There are a lot of benefits of veganism that often go unrecognized. If you’re looking to maintain a healthy lifestyle and/or lose weight, then a vegan diet may be for you. For some people, going vegan may seem like an extreme sacrifice. But for those who consider the benefits of this lifestyle, the decision becomes a no-brainer.
By eating plant-based foods, (and only plant-based food – no meat or dairy for you) you’re getting the nutrients your body needs and avoiding foods that can negatively impact your health.
Not only is this diet packed with delicious recipes that require minimal prep work, but it can also help you improve your heart health and even help prevent certain cancers!
If you’re ready to start making changes in your life and embracing whole-food nutrition, then we’ve got just the thing for you! Our blog will shed light on the main benefits of a vegan diet.
We also have helpful tips on how to embrace a plant-based diet so that you get all the benefits while still losing weight or maintaining a healthy lifestyle (without sacrificing delicious flavors!)
What Is A Vegan Diet?
The healthy vegan diet is gaining momentum. For those who choose to go vegan, there are many health benefits and environmental concerns about why we should adopt such a lifestyle. But what is a vegan diet? How do they eat? And why should you consider joining them? Let’s take a look;
A full vegan diet can be defined as a way of living that completely excludes meat, eggs, and dairy products from your meals, while some vegans shun any animal by-products, like honey.
There are many benefits associated with it: your health, environment, and animal welfare. Many people also argue that following a vegan lifestyle is an ethical and responsible choice.
Vegan vs. Vegetarian
What is the difference between a vegan and a vegetarian diet? Or, what is the most strict form of vegetarianism? Understanding these differences will help you determine which diet best suits your lifestyle.
The difference between these two diets lies in their type of restriction: While vegans are stricter about it, vegetarians are more flexible. Vegetarians steer clear of meat products, whereas full vegans don’t just cut out meat but also other foods that come from animals (such as dairy products and eggs).
The restriction doesn’t end there either. It is worth mentioning that true vegans also don’t use anything derived from animals, including gelatin, silk, leather, or wool products.
Now that we have illustrated the difference between the two (we won’t get into the sub-branches of vegetarianism here) let’s take a look at some of the benefits of following a plant-based diet.
Benefits of Veganism or Vegan Diet
The benefits of veganism include reducing your carbon footprint, fighting global warming, and improving your health. Some people also choose to be vegan for ethical reasons- because animals are treated poorly in factory farming systems, so it’s a great way to show your compassion for animals and the natural world around us.
A diet is rich in nutrients
There are a variety of benefits to veganism that go beyond the health benefits. A vegan diet is richer in certain nutrients, including vitamin B12 and calcium. This was made evident by a recent study conducted on vegans, which found that they possess higher levels of vitamin B12 and calcium than nonvegans who still eat meat.
You will have a wider nutritional diet, assuming of course that you keep things balanced. Vegans are forced to substitute animal products, leading to more food choices like whole grains, unprocessed fruit and vegetables, nuts, beans, and the like. These types of foods are naturally higher in vitamin A, vitamin C, fiber, and antioxidants.
Can help you lose excess weight
Cutting calories is one way to lower body mass, but there’s an easier way. A vegan diet can help you shed excess pounds by promoting weight loss without the need to count calories or closely monitor your food intake.
Not only is it better for your body, but a plant-based diet is also more sustainable and environmentally friendly. Cutting out animal products is already a great way to lose weight and improve your health – that’s part of what vegan diets are all about.
The food sources in your vegan diet are jampacked with fiber, which also greatly aids in shaking a few pounds around your belly, and keeps you regular. If you’re feeling motivated to get on the vegan wagon, there are tons of delicious plant-based recipes out there for beginners.
Lower blood sugar levels and improve kidney function
You are what you eat, and food is an integral part of our lifestyle. There’s absolutely no need for cholesterol-ridden, fatty meats when you switch to a plant-based diet. It sounds counterintuitive that eating plants may help lower blood sugar and improve kidney function in type 2 diabetes, but it’s actually true.
Studies have also shown that a vegan diet can lower cholesterol levels and improve cardiovascular health. Plant protein contains all the essential amino acids needed by our bodies, while fiber helps slow down hunger pangs so we can eat more nutritiously and lose weight without feeling hungry all the time (and then some).
Going vegan may protect against the risk of cancer
We’ve been going on about the benefits of plant food, but did you know that it could also protect you from certain cancers? Well, research suggests that eating a plant-based diet will reduce the risk of developing prostate, breast, stomach, and colorectal cancers.
Animal products contain carcinogenic compounds such as nitrates, red meat has been linked with an elevated risk of prostate cancer as well. Inversely, plant-based food is naturally rich in antioxidants and cancer-fighting nutrients.
Can reduce pain from arthritis
If you’re looking for the best diet to reduce pain from arthritis, then a vegan diet is your best bet to get your daily dose of antioxidants, fiber, and probiotic goodness. Several studies have reported that vegans have lower risks of various diseases including type-2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease, there is lots of evidence that suggests a vegan diet can help reduce pain from arthritis in the long run.
Besides, this diet also lacks or restricts certain trigger foods that may cause discomfort such as gluten and lactose. Whether you’re looking for sustainable weight loss or improved health, switching over to a plant-based diet is the perfect way to start!
Cut Your Carbon Print by Going Vegan
There’s a lot to be said about plant-based diets (and we’ve said a lot). You get all the nutritional value of whole foods, without the added burden on your body. As if that is not enough to make you at least consider the change, a vegan diet provides a host of health benefits too – everything from weight loss and heart health to diabetes and cancer prevention.
Making the switch to a vegan diet may not be as difficult as you think! There are plenty of delicious vegan substitutes that will help you get all the nutrients your body craves without any meat or dairy. The benefits of switching to a plant-based diet are endless, and we hope this blog has helped you understand why adopting a vegan diet is beneficial.
Always remember that it’s important to consult with a health professional before making any drastic health changes, as some veganism-based diets may not be right for everyone. But with the right guidance, going vegan can be a healthy and rewarding change.
Reinette Robbertze is a highly qualified professional in the health and nutrition industry, having completed both Journalism and Nutrition diplomas. With a remarkable portfolio of health blogs and magazine articles to her name, Reinette’s writing is fueled by her genuine passion for healthy living. Drawing on her academic background, Reinette delivers authentic and insightful information to her readers. Her engaging writing style, blended with personal anecdotes, creates an immersive experience that keeps readers engaged and informed. Keep following her work for the latest updates and informative articles on health and nutrition.