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With the intense hype and growing demand for plant-based diets and products, veganism has never been so popular. The number of vegans in Great Britain have more than quadrupled since 2014, indicating the need for: more plant-based options in restaurants and supermarkets, a wider palette of knowledge, and arguably the most important, support for sustainable and ethical food practices. This is why we knew it was the best time for us to open our brand new 100% plant-based restaurant. We offer a luxury fine-dining experience for everybody to get a taste of the food that we are so passionate about. 

The name ‘Reishi’ comes from the medicinal mushroom located in East Asia. Often referred to as ‘the mushroom of immortality’, they are among several mushrooms that have been used to treat infections for hundreds of years, and more recently, pulmonary diseases and cancer, too. We chose Reishi as the name of our thriving restaurant to symbolise the importance of wellbeing, health, and immunity, which we feel we are contributing to with our ever-changing plant-based menu, (but that’s not to say that we don’t offer mouthwatering desserts as well as a beautifully flavourful bar menu downstairs whilst enjoying a refreshing drink!)

We believe that a plant-based diet is the best way forward for both us, the animals, and the planet. This is why throughout our years of taking different paths and avenues, whilst exploring veganism, the team haven’t had difficultly when it comes to connecting with like-minded individuals who share our passion for cruelty free living and sustainable choices. 

Throughout this blog, we hope to enlighten you on some fascinating yet educational information, surrounding our top 5 favourite reasons to choose a vegan diet. 

1. Health benefits

There are many health benefits to veganism that should be acknowledged and explored if you’re thinking about making that big change. The first benefit fits perfectly with our name, ‘Reishi’ – a reduced risk of chronic diseases. The risk of heart disease, type two diabetes, obesity, and certain types of cancer can be avoided by actively participating in a plant-based diet. This is because animal-based foods, such as meat, dairy, and eggs, are typically high in cholesterol and saturated fat. When this is consumed in excessive amounts, there is a much higher possibility that you could get a chronic disease. 

Improved heart health is another huge benefit to making the change of diet. Similar to our first point, cholesterol and saturated fats are known to contribute to heart disease. Once switching to veganism, it is likely that without even realising, you are already increasing your intake of fibre and antioxidants, whilst reducing your levels of LDL cholesterol. 

Eating a plant-based diet can be the answer to sustaining a comfortable weight and metabolic health. Foods such as: fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds are all nutrient-dense foods which are rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants while being lower in calorie density. By consuming all of these nutrients, you are supporting your overall health and accommodating your weight management. We would be lying if we said that a vegan diet is healthy 100% of the time, but acknowledging the benefits of it is important for promoting sustainable food choices and encouraging a more plant-centric lifestyle.

2. Personal growth

Linking to our last reason, ‘health benefits’, a vegan diet is amazing for mental health. Often, we find ourselves yearning for change, trying to catch a break from our everyday lives. If you feel that you’re stuck in a rut, transforming your diet to a cause that you can feel passionately about is a great place to begin. 

As mentioned before, a well-planned vegan diet can eliminate the higher chances of chronic diseases because of the lack of cholesterol and saturated fats. The nutrients provided by a plant-based diet can not only improve physical health, but support mental health, too. Also, it is likely that your body will notice some positive changes, as mentioned in point 1, which will inevitably uplift your mood, energise your body, and nourish your soul with each plant-powered meal; let this be a catalyst for your personal growth. 

There are many reasons that someone may decide to change to a plant-based lifestyle, one being compassion. A lot of the time, embracing a vegan lifestyle originates from an empathetic point of view towards animals and a genuine concern for their welfare. As individuals become more aware of the connection between all living beings, a sense of contentment and happiness can arise with the knowledge that you’re making a difference with your actions. All of these factors contribute to improved mental well-being.

3. Animal welfare

By adopting a lifestyle that actively involves plant-based food and products, you are automatically reducing the demand for animal farming, exploitation, and slaughter. This is probably the biggest reason that many of us decide to commit to a vegan diet. While the internet offers a lot of information regarding the suffering and adversity associated with animal agriculture, here are some key aspects that illustrate how veganism can make a positive impact.

Opting for plant-based alternatives puts you in an ever-growing category of people that are trying to change the world. This allows the vegan market to grow, replacing the demand for cruel practice. As well as this, animal agriculture is a leading cause of habitat destruction and deforestation, but by changing to a vegan diet, preserving natural habitats will be just one of the many ways you can contribute to the welfare of animals.

4. Environment sustainability

We at Reishi are super conscious about the benefits of environmental sustainability. This is why we have our very own planting station where we can grow fresh produce to serve to our lovely customers. This is our way of being efficient and resourceful when it comes to our ingredients, but there are so many other ways that veganism can positively impact the environment. 

Factors such as reduced greenhouse emissions, conservation of land and resources, reduction of pollution, and sustainable food production are just a few of the constructive ways in which veganism contributes to a more ecologically balanced world. In terms of greenhouse emissions, methane and nitrous oxide significantly contribute to climate change. However, by eliminating or reducing animal products from your diet, the individual carbon footprint will lower and help against these emissions. Vast amounts of land, water, and other resources are required for animal agriculture, so by changing to a plant-based diet, you can reduce the effects of deforestation and minimises the stress on water resources. Although not the only ways, without veganism, the path towards a sustainable planet becomes more challenging to navigate. 

5. Culinary exploration

Now that we’ve explored all of the strict facts, it’s time to talk a little more about ourselves! Like us at Reishi, there are many upcoming restaurants popping up around the country, with a number of them including selections of vegan dishes. It’s delightful to see more and more businesses following their hearts in their decision to create plant-based meals, allowing customers to try and explore. 

Here at Reishi, we pride ourselves in delivering beautifully executed dishes with a smile on our faces; we love to see our customers happy, well fed, and excited by the bursting flavours in their mouths. There is such a vast opportunity for exploration in the upcoming vegan community, which owners/chefs Alex and Rich have been tempering with and exploring whilst creating our Summer menu (available from the 31st May!) 

We have swapped out many of the items from our Spring selection, but don’t fear, as we can assure you that our new menu seriously has the wow factor. It is full of vibrancy, jam packed with flavour, and has definitely got some of the most creative dishes we’ve ever seen. 

From our bright and cheery Rainbow Dumplings to the vibrant Beetroot and ‘Feta’ cous cous salad, there is something for everyone, whether you’re a fan of faux meat or nutrient packed vegetables and legumes. We can also guarantee that there will always be room for our fresh new desserts!

So, what’s the verdict?

If throughout this blog, you’ve concluded that you’d like to explore more of what veganism has to offer, then we’ve done our job! A sustainable, ethical, and cruelty free future is our goal as a team, and our customers are the ones making it all happen. Whether you’re a newbie wanting to see what all the hype is about, or one of our long-time customers who we are so incredibly grateful for, we would love to be able to greet and offer you a delectable and diverse menu that celebrates the benefits of plant-based cuisine. There really is something for everybody!