Nutritionist Anna Cortesi weighs in on the benefits of observing Veganuary
Time Out Dubai staff
It’s almost that time of year. The time that diets become of paramount importance and your willpower will be put to the ultimate test. But rather than just committing to losing weight and “healthy eating” in the New Year, why not take things a little further in 2017 and observe Veganuary. We’re often told abstaining from eating meat or fish as well as other foods derived from animal products will do our health the world of good, and benefit the environment, too. Anna Cortesi, a registered dietician and clinical nutritionist, talks us through the plus points of going vegan.
The benefits of a high fibre diet A diet full of fruits, vegetables, pulses, nuts and seeds will lead to a healthy and regular digestive system.
It can protect your cells The fresh produce that vegans eat is full of antioxidants. These help to protect your cells from damage and, as many studies have suggested, help fight off several types of cancer.
It will reduce your saturated fat intake Meat and dairy products contain saturated fats. Reducing this type of fat will improve your health tenfold. Saturated fats are the “bad” types of fat that most nutritionists blame for diseases such as obesity and heart disease. Plant-based foods contain no saturated fats at all.
Your cholesterol will be lowered Most vegans have low levels of LDL (the bad type of cholesterol) and high levels of HDL (the good type of cholesterol) since most of the “good” fats they consume are olive oil, nuts such as cashews and walnuts and lots of seeds. By removing animal products from your diet, you also eliminate dietary cholesterol from your daily intake.
Go mad for magnesium Magnesium and calcium are a vegan’s best friend. Our bodies need calcium to stay healthy and magnesium helps to absorb calcium. Plant-based sources of these two magical micro nutrients are found in plenty of foods and can be absorbed easily by your body for healthy muscle growth and bone structure. As a vegan, you get lots of magnesium from nuts, leafy greens and seeds, so eat up for healthy bones. www.annacortesi.com.