What have you eaten today?
There is a simple strategy people can adopt to increase their energy levels; don’t eat meat. “The number of people whose diets are free of animal foods is growing, with an estimated 2.5 million people in North America and a quarter million in Britain.” (Becoming Vegan) Switching to a vegan diet often leads to an improved state of mind, increased energy levels and an improved physical condition.
A good vegan diet consists of a hearty supply of fruits, whole wheat grains, vegetables and soy or nut based proteins. These foods take less time to digest in the body, thus leaving more energy for daily tasks. The body uses 40 per cent of its energy for digestion. A meal will spend four hours in the stomach. Eating fruits and vegetables provides individuals with the ability to expend less energy digesting food. These nutrient based foods will produce a stronger state of mind and increase energy levels for participating in physical activities.
When an individual changes to a vegan diet the most surprising aspect is the flow of energy. “By eating whole grains and vegetables you will begin to feel more centred and balanced. “ (The Kind Diet) If a vegan is getting enough protein such as tofu, seitan, legumes and beans then energy levels should increase as well. Additionally, spinach and kale provide an abundant supply of energy for vegans. Vegan diets can help prevent high blood pressure, reduce cholesterol levels, common colds and flu’s. When the body doesn’t have to fend off colds and illnesses it allows for more energy.
Look no further then the high energy world of athletics for evidence of the vegan diets success. Many well know vegan athletes, including Ironman Brendan Brazier have not only competed at a high level using a vegan diet, but many believe their diet has helped improve their career. Many top athletes have very similar training programs. The major variant among these top athletes isn’t their training but in fact their diet. There are many advantages for athletes from a vegan diet, including a better recovery rate after physical effort and improved ability to burn body fat as energy. Ideally athletes should get “60-70 per cent of energy through carbohydrates, 12 -15 per cent from protein and less than 30 per cent from fat.” (Thrive) If an individual does not get enough plant based foods they will not have enough energy and will be lacking the required nutrients.
Along with increased energy levels a vegan diet also improves animal welfare. The Voice for Animals Humane Society is an organization that supports a vegan lifestyle. This organization is committed to eliminating any harm to all animals.