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health benefits of Vegan Diet
By
Prakiriti Jena

 

A vegan diet means the one which devoids all kinds of animal products and is a plant-based diet, precisely. As far as consumption is concerned, we should know what a vegan diet consists of. With time, the vegan diet plan has gained a lot of momentum, and hence, it is essential to know the different types and ingredients of a vegan diet. Interestingly, vegan foods have really effective health benefits. If followed properly and regularly, vegan diet plans can bring miraculous improvement to the health of elders and senior citizens. 

 

There have been many kinds of research showing that a vegan diet can be helpful in many ways. Making a shift to a plant-based diet helps in improving health. A vegan diet for elders can improvise longevity and helps maintain and increase the strength and endurance of a person. Not to forget, the environmental benefits of a vegan diet cannot be ignored at all.  

 

Vegan Diet For Elders

There is a lot of variety for elders to eat, when it comes to the plant-based diet. Interestingly, you can add your creativity as well when it comes to cooking the foods for a vegan diet. There are numerous health benefits for elders, of consuming a vegan or plant-based diet. This kind of diet provides rare nutrients to the elders. For example, proteins!  

 

 

Yes, the proteins present in the plants can be bifurcated into 20 amino acids. 9 out of these 20 amino acids are essential for the human body, as the body themselves can't make them.  

 

The plant protein sources like soy and quinoa balance these amino acids, which are similar to the human proteins. It means that the proteins can be well efficiently used by the human body. However, the other plant protein sources might not have these many amino acids required by the body.  

 

Sources Of A Vegan Diet

There are different sources through which all people, especially elders, can consume a vegan diet. Vegan diet foods include lentils, cashews, chia seeds, ground flaxseeds, etc. Green leafy vegetables like cauliflower, cooked spinach, as well as broccoli can be consumed, too.  

 

Other sources like hemp seeds, walnuts, peanuts, almonds, and sesame seeds can also be consumed.  

 

Pro Tip:

Here's an effective way for the vegan diet plan to boost both the calorie and protein intake in the body- smoothies, along with soy milk! High protein sources such as seeds as well as nuts can also be included. To add flavors and nutrients to the food, you can add fruits and ginger to the diet.  

 

A well planned vegan diet plan can play a significant role in supporting the healthy living of people belonging to different age groups. However, people's health needs change as they enter different life stages, and hence, elders need more care when it comes to opting for a plant-based diet. 

 

What Should Elders Vegan Diet Plan Include?

The vegan diet pros and cons vary according to vegan diet types. Below stated are some of the things to consider when you plan to switch to a vegan diet.  

 

1. Note every bite

As people age and enter into their elder years, their appetite decreases. All this results from various difficulties like chewing or swallowing, accompanied by constipation, illness, less taste or smell, and vision. A reduced diet can lead to unexpected weight loss as well as a lot of nutritional deficiencies. Therefore, it is essential to follow a healthy vegan diet and get benefits like:  

  • Have a protein-rich meal.
  • Keep munching healthy things throughout the day when hungry.
  • Opt for plant-based milk in your tea/coffee-like coconut, soya, or almond milk.
  • Go for vegetable, olive, or sunflower oil.
  • Also, you can opt for dairy-free vegan diet yogurt as well as smoothies.

 

Calcium and Vitamin D? Yes, please.

  • Calcium and vitamin D belongs to the category of vegan diet foods known to maintain excellent bone health. Also, good bone health is good for elders because osteoporosis and related fractures are the cause of related bone fractures and mortality in elders. The per-day calcium requirement amongst adults is 700mg. But, when it comes to women post menopause and men over 55 years of age, 1200mg of calcium should be taken.
  • Plant-based food items like soy or almond milk that is calcium-fortified is a good option in such cases. Calcium-fortified cereals or pitta bread can also be consumed, on the requirement.
  • Elders are more prone to the deficiency of Vitamin D. Though sunlight is the best source of Vitamin D, when it comes to elders, the chances are that they might have less sunlight exposure or their skin might not be able to synthesize sunlight. However, some Vitamin D supplements are derived from animal sources; vitamin D2 and lichen-derived vitamin D3 can be taken.

 

2. The richness of Iron to the rescue

 

Honestly, it's not always easy to convince the elders or to make them understand why a vegan diet is the best. Instead of forcing them to opt for vegan diet dishes, let's try and help them eat vegan diet foods.  

 

Iron is vital for the production of the red blood cells in the body as they are the ones that carry oxygen to the whole body. Also, iron-rich foods help boost the physical performance of an individual, heal the wounds, and support the immune system of a person. Also, it is crucial for cognitive development as well as the metabolism of the thyroid glands.  

 

The vegan diet plan includes plant sources like whole grains and green leafy vegetables, namely spinach and broccoli. Seeds, dried fruits, along pulses are a great help, too. Due to the absorption issues in the plant foods in comparison to the animal proteins, elders should be advised to take foods that are rich in vitamin C. Citrus fruits and green pepper help in the better absorption of Iron.  

