Cancer Research UK is asking for people to raise money this November by taking part in the ‘November Veg Pledge’. Could you go meat-free for 30 days to raise money for charity? Going meat-free is a challenge you can take at any time of year to increase your fruit and vegetable intake, to help the environment and to help your waistline. After 30 days of going meat-free, you might even find it’s something you want to keep up to help give your health a boost long-term.
We know you know you ought to eat more fruit and veg. It is good really understood why, you wouldn’t think twice about ditching the extra thick bacon and upping the curly kale. Turns out, going veggie just a couple of times a week could help us feel better, stay fitter, and even live longer. Let’s look at the facts.
Why eat less meat?
Carcinogens In 2015, the World Health Organisation labelled processed meat carcinogenic and red meat as probably carcinogenic. They put both in their Group 1 bracket along with tobacco and asbestos.
A review of over 800 scientific studies showed direct links between red meat and prostate and colorectal cancers, as well as between processed meat and stomach cancer. They also showed that for every 50g of processed meat we eat a day, there’s a 17%risk increase of colorectal cancer (or 18% for 100g of red meat).
Sustainability It’s not just our health we’re harming when we eat meat. It’s the planet, too. Livestock farming is behind 15% of human-generated greenhouse gases and up to 85% of deforestation. The UK’s Chief Medical Officer has also warned that if we don’t start choosing organic over traditional meats, antibiotic resistance could become apocalyptic.
And why more veg, nuts and beans? Beans and peas bring us stacks of protein, fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, essential fats and amino acids. They’re great at lowering cholesterol, balancing blood sugar, supporting digestion and reducing cancer risk, which is why we pack peas, chick peas and beans of all shapes and sizes into so many of our products.
Last but not least, the small but decidedly mighty nut. It’s one of the most nutritionally dense food sources on earth and eating just a handful a day could reduce your risk of an early death by a jaw-dropping 20%. People who eat them regularly tend to weigh less and have healthier hearts.
More than half of us don’t get enough magnesium. It’s needed to activate over 300 different enzymes in the human body, and without it we’re at risk of type-2 diabetes, high blood pressure, anxiety, insomnia and migraines. You will find lots of magnesium in peas, lentils, nuts and grains and plenty of green veg.
Even after the 30 days are over, you might find yourself wanting to go meat-free altogether, or at least trying to have more meat-free days. Even having a meat-free Monday or forgoing meat 50% of the time can make a big difference to your health and the environment. The November Veg Pledge is a great way to kickstart healthier eating habits. Take the November Veg Pledge and enjoy the benefits of going meat-free this November.