Are you overweight? Constantly fatigued? On regular medication for a health related illness or simply don’t feel 100% the majority of the time? Well if any of the above apply, this post could overhaul both your health and your bank balance.
If someone had said to me two years ago “this time next year you’ll be vegan”, I would had likely laughed myself to death; however, when presented with a number of health related studies I simply couldn’t ignore the evidence and health implications that eating animal produce influenced, ironically not requiring me to laugh myself to death, more so eat myself to death if I continued with the common meat and two veg approach to nutrition. By no means is this an attempt to convert you to veganism or convince you to adopt a plant based diet, it’s an opportunity for me to present the facts that could prolong your life and expand your bank balance. Regardless of the above, I think it’s safe to say that we all need to eat more fruit and vegetables, and significantly less animal produce and processed foods.
Over the past 20 years the western world has stood back and watched the rate of preventable health related illnesses grow at an alarming rate and rather than attempt to tackle the number one culprit influencing the big three: ‘obesity, diabetes and heart disease’, we have simply turned a blind eye to what’s really going on.
Rather than focusing on what Hippocrates established (460 B.C.-370 B.C.) “let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food”, we have ignored the basic fact that what we are eating is making us ill. I am sure you’ve all heard the saying “you are what you eat”, well it’s as true now as it’s always been, eat sh*t feel sh*t, eat well feel well, it really is that simple.
Hindsight is a wonderful thing and it appears redemption in the form of nutritional overhaul is certainly on the horizon, primarily sparked by the media magnifying the benefits of adopting a plant based diet not just for your health, but for animal welfare and ultimately the longevity of our planet. With the rising awareness of veganism, the plant based foods industry has seen dollar sales grow by 20% in the last year with sales topping a staggering $3.3 billion according to a recent study from The Plant Based Food Association.
Further to this, Tyson Foods, the US leader in animal produce, recently announced a follow-on investment into plant based food company ‘Beyond Meat’ from an initial 5% shareholding to a larger undisclosed figure, joining a number of celebrity investors including Microsoft Billionaire Bill Gates and Oscar winning actor and conservationist Leonardo DiCaprio. With sales of products using meat substitutes projected to reach $863 million in annual US sales by 2021, it appears that going vegan could be both the healthiest and wealthiest investment you ever make.
Plant based diets have been proven on countless occasions to not only reverse obesity, heart disease and type 2 diabetes, but more importantly it can prevent these diseases all together.
According to The Obesity Health Alliance, obesity costs the NHS 5.1 billion a year and by 2035 the increasing rate of diseases associated with obesity such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke and cancer has been estimated to cost an extra £2.5 billion per year.
I believe a plant based diet is your cure, and everything about our physiology points to this, from our amylase loaded saliva (that’s the protein enzyme used to break down starches) and starch seeking tastebuds, to our teeth and jaw structure, to our digestive track and fiber thriving gut, to our glycogen storage capacity within our muscles and liver, our carbohydrate fuelled brain functioning and even our clawless hands designed for picking, not preying.
What about the protein?
Plant based nutrition is becoming one of the key topics of discussion these days and the growing demand for plant based meat substitutes is generating increased awareness surrounding our equally detrimental health and environmental global crises, yet international
corporations continue to prey on the uneducated and exploit the current protein trend influencing the concept that ‘protein’ is the king of macronutrients. Since adopting a plant based diet the most common question I’m coming up against is “where do you get your protein from?”.
Our entire body is made up of proteins, our skin, our hair, our nails, our cells and of course our muscles, and therefore it is important to nourish our bodies with both good quality protein and an adequate amount, especially if you partake in regular exercise.
We are bombarded on a daily basis with marketing promoting protein, protein, protein which intentionally insinuates that we need to be self gavaging protein just like foie gras fed ducks, but this is most certainly not the case.
Here’s a revelation for you, all protein is initially made by plants. That’s right, only plants have the ability to take nitrogen from the air and turn that nitrogen into amino acids, the building blocks of protein and the evidence has always been right in front of us in black and grey; gorillas, elephants and rhinos, the strongest and most muscular mammals on the planet that don’t consume any animal tissue whatsoever, yet have an abundance of lean muscle tissue accumulated via a plant based diet.
We can get all the protein we need from a plant based diet. For anyone concerned about meeting their daily protein requirements (approximately a mere 4-10% of your total daily calories, significantly lower than that of the average western diet where protein intake is >20%), you can rest assured that providing you consume your daily calorie requirements you will provide your body with an adequate amount of protein.
Like in any good business deal, if you could cut out the middleman and lucratively benefit, you would, wouldn’t you? Well if that is the case, why would you continue to eat meat, fish, eggs and dairy when all they are is a palatable protein middleman? Still not convinced? Here are several facts that might convince you otherwise:
- There is more calcium per gram of kale than in milk.
- There is 8 times more omega 3 in chia seeds than salmon.
- There is more protein in a 56g serving of chia vs eggs, as well as inflammation reducing benefits opposed to inflammation promotion.
Are you convinced? You see that scroll bar on the right of your screen, I want you to take it directly to the top, do not pass go, do not collect $200, but revisit my opening questions and ask yourself this, “how much is your health really worth?”.