 

3. Vitamin B12 - A must

Vitamin B12 is also vital for the production of red blood cells, the health of the nervous system, and fulfilling the body's energy requirements. As far as adults' Vitamin B12 requirement is concerned, a dose of 1.5mg per day is a must. Vitamin B12 is richer in foods from animal sources, but as far as a vegan diet is concerned, there are many options available like:  

  • Fortified breakfast cereals.
  • Non-dairy milk.
  • Soya yogurts.
  • Marmite - yeast extract.

 

Multivitamins in a vegan diet can be taken. But, any supplement of Vitamin B12 should be taken only on the advice of a doctor.  

 

4. Protein-rich Vegan Diet

The elders need more proteins in their vegan diet in comparison to the general population. The reason behind this is that they need to preserve the body mass, which is lean, and for the proper maintenance and functioning of the body. The body's daily intake of proteins should at least be 1-1.2 kg of the overall body weight. But, if the elders are malnourished, the portion size of the protein intake should be increased. In such cases, the body needs more energy as well as proteins for functioning.  

 

There are various evidence and reports which show that vegan diets help a significant role in supporting the immune system. Also, the risk of contracting heart disease and stroke reduces. For the body's overall health and proper functioning, a vegan diet plan is excellent to fulfill our nutritional needs.  

 

General Health Benefits of A Vegan Diet

The speculations related to whether following a vegan diet plan is good or not are never-ending. Everyone has their preference, but there are some science-based health benefits if you are willing to opt for a vegan diet.  

 

Weight loss

One of the most commonly occurring doubts is whether it is easy to lose weight by following a vegan diet. Obesity is an alarming issue, and surprisingly, following a vegan diet does wonder. Many people think that opting for a plant-based diet will help them shed off those extra kilos. The observational studies suggest that vegans are thinner, and their body mass index (BMI) is lower than non-vegans.  

 

Low blood sugar levels and Kidney Functional Improvement

Opting for a vegan diet plan has excellent benefits for people who have type 2 diabetes and the declined functioning of the kidney. These may have long term effects and can also affect the quality of life of an individual.  

 

 

Also, people who have opted for a vegan diet have low blood sugar levels and a higher degree of insulin sensitivity. There is a low risk of developing type 2 diabetes amongst people, as well. Studies show that 43% of the people following a vegan diet successfully reduced their medicinal dosage. A vegan diet helps in treating the kidney stones as well.  

 

Reduced Rate of Heart Disease

Our heart is a delicate organ, and thus, we need to be very careful in consuming food items that are good for the heart's health. In this case, the vegan diet becomes the go-to-person.  

 

 

The vegan diet is full of nutrition. This diet has food items like fresh fruits and vegetables, and fiber along with legumes. Legumes and fiber are linked with lowering the risk of contracting heart disease, reports suggest. All the people who take well planned vegan diets intake the legumes and fiber in tremendous amounts. There is a 75% chance that the vegans, compared to the vegetarians, contract the issue of higher blood pressure less. Also, the possibility of contracting heart disease is 42% less. The blood sugar levels and cholesterol levels are reduced by consuming a plant-based diet planned and has all the foods rich in fibers.  

 

 

Arthritis Pain reduction

Arthritis is one of the most common issues among adults and elders. So, directly, it becomes essential for the elders to opt for a vegan diet. Some reports suggest and help that a vegan diet is known to reduce arthritis pain. Elders who follow a vegan diet are believed to have a higher level of energy and tend to function better than the people who do not change their diet.  

 

 

Generally, vegan diet foods are rich in components known to reduce the symptoms related to rheumatoid arthritis. The reports suggest that symptoms such as morning stiffness, pain in the joints, and swollen joints are reduced to a considerable extent. 

 

Protection Against Certain Cancers

As per the World Health Organisation, it is known that 1/3rd of all the types of cancers can be prevented by controlling the factors under human control. For example, - the diet followed by an individual.  

  • Legumes are known to reduce the risk of the diagnosis of colorectal cancer with a range of 9-18%.
  • Consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables also reduces the risk of cancer deaths by approximately 15%.
  • If a person tries to avoid the consumption of animal extract, the risk of cancers like prostate, colon, and breast cancers is reduced.
  • However, if you consume vegan food items like soy offers excellent protection from breast cancer.

 

Conclusion

Opting for a vegan diet compared to a vegetarian, eggetarian, or non-vegetarian one has many health benefits. Apart from the health benefits, the vegan diet has sound effects on environmental preservation also. Hence, everyone should be encouraged to shift to a vegan diet plan.  

 

The vegan diet for elders is based on probiotics and whole rich foods that significantly improve individuals' health. The vegan diet foods have an array of benefits for individuals, and gradually, they become a lifestyle, on being followed well. 

 

If at all you feel being unable to take care od yourself adequately, then fumble not to get in touch with us, at Emoha.  

 

 

At Emoha, we care for every minute requirement of elders. Get in touch with us at eldersfirst@emoha.com or call us at 1800-123-445555

 

 

 

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