Veganism is receiving more and more attention lately as the world becomes more aware not just of the issues surrounding animal cruelty but also of the health and wellness benefits of the vegan diet and lifestyle. As a matter of fact, over the last five years, online searches for the term “vegan” have increased by more than 250%.
Veganism is a way of living that abstains from or excludes, as much as possible and as long as practicable, the use of animal products in food, clothing and any other purpose. The change in diet and lifestyle involves significant effort, planning and sacrifices but also offers great health and wellness benefits.
A plant-based diet will dramatically increase your energy levels, promote significant weight loss, improve your overall health, get you glowing skin and much, much more. Here are six major benefits of following a vegan diet.
1. Improves overall health
Adopting a vegan diet and lifestyle helps improve overall health by preventing a number of different diseases.
For example, studies have shown lower breast cancer rates in countries where women eat less meat and animal products compared to countries where women eat more animal products. Eliminating dairy products and meat also improves cardiovascular health, lowers blood pressure, and reduces risk of heart disease and Type 2 diabetes.
Veganism also combats arthritis, inflammation, asthma and osteoporosis.
2. Improves sleep quality
Vegans enjoy a better quality of sleep at night as sleep is affected by what types of food we consume. Vegans don’t eat meat, eggs or dairy and so they end up eating a lot of nuts, fruits and vegetables instead.
Walnuts, pistachios, pineapple, oranges and cherries are known to help the body produce natural melatonin. Plus, plant-based foods are often high in vitamin B6, magnesium and potassium, which aid in the production of serotonin and help relax the body and mind.
3. Provides more energy
Vegans enjoy better sleep at night and have more energy during the day.
Eating foods that are easy on the digestive system will make all the difference when it comes to your energy levels, and animal foods are difficult for the body to digest.
When the digestive system is overworked, we feel lethargic and low on energy. That’s why going vegan and eating more plant-based foods will dramatically increase energy levels. This means you can be more productive during the day, have more energy for the gym, and achieve more in your day-to-day.
4. Offers anti-aging and beautifying benefits
Several vegans attribute their healthy, clear and glowing skin to their plant-based diet as consuming a plant-based diet means taking in more vitamins, antioxidants, water and minerals than most people.
And it’s not just skin that stands to benefit, either. Thanks to all that omega-3 and vitamin A and B, veganism results in healthier nails and fuller, more healthy-looking hair.
Vegans look and feel younger, too, and there’s a reason. The vegan diet tends to promote collagen production. This is important since we naturally lose collagen as we age, which makes the skin appear thinner and saggier and causes wrinkles.
5. Aids in weight loss
Studies have already proven that a vegan diet is great for weight loss. A recent study involved 1,151 dieters and 12 different diet trials in which participants followed a specific eating regime and their weight loss was monitored. The study included vegan, vegetarian, animal-based and other diets as well.
The study found that vegans lost the most weight.This is because vegan meals tend to be high in fiber, and fiber-rich, plant-based foods will make you feel fuller and more satisfied for longer, so you’re less likely to snack on something naughty an hour post-meal.
Also, by cutting out cheese and dairy from your diet, you’re cutting out a huge percentage of unhealthy fats. Vegan meals are also typically made up of lots of vegetables and whole grains, all of which have a low glycemic index. Low GI foods contribute to weight loss, as do high-fiber foods.
6. Helps save the planet
Producing plant-based foods needs significantly less amount of water and land compared to the amount needed to produce animal-based foods. This helps save the planet as veganism practices help avoid deforestation, save animals, and contribute toward reducing their water-intake.