Is it healthy to be vegan?

vegan picking a flower modern merfolk

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Hey there gorgeous people.

I'm sitting outside our Airstream so excited about a few things, but mainly that this is the first time my blog has ever been found "organically" via a search engine (woot for small victories!). I was contacted by Jacky over at jenreviews.com and she noticed that I linked to her blog post about making tempeh and tofu taste amazing. 

If you'd like to read that post by the way, you can find it right below:

How to make Tofu and Tempeh Actually Taste Good

In her article, Jen talks about (obviously) 20 reasons that vegans have an advantage in the health sphere. She has an excellent array of peer-reviewed sources for each point that she highlights, as well as 6 vegan recipes that stood out to her.

Read Jen's article here and let us know in the comments what you think! 

Here are some of my favorite points in the article:

1) A vegan diet can help prevent arthritis, diabetes, hypertension, and strokes

There are so many reasons to justify adopting a plant-based diet, but being a nurse anesthetist has definitely solidified my resolve to continue this lifestyle for health reasons. 

In the operating room, I have taken care of multiple patients undergoing coronary artery bypass grafts, cerebral angiograms, and diabetic foot ulcer wound debridements. These are some of the most heartbreaking (literally) and difficult patients to manage under anesthesia. 

What I wish I could impart is a drive to adopt preventative care into my patients' lifestyles so that they don't have to undergo surgery for treatment. While there are always going to be exceptions to every rule, it has been my experience that there is almost always a large lifestyle component to many of the aforementioned disease processes.

One day, I hope that the solution of open heart surgery is viewed as an extreme measure, rather than simply incorporating more fiber, micronutrients, and vitamins into our diets.

2) A vegan diet can improve fitness levels

In my own life, I can attest to the fact that a plant-based diet has allowed me to excel and recover faster, with better results that I ever could have imagined.

I hated running as a child. In high school, I would get side cramps from simply attempting to jog for 1/2 mile at a time. 

After deciding to adopt a plant-based diet in 2013, I felt as if I had more energy. In fact, I had this odd urge to actually pick up running as a hobby during my anesthesia school training. It was free, got me outside, and seemed to offer a nice respite from sitting at a desk at length studying for exams. I picked up a training schedule for a half marathon from my cousin's blog Run Like Kale and signed up for a race to keep myself from backing out. 

What happened next honestly shocked me. I started running, and after only 3 years was able to complete 2 half marathons, 4 full marathons, 2 >100 mile relay races, and my first 50 mile ultra injury free. 

Related blog post: 10 reasons Why I am Still Vegan

I fully believe that my short ascent to long-distance running is attributed to the fast recovery and enhanced athletic performance offered by a plant-based diet. 

3) Vegans Live Longer

One of the more interesting podcasts I've ever listened to was an interview conducted by Rich Roll of Dan Buettner. He worked for National Geographic covering stories all over the world, and began noticing that certain cultures in regions he dubbed "Blue Zones" had similar qualities that allowed people to live uncommonly longer, happier, and healthier lives. 

While this area of science can be considered a gray area due to a vast array of variables like genetics, climate, and cultural differences, the theory that diet can impact how long we live is certainly one that holds weight. For more on this Blue Zones topic, be sure to check out Dan's Website

Have you ever heard about the benefits of going vegan? What are your thoughts on Jen's article?

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