6 Good Reasons To Go Vegan (recipes included)
More and more people today are abandoning their steaks and chicken in favor of a predominantly plant-based diet. Some people go vegan because they can’t bear the thought of harming any living creature, while others commit to a vegan diet for the health perks, which seem to be many.
Below are some of the most notable benefits of a vegan diet:
1. It offers more nutrients.
Generally speaking, vegan diets provide more nutrients than the typical American diet. Fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes offer lots of vitamins and minerals that are essential for your overall health. Some foods like nuts, beans and seaweed also contain heart-healthy unsaturated fatty acids that are commonly found in meat, fish and poultry.
2. It aids in weight loss.
Many people turn to plant-based diets in hopes of losing weight. Multiple studies have shown that vegans generally have lower body mass indices (BMIs) than those who still eat meat.
Experts suggest vegan diets may promote weight loss because fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes are very filling, thanks to fiber content. You’re less likely to snack between meals or to overeat when you eat filling foods.
3. It helps lower blood sugar.
Research shows that vegans have lower and more stable blood sugar levels than those who eat plenty of meat. They also have a lower risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, a condition marked by high blood sugar levels.
4. It helps prevent certain cancers.
The antioxidants in fresh fruits and vegetables help protect cells from free radical damage, which is associated with cancer.
Red and processed meats are also linked to certain kinds of cancer, including those of the breast, prostate and colon. As such, vegans generally have a lower risk of cancer than meat-eaters because they avoid eating meat.
5. It supports heart health.
The fatty acids in whole grains and nuts support healthy heart function by reducing inflammation and preventing the buildup of “bad” LDL cholesterol in the arteries. Plus, eating fresh fruits, vegetables and legumes is generally linked to a lower risk of developing heart disease.
6. It relieves arthritis-related pain.
Some studies have shown that people with arthritis who switched to a vegan diet showed a greater improvement in their symptoms, such as joint pain and morning stiffness, than those who followed an omnivorous diet.
Recipes for mouthwatering vegan dinners
Vegan meals get a bad rap for tasting “vegan,” a word that has become almost synonymous with “unpalatable,” “bland,” “unsavory”– you get the idea. But there are tons of flavorful vegan recipes that are sure to entice even the staunchest meat lovers. They may also help make your transition to a vegan diet easier than you’d expect!
Keto mac and cheese
This recipe is a plant-based version of a comforting classic, made extra indulgent with cashews.
Ingredients for 6 servings:
- 1 head cauliflower, chopped
- 1 1/2 cups unsweetened almond milk
- 1/2 cup cashews
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon mustard powder
- Soak cashews in water overnight. Discard the water.
- In a food processor, add the soaked cashews along with almond milk, yeast, garlic powder and mustard powder. Pulse until smooth.
- Preheat the oven to 400 F. Spread the cauliflower on a baking sheet. Bake for 10–15 minutes.
- Heat the cashew mixture in a saucepan over low heat until thick, stirring occasionally.
- Add cauliflower into the cashew mixture. Season to taste with salt and serve.
Cauliflower tacos with cashew crema
Serve these cauliflower tacos for a light brunch or a filling dinner.
Ingredients for 4 servings:
- 12 whole-wheat tortillas
- 4 garlic cloves, grated and divided
- 2 heads cauliflower, chopped
- 1 green chili pepper, grated
- 1/4 cup cashew butter
- 1/4 cup grapeseed oil
- 3 tablespoons lime juice
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- Avocado slices
- Radish slices
- Lime wedges
- Cilantro leaves
- In a bowl, combine chili, 1 grated garlic clove, cashew butter, lime juice and 3 tablespoons of water. Add salt to taste. Set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 450 F. In another bowl, combine the remaining garlic, cumin, grapeseed oil and paprika.
- Spread the cauliflower on a rimmed baking sheet. Pour the spiced oil mixture over the cauliflower, then toss until the florets are evenly coated.
- Roast for 15–20 minutes. Remove from the oven and flip the florets. Roast for 15–20 minutes.
- Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Working in batches and toast the tortillas for about 1 minute or until warmed through. Transfer to serving plates.
- Spread the cashew sauce on each tortilla. Top with the cauliflower. Garnish with the avocados, radishes and cilantro leaves. Serve with lime wedges.
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