Long before celebrities like Ellen Degeneres and Miley Cyrus went vegan, plant-based eating was praised for a bounty of health benefits. Recently, a group of nurses at George Mason University decided to test this out for themselves.
According to a review in the American Journal of Nursing (March 2017), the nurses followed a 21-day Vegan Kickstart plan developed by The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. After just three weeks, one third of the nurses reported gaining more energy and three quarters tested with lower cholesterol. All the participants said they continued eating more fruits and vegetables, with less meat and dairy, post-program too.
With the help of Joanne Evans, the review’s lead author and a clinical research specialist, the nurses also had weekly support on transition challenges, nutrition questions, and how to integrate vegan options for other friends and family during mealtime. The nurses were not required to count calories or measure portions, this being a lifestyle change not a fad diet.
While exact results may vary from person to person, according to Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics the general health benefits of plant-based eating include significantly lowered risks of developing diabetes, heart attacks, and cancer. “A plant-based diet provides a health template for all patients," said Evans. "But what I find works best is personalizing the approach."
Curious about going vegan, but not sure how to start? Here's what you need to know about cooking vegan and here are 5 essential (and easy to personalize!) ingredients to have on hand for vegan eating.
Watch Sarah Carey make a delicious breakfast or brunch dish, Vegan Banana French Toast: