noticed that many of the UK's major supermarkets, including Waitrose, Sainsbury's and ASDA, are currently advertising products in aid of 'Veganuary', but what actually is Veganuary, and why does the word reappear at the start of every new year? 

On the Veganuary website, it says:

"Veganuary is a charity inspiring people to try vegan for January and throughout the rest of the year.

For most, a love of animals is the catalyst. Some people want to feel better about themselves and the impact they make on the world. Others would like to set themselves a challenge, and many combine Veganuary with their ‘New Year’s Resolutions’ and see trying vegan as the healthiest start to the year. Whatever your reason, we’re here to support you."

We explored the potential health benefits of adopting a plant-based diet... 

Disease Prevention

Eating a healthy vegan diet has shown to prevent a number of diseases. Consuming nuts and whole grains, while eliminating dairy products and meat, will improve your cardiovascular health. A British study indicates that a vegan diet reduces the risk of heart disease and Type 2 diabetes. Vegan diets go far in preventing heart attack and stroke.

Eliminate any food that comes from an animal and you will eliminate all dietary cholesterol. Not only will your heart thank you for it, but your blood pressure will also be reduced. 

Nutrition

All of the following nutritional benefits come from a vegan diet full of foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, nuts, beans, and soy products.

Reduced saturated fats

Dairy products and meats contain a large amount of saturated fats. By reducing the number of saturated fats from your diet, you’ll improve your health tremendously, especially when it comes to cardiovascular health.

Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates provide energy for your body. When you don’t have enough carbohydrates, your body will burn muscle tissue.

Fibre

 A diet high in fibre (as vegan eating usually is) leads to healthier bowel movements. High fibre diets help fight against colon cancer.

Magnesium

 Aiding in the absorption of calcium, magnesium is an often overlooked vitamin in importance to a healthy diet. Nuts, seeds, and dark leafy greens are an excellent source of magnesium.

Potassium

Potassium balances water and acidity in your body and stimulates the kidneys to eliminate toxins. Diets high in potassium have shown to reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases and cancer.

Physical Benefits

In addition to good nutrition and disease prevention, eating vegan also provides many physical benefits.

Body Mass Index

Several population studies show that a diet without meat leads to lower BMIs–usually an indicator of a healthy weight and lack of fat on the body.

Weight loss

A healthy weight loss is a typical result of a smart vegan diet. Eating vegan eliminates most of the unhealthy foods that tend to cause weight issues. 

Healthy skin

The nuts and vitamins A and E from vegetables play a big role in healthy skin, so vegans will usually have good skin health. 

According to the Vegan Society, there are now at least 542,000 people in Britain following a vegan diet with another 521,000 vegetarians wanting to reduce their consumption of animal products.

Are you trying Veganuary this year? Let us know by commenting or tweeting us @NewcrossHealth