If you’ve been toying with going vegan then you’re not alone. There are already more than a million vegans in the UK and that number is increasing every year. There’s no denying that making the switch can feel like a daunting step but hear us out – now could be your moment. When so much feels uncertain, going plant-based is something within your power. And it could be something incredibly positive to take from one hell of a start to 2020. Here are my top ten reasons to give it a go.
By Simon Bell, Co-Founder of Immaculate Vegan
1. Because your immune system will benefit
Embracing a vegan lifestyle is a sure fire way to make sure you eat a diet rich in immune-system boosting fruit and vegetables. We all know the 5-a-day thing but in reality, if you’ve got a hectic lifestyle it can be a challenge to achieve it on a regular basis. By adopting a plant based diet you all but guarantee consuming plenty of essential vitamins and minerals like calcium, potassium and Vitamin C.
2. It could reduce your risk of becoming ‘at risk’
A number of scientific studies have shown that a plant-based diet can reduce your risk of developing serious conditions like heart disease and diabetes. It also helps protect you from germs and damaging microorganisms. So at a time when it’s more important than ever to feel fit and healthy, going vegan is a great place to start.
3. Because coronavirus is shining a spotlight on climate change
Swans and dolphins have returned to the canals of Venice, CO2 emissions are down, the air we breathe is cleaner. These dramatic changes only serve to highlight how much more we need to be doing to protect our planet. Agriculture is one of the biggest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions. Going vegan is something we can all do to slow climate change.
4. Because you’ll save money
When you swap out animal protein for plant protein, like tofu or beans, your bank balance reaps the rewards, as well as your waistline. An entire veg box that could feed you for a whole week will cost you around the same as a joint of meat for a Sunday roast.
5. Because temptation is all around
When working from home, it’s all too easy to reach for that tub of ice cream or a big fat block of cheese. But with our daily exercise being restricted, it’s really important for our health that we try to be kind to our bodies. A 2015 study showed that those who follow a vegan diet find it easier to lose weight than those following an omnivorous or vegetarian one.
6. Because Instagram is awash with plant-based inspiration right now
With some of the nation’s best chefs stuck at home, they’re turning their talents to the ‘gram. For recipe ideas to cook-along masterclasses check out Romy Gill (@RomyGill), Bos Kitchen (@bos.kitchen), David Frenkiel’s Green Kitchen Stories (@gkstories), Gaz Oakley (@avantgardevegan) and Oatmeal Stories (@oatmeal_stories, whose beautiful bowl of linguine is this article's cover image). You can also check out Bosh.tv, run by vegan chefs Henry Firth and Ian Theasby, this website is a gold mine for plant-based living.
7. Because eggs are not the answer
Vegans don’t eat eggs because of the cruelty involved in the production process for both hens and male chicks. At the moment, lots of people are finding eggs pretty hard to come by as many UK shoppers are panic buying more food than they need. Which means now is the perfect time to explore egg-free alternatives, although you'll be pleased to know vegan friendly Easter Eggs do exist!
8. Because you’re running out of things to watch on Netflix
With many a long evening stretching ahead, you may find you’re working your way through House of Cards, Breaking Bad or whatever classic you missed the first time round rather quickly. So break up with the binge watching with a documentary or too for added plant-based motivation. We highly recommend Cowspiracy and The Game Changers (both available on Netflix)
9. Because time is on your side
It can take a while to master new dishes when you’re trying out a different diet, but most of us have more time on our hands these days. So there’s no excuse not to experiment with delicious vegan curries, homemade vegan bread or your very own cauliflower steaks.
10. And finally, because all the cool kids are doing it
OK, bit of a trivial one, but who doesn’t want to be included in the same ranks as Serena Williams, Samuel L. Jackson and Natalie Portman? All vegan, all legends.
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