Health Benefits of a Vegan Diet
A vegan diet has a whole host of benefits, from helping the environment and saving the lives of animals, however, the benefit that is most keenly felt by those who switch to a plant-based life is the health benefits. Read on to find out just that going Vegan can do for your health.
If weight loss is your goal, turning to a vegan diet could be the answer. It might be slightly stereotypical to say that most vegans seem to be thinner than their meat-eating counterparts, but science backs it up. Studies have found that vegans have the lowest average Body Mass Index score, whereas meat-eaters have the highest.
Vegan meals are naturally lower in calories, and so it can be easy to cut calories without actively doing so. The fact that most junk foods (think chocolate, crisps etc) aren’t vegan friendly is also a blessing in disguise for those looking to shed a few pounds.
Reduced Risk of Heart Disease
Switching to a vegan diet can greatly lower your cholesterol levels and your blood sugar levels. This is due to the reduced intake of saturated fats and cholesterol, and the increased consumption of fibre and plant compounds.
The lowering of these levels means you lower the risk of developing high blood pressure, and with it, you lower the risk of heart disease, heart attack, and stroke.
Help Reduce Cancer Risk
Eating a diet that includes red meat can increase the likelihood of developing certain cancers by 28%. Processed meat increases odds by 20%. Studies have also linked dairy to an increased risk of breast, ovarian, and prostate cancers. Combine this data with the fact that a high BMI is a risk factor for certain types of cancer, and it’s easy to see how switching to a vegan diet can benefit your health.
The vegan diet also contains a lot of soy products that can help to prevent breast cancer development in women.
It's Nutrient Rich
For a whole-food vegan diet, whole grains, fruits, vegetables, beans, peas, nuts, and seeds, take the place of meat and animal products. These foods have more fibre, antioxidants, and beneficial plant compounds. You will also get more potassium, folate, vitamins A, C, and E, and magnesium from them.
It is important to have a well-planned vegan diet in order to get sufficient amounts of essential fatty acids, vitamin B12, calcium, iron, zinc, and iodine. You will need to have a diet based around nutrient-rich whole plants and fortified foods. Since vitamin B12 cannot be derived from plant products, you should consider taking supplements.
Still don’t know if going Vegan would suit you? Take this quick quiz to help you decide. The best way to start a move to a vegan lifestyle is to try it out for a month and see how you adjust to it. Vegan Changers has a 28-Day Vegan plan that you can follow, where they’ll send you shopping lists and recipes to make life as easy as possible, as well as a Vegan substitutions guide, a desert book, and more.