Science

Nutrition News: Could Your Vegan Diet Hinder Self-Healing?

By Dante Noe Raquel II , Jan 17, 2017 08:30 PM EST
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Vegetarian or vegan diets have grown in fame in recent years as the public becomes more health sensible and aware of different routines used in the meat industry.

While you may have accepted a vegan diet to recover your physical health, per a recent study, you may be causing yourself harm also. This is since many of the proteins we need to self-heal come from animals and animal by-products, and refraining from these sources can lead to a protein deficit that slows our body's healing process.

Take Blink-182's Travis Barker for instance. In 2008, he survived a plane crash that left him with second and third-degree burns all over his body and mandatory skin grafts. Barker was a vegan at the time, and because of his lower protein levels, doctors had a difficult time attaining the grafts.

In the end, his physicians put him on a 6,000 calorie a day diet to accelerate the healing process, and he broke away from his regular plant-based diet, acknowledging that beef jerky became an essential for him. Once he had reformed his diet, doctors try the skin grafts again with more success.

Vegan Diet Of Proteins

Was Barker's regaining just down to his diet? This topic is still up for debate. A 2013 review in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition asserted that the proteins found in milk are better suitable to aid in muscle restoration after exercise than those found in soy. However, Neal Barnard, the president of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine undecided with this, clearing it up that there is a richness of protein to be found in certain beans and vegetables that would allow for vegans to build and repair muscle just as easily as those who eat animal proteins.

He also used nature as an example, positing that if large animals like bulls and elephants can build strength and muscle while on a plant-based diet, it should be possible for humans to do the same.

How To Define Optimal Diet For Healing And Recovery

While pursuing a vegan diet does make it harder to get enough protein, it can be done if you select the right foods and mix in the fitting vegetables, nuts, seeds, and beans throughout the day. Whether the eating of meat is what allowed Travis Barker to in the end heal can still be debated, as the drummer may have been protein undersupplied from not eating the right kinds of foods rather than just because he was vegan. It all comes down to guaranteeing you're eating a balanced diet and meeting your nutritious needs, whether you are vegan or not.

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