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How Veganism Can Prevent Chronic Illness
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How Veganism Can Prevent Chronic Illness

Chronic illnesses not only affect the people suffering from them, they also affect public health. They affect the health of the economy, doctor availability, and medical insurance premiums. Nearly 50 percent of American adults have one or more chronic illnesses, some of which are preventable. The World Health Organization found that in areas of the world with high levels of plant-based diets, the rates of chronic diseases like diabetes, heart disease, and obesity were considerable lower when compared to areas with more prevalent animal-based diets. Today, in our country, the majority of diets are low in fiber, high in animal products and saturated fats, high in refined grains, and low in plant-based meals. This diet has contributed to the increase of chronic illnesses.

By promoting health and disease prevention we can aim to improve our overall health and wellness while eliminating or reducing the chances of developing a chronic illness. Preventative programs that receive funding in the US are: Office of Smoking and Health, Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention, Diabetes Prevention, and Preventative Health Services. This proves that public health officials are focusing on shaping policies and programs around preventing these preventable diseases. Here are some chronic illnesses you can prevent by going vegan:

Heart Disease

Heart disease is the number one cause of death for Americans, responsible for at least 600,000 deaths each year and causing 1 in 4 deaths total. Heart disease goes hand in hand with symptoms like high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and hypertension. The majority of cases are preventable, being fueled by high-fat diets and refined carbohydrates.

A study of individuals who ate a meat-based diet versus a plant-based diet showed that vegans had the lowest total cholesterol concentrations of all the participants. Data from over 150,000 participants in the study showed that vegan diets provided more protection from cardiovascular mortality, obesity, and hypertension than those who ate a normal American diet.

Since your body relies on blood flow to combat heart disease and blood pressure issues, it is important to eat the foods that maximize your vein health. Fruits and vegetables provide bioflavonoids, which are antioxidants that reduce inflammation, increase overall blood flow throughout the body, and help to strengthen the connective tissue found in your heart.

Obesity

Vegan dietary patterns, without caloric restrictions, resulted in more weight loss than those diets that included meat. Many researchers agree that a plant-based diet is tied to a lower BMI, lower prevalence of type 2 diabetes, and less weight gain over time. The study found that participants who consumed vegan and vegetarian diets lost an average of 9 pounds over an eight-week time period, while those who consumed some meat only lost 5 pounds. By eating a plant-based diet, individuals can both prevent and reverse the effects of obesity.

Diabetes

in and of itself is a difficult and frustrating disease to deal with. Among the taxing treatment regime, it is also linked to conditions like blindness, stroke, kidney disease, and heart disease. By focusing on eating foods that normalize blood glucose levels, the proper nutrition can help the body regulate its insulin levels.

Nutrition therapy has proven to work in preventing and reducing the effects of diabetes. Eating a low-fat vegan diet helps improve sugar control. A vegan diet can help prevent and manage the symptoms of diabetes effectively while potentially preventing it from manifesting in the first place.  

Cancer

The American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) published findings showing that many cancers can be delayed or prevented with the adoption of a plant-based diet and regular exercise. Cancer is the second leading cause of death in America. In a review study, a vegan diet helped reduce the chances of developing cancer by as much as 15 percent. Choosing foods that are minimally processed, high in water and fiber, and low in caloric intake can help reduce your risk of developing cancer.

This is obviously all relative when you consider how many different types of cancer there are, and how many people suffer from them, but science has begun to reveal that vegan diets may have a significant impact on specific cancers.

Overall Inflammation Medications are an important part of any treatment and should never be stopped or changed without the supervision of a medical professional. But if you suffer from a condition that causes inflammation in the body, it may help you to change your eating habits. Experts are saying that adopting an anti-inflammatory diet may help relieve the symptoms of inflammatory illnesses.

Inflammation can affect every aspect of health in many ways. It is linked to a higher risk of cancer, heart disease, bone and joint damage, and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Inflammation is even known to exacerbate depressive symptoms and cause anxiety flare-ups.Free radicals are responsible for causing inflammation in the body. Eating vegan diets rich in antioxidants keeps free radicals at bay.

As Hippocrates once said, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” By adopting a vegan diet rich in nutrition for the body it is possible to reduce the overall risk and prevent the development of chronic illnesses. Only take in food that nourishes the body and mind.

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