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Veganism is one of the most common health concepts in the contemporary century. The popularity of the vegan diet has seen its rise due to the various health benefits that come with it. There are many reasons why many individuals have over time resorted to the diet of vegetable and fruits. Collection of literature and field medical research is proving that the animal diet is the primary cause of the lifestyle disease complications and the same literature has demonstrated that majoring on the plant diets can help much in reducing the risk to significant lifestyle diseases that are affecting a good number of people in the current society.
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The vegan diet is pegged on three principles including optimal human health safety to the sentient beings and preservation and protection to the global environment. The reason why the vegan diet has dominated the health domain is due to the myriads of benefits that come with it. The vegetarian diet is linked to many health benefits including several protective phytochemicals and high elemental content. The vegan goods are proved to have high levels of folic acid, vitamins C and E, dietary fiber, magnesium, and potassium. The content of unsaturated fats that are good for human health is also proved to be considerably high in the vegan foods. In comparison with other diets, it is noted that the vegan diet has low cholesterol levels and the vegans generally tend to have lower serum cholesterol, and thinner. These attributes are directly linked to low risk to cardiovascular diseases (Roman et al., 2013).
A vegan diet is proficient in promoting the weight loss giving a near immediate result to the individuals who adopt it. The secret behind weight lowering properties is due to the low-calorie content of the diet as well as the vast number of nutrients leading to a default balanced diet. Another proof the vegan diet is that the diet is more environmentally friendly and sustainable. Production of meat proteins requires way much water compared to plant protein, for example, a single pound of protein needs close to 100 times more water in comparison to the one pound of grain protein. Animal products have sustainability issues since removing them from the ecosystem takes time for replacement compared to the plants. continuous consumption of the plant protein leads to the elimination of animals that poses a danger to the diversity in the ecosystem. The vegan diet spares the other animals which contribute to the diversity more the endangered species of animals (Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, 2018).
Away from the advantages of the vegan diet their various concerns on the vegan diet. The cons of the vegan diets stem as appendages of the benefits that come with the practice of the diet. Firs the in most cases the excessive weight loss is likely to lead to reflex weight gain. The weight loss may backfire on the first-time veganism the reason being the restrictive nature of the diet which makes the first timer to feel hungrier than usual and will have to reach out for non-conservative foods to quench their hunger. Another challenge with the vegan diet is the fact that they may lack some vital nutrients highly needed by the body. According to Roman et al. (2013), vitamin B-12, calcium, omega-3 fatty acids, and folate are excluded from the vegan diet. With time the low consumption of these nutrients can lead the host into serious health problems like loss of the bone and muscle mass.
In vegan dieting, there is a need for an alternative combination of the proteins with the right grains to ensure appropriate nutrition. The challenge comes with getting a constant right combination of the foods to adjust the diet. Some of the vegans have reported that the food makes them overly bloated and accommodating the new protein sources also comes with a few hydration concerns. Lastly, the spirit of dietary activism is bound to lead Individuals into poor dietary decisions concerning their health. An example is a vegan cutting out on soya claiming that is a GMO product. I9n the process of making this decision this vegan overlooks the effect that the soya product has got good sources of protein and therefore a perfect fit for the dietary requirements (Patterson, 2015).
Relation to Anatomy and Physiology
The vegan does harbours vast chemistry and biochemistry about the anatomy and physiology of the body. The carbohydrate value in the omnivores and the vegetarians are nearly the same despite the protein classes being of different groups. The vegans have lower levels of plasma triglycerides, total cholesterol, LDL-C levels and the serum lipoprotein A activity. The level if plasma factor VII activity and the ferritin levels are equally reduced. This factor reduces the risk of the vegans to cardiovascular diseases like blood pressure and thrombogenic disorders. The low levels of the lipids in the blood prevent the formation of thrombus and avoid the narrowing of the blood vessels. However, the levels of the vitamin B12 and n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) are generally reduced which affect the production and function of the blood cells in the body. The dietary components of the vegan diet have low levels of iron zinc and omega-3 fatty acids (Zawn, 2018).
The reduction in the levels of the vitamin B12 and n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) have intrinsic cellular issues in the body. The concentration of the two elements in the membrane phospholipids is connected to an increase in the levels of collagen and the increase in ex vivo aggregation of platelets. Such deficiencies enhance the risk of the Individuals to cardiovascular and thrombotic risks. This illustration is the basis of the advice given to the vegans to improve their dietary of the vitamin B12 and n-3 PUFA.
The hematopoietic system is affected by the lack of vitamin B12 leading macrocytic anaemia. Vitamin B12 is one of the critical components of the hematopoiesis and lack of it lead s to the production of red blood cells that are larger than the normal but have an insufficient concentration of the hemoglobin. These defective red blood cells cannot effectively carry oxygen to the rest of the body parts effectively. Anaemia is also evident in the vegans due to low levels of iron in their diet. The bone development is slightly inhibited in the vegan diet due to low levels of vitamin D. The problem is however not evident in those who practice ovo-Lacto vegetarianism. The vegans are more likely to suffer from psychiatric disorders because of the low availability of the plant vitamins in the brain and lack of the vitamin B12 in the diet. The various vitamin groups are essential for proper functioning of the brain, for example, vitamin D is responsible for proper growth and development if the brain.
- Zawn V. (2018) Can a vegan diet help you lose weight? Medical News Today.
- Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (2018). New review highlights benefits of plant-based diets for heart health. Medical express.
- Roman P., Scott James P., Sudha, R., Diana C. & Debbie, L. (2013). How prevalent is vitamin B 12 deficiency among vegetarians? Nutrition Reviews.
- Patterson B., (2015) Eat More Plants to Improve Health, Combat Climate Change :U.K. researchers find changed diets could substantially cut greenhouse gas pollution and benefit health .Scientific American.