Vegan foods and mental health
The world has changed significantly in the last few decades and people are generally much more aware of the truth about being a vegan. Even the idea that vegans don’t get any protein in their diets was actually something that many believed years ago, but vegan diets are very high on proteins, it’s just that those proteins come from foods that are not animal based.
Some people who have been eating animal meat their whole lives find it almost impossible to think of the idea of eating no meat at some point in their lives, but the truth is that many vegans used to eat meat on a daily basis in some cases and they still managed to make this change.
The Veganuary challenge
Veganuary is the name that was given to the process of eating only plant-based foods for the duration of the month of January. This is the ideal moth for this purpose as it is the first month of the year and it serves as a great new year resolution.
If you feel that you want to take this challenge, you are going to see amazing benefits with those 30 days and this is the main reason why Veganuary is such a great challenge. That month is meant to serve as the perfect example of how powerful and effective a vegan diet can be in your life.
Those who decide to get away from animal meat and start a vegan diet are going to notice many important benefits. We can start by going through some of the benefits that are not related to your mental health and they are as follows:
- Weight loss
- Reduced risk of heart disease
- Reduced risk of high blood pressure
- Management of diabetes
- More energy during the day
- Easier to wake up in the morning
- Clearer skin
Several studies are suggesting that people who are on vegan diets are less likely to feel overwhelmed by stress or depression than those who eat animal meats and processed foods.
The studies revealed that vegans did a much better job in terms of handling the following issues:
- Tension and anxiety
- Fatigue and lack of motivation
- Anger and hostility
- Confusion and memory loss
- Vigor and stamina
This means that people who eat animal meats and processed foods felt those emotions and those effects with more intensity than vegans and that alone reveals a significant amount of information regarding the vegan lifestyle.
We are often overwhelmed by feelings of anger, by tension, and anxiety. This is a very common issue for those of us who have fast paced jobs and hectic schedules.it would seem like this way of life is impossible to handle without falling victim to stress, but many vegans have proven that they can maintain proper balance in their lives regardless of how hectic they become.
The Vegan diet and the general mood
Human beings are very emotional creatures and there is no way to deny that we can experience certain feelings with more intensity than others. The studies conducted on vegans, vegetarians, and those who eat animal meat are very revealing in terms of the general mood of each group of people.
It seems like people who eat vegetarian foods are more likely to have control of their emotions and they do not let any of those emotions become overwhelming. The calm nature of a vegan has always been a common trait that you see all the time.
In contrast, people who eat red meats and processed foods on a constant basis seemed to have a harder time dealing with any kind of emotional situation. They lack patience and they seem to be more jumpy and nervous, but this is not indicative of every person that eats red meat and processed foods.
Keep in mind that none of these studies are showing any conclusive information and they all rely on how honest each of the people involved in the studies are being with their answers.
These are the kind of studies that are going to require a very long time to be effective, but the data that has been gathered so far is definitely a step in the right direction when it comes to the benefits of a vegan diet for our mental health.
Specific studies on vegetarians
It seems like vegetarians have shown an increase in depression according to some studies, but the incorporation of more legumes to their diet has had extremely positive results in the prevention of depression.
This is not to say that vegetarian shown any more signs of depression than carnivores do, but the difference between the carnivore and the vegetarian is not as remarkable as the difference between a vegan and a carnivore.
Nutrient deficiencies play a major role in this process
The biggest concern that many people have with their diets is that they may not be getting the right kind of nutrients. Many people who eat red meats and processed foods think that their nutrition is good, but they are missing key vitamins and minerals that are going to have a direct effect on their mental health.
Some of the most common deficiencies that are found in many diets include:
- Vitamins B6 and B12
- Omega 3
- Vitamin D3
All of these nutrients have been linked to mental health and they have been proven to be essential for any diet. In this case, both vegans and carnivores need to be careful to ensure that their diet contains all of those nutrients on a daily basis. This is going to be extremely important in order to ensure that they can get the results they want and need.
