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Why you should consider the vegan diet

Did you know that there's a diet that could improve your body while saving the world?

It may sound too good to be true, but that's what the vegan diet is all about.

Heidi Laurel and Justin Go of online vegan store V Kitchen shed light on what exactly the vegan diet is and why people should consider switching to it.

According to Go, head chef and co-owner of V Kitchen, vegan diet is a way of eating that only includes vegetables, fruits, grains, seeds, nuts, beans, and legumes. Anything of animal origin is excluded.

"More and more people should consider the Vegan diet because it’s very good for the health, it’s the best way to save the animals, it addresses world hunger, and it’s the only way to keep our planet from utter devastation," he told GMA News Online.

"There are over 20,000 species of edible plants & so many delicious recipes," he added.

If you're not convinced yet, here are some of the benefits of going vegan:



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1. It has incredible flavors

Vegan food has always had a bad rep of being bland and boring.

But Go said you can actually turn any recipe vegan these days: you can have vegan burgers, vegan sausages, vegan sisig, vegan pizza.

And contrary to popular belief, vegan food is actually tasty.

"I used to be a heavy meat eater," Go shared. "Burgers, steaks, sausages, and other usual ‘manfood’ were my staples.  Initially, I was afraid that I’ll miss the meat; however, as I was treading and traveling more to learn and experience the different flavors of vegan food, I got hooked. The flavors are incredible!"

Go shared that their clients have said that they didn't miss meat at all and that they now actually prefer the taste of vegan food.



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2. It has countless health benefits

Laurel, who is the founder and head chef of the store, said that switching to a vegan diet has numerous amazing effects on the body.

"Your overall physical and mental health will improve," she said. 

"It helps with hypertension control, prevents diabetes, reverses type 2 diabetes and heart disease, lowers bad cholesterol levels, gives you more energy, improves your digestion, speeds up recovery from workouts, improves your mood, improves brain function, promotes healthy metabolism, improves eyesight, increases your fiber intake, and all the antioxidants will clear up your skin and make you glow, too!" she listed.

Additionally, Laurel said that you can customize your vegan diet to help with your aesthetic goals, whether that's to lose weight or gain muscle.    

"You can actually customize your vegan diet depending on your goals — just like any diet, you can achieve weight loss, fat loss, weight gain, or muscle gain," she said.

She claims that it will also increase mindfulness "in all aspects of daily life."



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3. It would help the environment

Laurel said that animal agriculture also affects our oceans, going so far as cutting off the oxygen and killing marine life.

"The reason for this is that farm animals are predominantly fed composed of antibiotics and artificial hormones, and all the excretions are directed to the rivers and then to the oceans. Even grass-fed farmed animals excrete very large amounts of nitrogen from their manure," she explained.

Nutrients in animal wastes cause algae to bloom, which uses up the oxygen in the water, Laurel said.

Furthermore, Go said that cows produce methane in their digestive system.

Methane is a greenhouse gas that is 25 times more dangerous than carbon.

The methane released by the animals raised for slaughter eventually contributes to the increase of the planet's temperature.

"One-third of the Earth’s arable land is used to raise animals for slaughter, and large amounts of feeds and tons of potable water are needed in order to just produce a pound of steak or burger," Go said.



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Cutting down on meat would go a long way to contribute to the environment.

"When you opt for a vegan diet, you directly save the environment!  A single act collectively makes change," Go said.

Laurel echoed his sentiments, saying that individuals hold so much power to change the environment.

"You do not have to be an environmentalist, a pro vegan chef, or a scientist to make a change – it’s as simple as rethinking what you put in your plate," she said.

Those who are now itching to try vegan food can check out V Kitchen, Manila's first vegan meal plan and bakery on Instagram (@vkitchen.manila).

—JCB, GMA News