V is for Vegan
You have seen them before. Almost every store now carries foods proudly showing the ‘V’ sign. While ‘V’ may stand for both, Vegan and Vegetarian, there is a difference. Good news is that what is good for vegan, is good for vegetarian, too!
Vegan food equals plant-based food. While there is no uniform vegan diet, vegans avoid any and all animal foods such as meat, fish, seafood, poultry, dairy, eggs and honey. Nowadays it would also mean they are on the lookout for animal-based gelatin, animal enzymes and other animal by-products.
Vegan or Vegetarian?
There are multiple approaches to vegan and vegetarian diets. Vegans are the ones who raised the bar high by eliminating
everything sourced from the animal kingdom and the sea world. The subset of vegan approach to diet, fruitarian diet focuses exclusively on fruits, seeds and nuts. Strict vegetarians differ from vegans by allowing honey and dairy while steering away from any and all flesh, poultry, seafood, fish, eggs and animal product derivates. However, certain vegetarian diets do include eggs.
Why V is the new A+
Everyone wants to be healthy and avoid undesirable weight gain. Ancient wisdom ‘we are what we eat’ serves as a reminder of the very reason why we need food. Aside from being an undeniable source of pleasure and comfort, the ultimate purpose of food is sustaining life and health. Cells in human body constantly die and reproduce. Chances are, by the time you will finish reading this article, your body will have lost and reproduced average of 45 000 cells. The true value of food is therefore measured by its ability to fuel the ongoing processes in human body, to convert itself into good cells while providing you with the vital energy. Fruits and other plant-based foods get digested the fastest and the easiest. The
amount of energy gained after digestion of an apple is higher than that spent on the process of digestion itself. Compared to the apple, a cheeseburger will require a longer list of more complex resources and longer periods of time in order to be digested, thus spending extra energy that could have otherwise been used for processes like healing and rejuvenation.
Equally important is the food’s nutritional value. Vegan and vegetarian plates usually reflect far greater diversity than a regular meal of an average american. Unlike the latter, it is naturally low in saturated fats, while has very little or no cholesterol. Additionally, such diet provides much more fiber than animal foods, significant amounts of vital B-vitamins, and folic acid. Furthermore, fruits and vegetables are powerful sources of antioxidants and phytonutrients: protecting your cells from the damaging effects of free radicals and help prevent various degenerative diseases. Vegans and vegetarians tend to receive fewer calories, more naturally occurring vitamins and healthy sugars, than the meat-eaters. A notorious side-effect of progressing to any plant-based diet is a phenomenon of healthier choices. Such lifestyle improvements as increased physical activity, careful food choices, decreased use of alcohol and nicotine reportedly accompany all other benefits of vegan and vegetarian diets.