Accomplishing optimal health through vegan diets is a goal that more people are setting for themselves. In recent years, there have been so many reports of contamination in our food sources that I have felt greatly reinforced in my long ago decision to eat as nutritious and as safe a diet as possible. In other words, to become vegan.

My resolution that veganism was the way to go about improving my health was influenced by friends whom I observed lose weight, feel better, and be told by their doctors that they no longer needed some medications.

Why is veganism an optimal diet for health? Why be vegan? It is so low in unhealthy fat and high in healthy fiber. The great variety of vegetables and fruit provides me with lots of antioxidants and vitamins. One way that I ensure this is to buy produce with the thought of maximizing the range of color in my diet.

I love red bell peppers, and purple eggplants, beets, yellow squashes and blood oranges. Many people in the United States eat one or two pieces of fruit a day. I find eating lots more fruit makes it much easier for me to avoid refined sugar. I believe that most people don’t eat enough variety of foods, especially not fruits and vegetables.

My vegan style meal planning starts in the produce aisles with a focus on what is fresh, what is colorful, and how is it priced. The colors ensure that I’ll get lots of nutrients. The variety means I won’t be at great risk of becoming bored. I find that boredom can set me off seeking the wrong foods.

Many people believe that soy is quite healthy for us to consume. Soy products like tofu and tempeh can add variety and other texture to a plant-based diet. At first, I hated the texture. Eventually I realized that I could buy the firmer product and enjoy that more. Then I found a recipe that had me season the tofu and then weigh it down, flattening it to get rid of more moisture. I love making my tofu that way.

For years I resisted eating tofu. I knew it was low in calories and virtually free of fat. I had been told that many pre-menopausal women felt they benefited from the phytoestrogens in soy products. Mostly I thought it tasted and felt squishy. Many women who are menopausal tell me that soy products are helpful. They report that their nails, skin, and hair are less dried out. So I see a definite benefit from substituting some soy for animal products.

Not all nutritional experts agree that soy is beneficial. Some suggest that the phytoestrogens can be carcinogenic for some people. Anyone deciding to change his or her eating pattern would be wise to confer with a medical provider or dietician.

In discussing how hard it is to become vegan, I must be honest. I must say that the changes in behavior that are necessary for a vegan diet or an animal free food lifestyle require effort and take time. The health benefits may not be apparent right away. This is like taking on an exercise regimen. The good effects may not show up immediately.

Optimal health through vegan diets is an option that is accessible to just about anyone. Each person will have to become informed, learn new ways to shop, new recipes, and become a definite planner about food. I have found this a worthwhile endeavor. I encourage anyone who is open to the experience to proceed.

Understanding what animal-free food really means is key to understanding how to be vegan.  So, download my recently published ebook from Amazon.com onto your Kindle, iPad or computer and enjoy the reading.

Filed under: Vegan Health and Wellness

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