Image by: sharyn morrow
By Jake Bradshaw
Vegans and vegetarians have been under a spotlight for sometime now. Because the craze has been happening for decades, we are actually beginning to see the long term effects, and they’re proving great promise. Not only are studies showing that people are living longer, but it’s also shown that a vegan diet has the power to reverse health problems.
Many men are skeptical about going vegan. We’re trained on the idea of the nutritional food chain being the end all-be all. But the truth of the matter is, there is much more to the craze than you think.
#1) Why All The Fuss About Veganism?
To say that veganism is better than a meat-eating/animal-product diet would be unfair. In essence, everybody is different, but the results speak for themselves both scientifically and physically. Eating meat or animal products isn’t necessarily bad for you, but with today’s food corporations being what they are, going vegan is likely the best option.
The secret lies in the amount of work your body has to do. Whenever we’re eating dirty chemicals or pesticides found in nearly every food on the market today, we put our body through nutritional stress caused by digestion. The less stress we have, the more benefits we’ll attain, i.e. better sleep, more energy, reduced inflammation, and better working organs.
When everything works together, it effects our physiology. Our brains will respond better, our blood pressure will balance, and our heart health will increase. The most obvious result is weight loss. Most of what makes us fat are refined sugars and chemically-enhanced carbohydrates found in food. When it’s out of the equation, just imagine what your results can be.
#2) Do Vegans Suffer From Deficiencies?
One of the most common misconceptions is that vegans are depriving themselves of important nutrients. As men, it’s crucial to have nutrients like protein, vitamin B12, and omega-3 fatty acids in our bodies to fuel overall health. Luckily, each of these problems has a supplement solution.
Pea protein and whey protein can fill the nutritional gaps left behind by meat, an Algae DHA supplement takes care of fatty acids, and B12 supplement can provide essential nutrients. Berries, apples, lentils, chickpeas, pistachios, and almonds will give you all the carbs, protein, fiber, and healthy fats you need. After all, gorillas are vegans – and they have no problem with muscle/fat percentage.
#3) Being A Vegan Doesn’t Mean You’re Less Manly
For years, veganism has been associated with women. The stigma for men is obvious. Since vegan men aren’t eating meat, somehow they are less “masculine,” this was shown in a recent study which found that people tend to describe meat as more masculine than vegetables. Red meat is strong, soy is just not. Or is it?
If you think being vegan is less masculine, talk to current MMA and UFC competitor Mac Danzig, former track and field star Carl Lewis, former NBA star John Salley, or former heavyweight champion Mike Tyson. Not only are all these men vegan, but they have all claimed that switching to an all plant, non-meat or animal-product diet, has changed their life for the better.
#4) It’s Easier Than You Think
The most important thing about starting your vegan diet is to not overthink things. There are plenty of “secret chemicals” that have fancy names which you will probably miss, but don’t worry. Most of the things you will learn about is through trial and error.
The first step you ought to do is to go on PETA’s website where they provide all the answers to your questions, plus helpful tips on how to stay in it for the long haul.
Before you get into the groove, get to know your local grocery store’s natural or health-food section, where many vegan items can be found. Track down the nearest farmer’s market, where they sell locally grown food with no pesticides or chemicals. And most importantly, try to be more openly when it comes to experimenting with new kinds of foods. Otherwise, the entire transition will be torturous.