Many people will have had their fill of cheese, chocolate, and meat over Christmas and have felt much more energized after going vegan in January (an event known as Veganuary). This invigorating feeling is largely due to the increase in fruit, vegetables, nuts, and seeds as opposed to the cutting out of meat and dairy —but it’s still a big win.
One of the main benefits of a more plant-based diet is the increase in fiber. Fiber has been in the press recently after a major review in The Lancet reported that getting more than 25g of fiber per day significantly reduces the risk of heart attacks, strokes, and type 2 diabetes.
A 2015 study of different dietary patterns showed that vegans had an average daily fiber intake of 41g, compared with vegetarians, flexitarians, and pescatarians at 34g. Omnivores get a mere 27g of fiber a day, on average.
Keeping up the habits you adopted in Veganuary that keeps your fiber intake high is likely to be of great benefit to your long-term health.
Winter is upon us and so is the risk of vitamin D deficiency and infections. Vitamin D, which is made in our skin following sunlight exposure and also found in oily fish (mackerel, tuna, and sardines), mushrooms, and fortified dairy and nondairy substitutes, is essential for good health. Humans need vitamin D to keep healthy and to fight infections. The irony is that in winter, when people need vitamin D the most, most of us are not getting enough. So how much should we take? Should we take supplements? How do we get more? And who needs it most?
There’s a lot of talk about digital media. Increasing screen time has created worries about media’s impacts on democracy, addiction, depression, relationships, learning, health, privacy, and much more. The effects are frequently assumed to be huge, even apocalyptic.
Scientific data, however, often fail to confirm what seems true based on everyday experiences.