The following are 3 extremely important ways in which a vegan diet can help improve your mental health
It will get rid of empty carbohydrates in your diet
These empty carbs are known for causing many issues in our bodies and their effect on our mental health is no exception. Nutritionist all over the world agree that empty carbohydrates show a direct link with anxiety, anger, and depression.
This is enough to see that a vegan diet is going to be ideal for this purpose as it will be stripped from any foods that contain these empty carbs. The entire vegan diet chart is going to help promote a healthier mind.
It helps protect your brain from harmful chemicals
The introduction of a vegan diet means that you will be eating odds that are high on antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. When people have bad dietary habits, they give way for free radicals and oxidative stress that is going to cause serious mental issues for a person.
It will increase serotonin production
This neurotransmitter is extremely important for our mental health and it will help us keep our emotions balanced. A person’s mood and even their motor skills and sleeping patterns are going to be affected by serotonin.
It’s important to consider that most of the production of serotonin in the body is going to take place in the gastrointestinal tract, so the types of foods that you are consuming will assist in the production of serotonin, or hinder it, all depending on your diet.
The difficulties of being a vegan
Being a vegan is not the easiest thing in the world when it comes to accessibility to places that cater to your dietary needs. Everywhere we look there are restaurants and fast food places that serve all of the processed foods that we are trying to avoid.
The world is not a place for a vegan to comfortably find a meal without effort. Most vegans need to adapt to this by bringing their own meals to work, or by looking for a good vegan restaurant that has an affordable take out process.
With that said, things are looking better for vegans in many areas as more vegan restaurants are opening their doors, but the ratio of vegan places versus fast food and processed food establishments is overwhelmingly uneven.
If you are going to commit to a vegan lifestyle, you need to be able to plan ahead of any of these issues. You have to be prepared for situations when you won’t be able to find vegan food, and this should never be an excuse to go back to your old dietary habits.
Some people are opting for vegan supplements as a great way to avoid eating processed food during any situations where vegan food is not available. This is a great alternative as long as the supplement provides all of the nutrition required from a meal.
How a vegan changes in many ways
The mental health of a vegan is also affected by the decision that this individual makes in regards to food. The show of compassion for animals and the respect that they have for any living creature is also a very important component of their overall mental health.
Some people don’t have a problem with the way that the animal they consume is prepared. They know about the many horrible ordeals that these animals have to experience before they become food for our tables.
Vegans are more in tune with their empathy towards other living creatures and they do not believe that our level of reasoning makes us any more special than any other animal in this world.
A very common misconception about vegans is that they only think about saving the environment, saving animals and saving the world. Many successful vegans are successful people who are part of the concrete jungle. They have office jobs, they pay their taxes, and they don’t spend their days sitting by a fire and playing folk tunes on guitar.
The modern vegan is a very busy and hardworking executive, personal trainer, doctor, lawyer, freelancer, and artist. Veganism has been demystified and it has now turned into one of the most reliable dietary changes for people to achieve optimal results with their general health.
Our mental health encompasses many things
It’s always important to remember that our mental health is not just about the things that seem to affect our mood in terms of depression, anxiety, and anger. Our emotional health and our ability to be happy and to feel like our lives have purpose and meaning are also key factors of our mental health.
The more we learn to be in tune with our feelings, the easier it will be for us to achieve clarity in life. This is the reason why our general wellness is important. Our minds need to be healthy if we wish to be able to control the way we react to external stimulation that affects our moods.
When we are in control of our minds, everything seems to be much easier to do in life. We find ourselves in a situation that makes it easier to overcome obstacles and we are motivated to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
If you have made the decision to become a vegan to improve your general wellness and mental health, you will be extremely satisfied with the results. There are many incredible benefits of a vegan diet and now you know what some of the most relevant benefits are, so you can make a decision with more motivation and drive to succeed.
Going vegan is not as difficult as you may think and once you do it, you will see that going back to your old dietary habits is not going to feel good. The energy, the stamina, the mood improvement, the weight loss, and the many health benefits are all good enough to keep you interested in this amazing lifestyle that can transform your mind and your body.