The medical world is going vegan. Whether it’s news regarding the myth that humans evolved to eat meat or the fact that the number of doctors interested in plant-based nutrition has quadrupled, healthcare professionals are embracing what vegans have known for years: a cruelty-free lifestyle is the optimal diet for our bodies. In case you missed them the first time or you need a reminder that your vegan diet is good for your health, here are five recent stories by vegan doctors VegNews has published that’ll have you asking for a second helping of veggies.
1. 5 Plant Foods For Protection During Cold and Flu Season
At some point in their lives, everyone gets sick—even vegans—which is why Laurie Marbas, MD, points out five plant-foods to help prevent an illness and aid in recovery when that pesky sore throat approaches. Marbas recommends fungi, kiwifruit, cruciferous vegetables, garlic, and berries as natural remedies when those days when we can’t get out of bed. Although it’s not ideal for single people looking to mingle, garlic, Marbas writes, “stimulates certain immune system cell types such as macrophages, lymphocytes, natural killer cells, dendritic cells, and eosinophils.” And it’s delicious!
2. 3 Reasons to Eat Your Fruit and Vegetables
If you’re vegan, you probably don’t need any more reasons to eat fruit and vegetables. For starters, they’re delicious, but in their story “3 Reasons to Eat Your Fruit and Vegetables,” doctors Jyothi Rao and Monica Aggarwal explain how the phytonutrients, antioxidants, and fiber found in plant foods can “help dilate our arteries,” “remove the free radicals from cells, combat stressors, and fight inflammation,” and “grow good bacteria in our stomachs.” The next time you’re thinking about having that extra bowl of blueberries, say yes—your body will thank you later.
3. How to Educate Your Doctor About Your Vegan Diet
Sadly, not every medical professional knows about the health benefits of a plant-based diet, and, often, vegans find themselves having to explain the latest research to their doctors. For times such as these, Joel Kahn, MD, gives us six talking points to discuss when your healthcare provider suggests something like adding eggs back into your diet. Kahn’s story focuses on the ways in which a plant-based diet helps with obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, and prevent mortality. Advice from a vegan doctor to give to your doctor? You can’t beat that.
4. How a Plant-based Diet Saved This Doctor’s Career
You know how teachers learn from their students? Well, doctors also learn from their patients, which is how Marbas turned her entire family vegan—literally overnight. In this story, the doctor explains how an interaction with a patient five years ago changed her life and her career: “This patient told me she would have abdominal pain after eating meat and dairy, so I told her stop eating meat and dairy (a logical conclusion), but the fact that my advice would leave her with nothing but plants didn’t register in my brain. She returned a month later for a follow-up visit, and her 16-year-old daughter—who had changed her diet to support her mom—pulled herself off two ADHD medications in the 30 days of healthy plant-based eating. My mind went through all of the scientific knowledge I had accumulated from years of education and experience, and still I had no answer as to how or why this could have happened. What I did know was that my patient and her daughter’s newfound health kindled a new spark within me, one of excitement and curiosity. Soon, I was asking myself, ‘Could eating plants actually have done this?’”
5. 5 Ways Becoming Ill Made Me a Better Doctor
It’s easy to forget, but doctors are people, too, and people get sick. One such person was Aggarwal, who was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease four months after giving birth to her third child. No one wants this type of news (especially with a newborn to look after), but Aggarwal writes that her diagnosis was a blessing in disguise, as being a patient in turn made her a better doctor: “Becoming sick and learning how it felt to be a patient taught me how to become a better doctor. I’m so grateful for that. Since my diagnosis, I have developed clarity for my life and my work, and my patients are better for it.”