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Vegan Habits Everyone Needs

By Sara Butler

There are a lot of benefits to eating vegan. Vegans have a lower risk of certain chronic diseases such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and some types of cancer. If you are already living with a chronic condition, then adopting a plant-based approach to your diet can help manage your symptoms. But if adopting a vegan diet is too restrictive for you, then there are some behaviors you can borrow from vegans that can make your eating habits healthier.

Eat Healthy Fats

It can be easy to think that fat isn't good for you with all the low-fat and fat-free products you're surrounded by every day. The truth is that the unsaturated fat found in seeds, nuts, and vegetable oils, such as olive oil, is good for your heart and can help you feel fuller for longer after you eat.

If you can replace saturated fats in your diet, such as butter, with oils from plants, such as sunflower, then you can cut your risk of cardiovascular disease by over 30 percent. That's why the American Heart Association suggests adopting those changes in your diet.

Go Heavy on the Veggie

Vegans eat a lot of vegetables, especially vegetables full of fiber and phytochemicals. Fiber helps aid digestion and keep your heart healthy, while phytonutrients help to reduce levels of chronic inflammation. Try adding more foods such as leafy green vegetables, kale, cabbage, mushrooms, and broccoli into your diet.

Take Your Pulse(s)

Pulses, more commonly known as split peas, chickpeas, lentils, and beans, are the fiber king of the plant world. One half-cup serving of pulses has about one-third of the amount of fiber you need in one day. Fiber is essential to your diet because it helps you to feel fuller for longer and it can help lower your blood pressure. Plus, a diet full of pulses is also associated with a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Get more pulses in your diet by using them in the place of meat a least a couple of days per week. You can also use them in casseroles and salads.

Go Whole Grain

Vegans eat a lot of whole grains and it's really great for their health. Whole grains are associated with a lower risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and certain cancers. Whole grains haven't been processed and stripped of their nutritious parts, making them high in protein and fiber.

You can combine a few vegan principles with a balanced non-vegan diet easily. So, give it a try and reap the rewards!

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Albuquerque, N.M.

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