Donte Hemmans-Murdock, Reporter

Fatigue has taken over your life. Insomnia and sleep deprivation have cost you an insurmountable amount of sleep. Acne and skin blemishes have lowered your self-esteem. Inflammation and other health issues have prevented you from doing the things you want because of the unbearable pain.

There is no simple solution to all of these problems, but changing to a vegan diet may be a step in the healthier direction.

A vegan diet consists of eating plant-based food while avoiding any food that is an animal or made from an animal. Being vegan is one of the best lifestyle choices because it can make you a healthier person while easing or totally eliminating the daily health challenges you face. People who switched to this lifestyle say their life has improved because of all the benefits associated with being a vegan.

The diet works exceptionally well, assisting those who wish to shed some pounds. A majority of people believe that if they go to the gym five days out of the week they will be healthy and lose unwanted weight quickly. Going to the gym is a factor, but nutrition is more important. A healthy lifestyle starts in the kitchen. Seeing physical results hinges on 80 percent diet and 20 percent working out. A stable diet alone can promote weight loss without the gym.

According to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, vegan diets are higher in dietary fiber, magnesium, folic acid, vitamins C and E, iron, and phytochemicals. The vegan diet is useful for increasing the intake of protective nutrients and phytochemicals, and for minimizing the intake of dietary factors implicated in several chronic diseases.

Phytochemicals are believed to prevent cell damage which can lead to cancer. Folic acid can treats certain type of anemia.

Dr. Kim Williams, chairman of cardiology at Rush University Medical Center and former American College of Cardiology President knows firsthand of the benefits with the vegan diet. He suggests to his patients who are overweight, struggling with hyperextension, diabetes and high cholesterol to switch to a vegan diet. Not because he is a vegan, but because the results do not lie.

Approximately 800,000 Americans die from cardiovascular disease (CVD) each year, according to the American College of Cardiology. The leading causes of CVD is having an unhealthy diet, smoking, lack of exercise, and being overweight.

Switching to a vegan diet should be a no-brainer for unhealthy people. This plant-based diet can decrease the chances of various types of cancer and cardiovascular disease. The causes of these types of illnesses are from consuming too much high saturated fat foods and not enough fruits and vegetables.

“Before going vegan I had chronic asthma, high blood pressure, anemia and I was 100 pounds overweight,” said Nicole Bourne, owner of Vegan Mom Lifestyle.

“My health was a major factor for me going vegan. After researching and seeing the amazing testimonials, I knew I needed to change. I lost 92 pounds in nine months. I conquered asthma, anemia, high blood pressure, and I am no longer taking any medications as a result of my lifestyle change.”

Marina Yanay-Triner, a vegan coach says, ”I switched because of my digestive issues as well as severe PMS that had deliberated me for a day every single month. Since switching to a vegan diet my digestion has greatly improved as well as my energy levels, mood and severe PMS.”

It is not just ordinary people like Bourne and Triner who has benefitted from a plant- based diet. Boston Celtics point guard Kyrie Irving says in a Nike commercial that he eats a plant-based diet. Athletes such as Olympic Gold Medalist tennis player, Venus Williams and Titans defensive tackle, Jurrel Casey, have switched to veganism. These athletes believe that their increase in energy and game production was because of the vegan diet.

It is a lifestyle that is highly criticized and questioned by omnivores. People who oppose of veganism believe the diet lacks certain vital nutrients needed on a daily basis. According to an article in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, vegans often need more protein, iron, zinc, calcium, vitamin D, and vitamin B-12.

Vegans do not eat anything from animals, and some key nutrients come from animals. Vegans need to take supplements or have food alternatives for the nutrients found in animal based foods.

However, vegans have no trouble getting their daily nutrition.

“It is very easy,” said Triner. “With any diet you choose, you have to make sure you get all your nutrient needs. However, when you switch to a vegan diet, studies show that you automatically increase your nutrient intake. I am very knowledgeable about nutrition, and I know what foods I need to include every week for a healthy lifestyle.”

Bourne stated, “I eat a variety of foods and eat until I am comfortably full. Plants contain the vitamins and minerals we need to live. If you focus on a variety of color in your daily diet you’ll get everything you need.”

The vegan diet is the most successful and life-changing diet. It dramatically changed numerous people lives for the better. Research and positive testimonials should make people reconsider their current diet. The key to living a longer life is the vegan diet.