Most people who adhere to a certain diet or eating pattern do so for weight loss. And while it is true that certain eating plans can help you lose your unwanted weight, several other benefits come with choosing to eat healthily.
What is a vegan diet?
People who adhere to a vegan diet completely avoid consuming animal products, including dairy and eggs that are accepted in the vegetarian diet. Some vegans also avoid honey and gelatin. People who adopt a vegan “lifestyle” aim to exclude the exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals in their choice of food, clothing, and other products. They don’t wear furs or leathers or use products or brands that have been tested on animals.
There have been expansive studies on the vegan diet, and it has been proven to be beneficial for the health of everyone of all ages and gender. But to maximize the benefits of a vegan diet and minimize any risk for nutritional deficiencies, you need to plan your meals effectively, so you can include necessary supplementation, like vitamin B12 and omega-3 fatty acids.
You may need to work with a plant-based lifestyle consultant like Pick Plants for Life to ensure that you transition to your vegan lifestyle with ease. We are a plant-based lifestyle consultant based in Austin, Texas.
Read below to find out about the top benefits of a vegan diet, and whether it is the right diet for you.
A Vegan Diet Can Help You Lose Unwanted Weight
As with most diets, the Vegan diet can help you lose excess weight if the number of calories you consume is less than the number of calories you use up for energy. Vegan diets are known to be effective for weight loss because plant-based foods make you feel fuller than animal products of the same volume.
Compared to cheese, meat, and eggs, vegetables, fruits, and legumes contain more water and fiber, making them low in calories. These plant-based foods make you feel fuller for longer, preventing you from binge-eating and excessive calorie intake. Most people who switch to eating whole and natural foods experience significant weight loss.
A Vegan Diet Can Lower Your Blood Pressure and Bad Cholesterol
Vegetables and fruits are rich in antioxidants and minerals that can help lower blood pressure. According to research, there is a significant improvement in the blood pressure of those people who adhere to the vegan diet, with both systolic and diastolic pressures going down. Some studies also found that vegans have a much lower risk of developing high blood pressure than those who eat animal meat.
A Vegan Diet Can Prevent Heart Disease
As you transition to eating more plant-based foods and cutting out animal meat from your diet, both your blood pressure and cholesterol significantly improve because your “bad” LDL cholesterol and total cholesterol levels go down. Several studies have also shown that vegans have a lower risk of heart disease, stroke, and atherosclerosis than people who consume animal meat.
Again, the quality of your diet is the most crucial factor in maximizing the health benefits of the vegan diet. Don’t expect to see good results if you ditch the animal meat but still eat plenty of processed foods and snacks. The key is to consume whole and natural foods like legumes, nuts, seeds, fruits, and vegetables.
A Vegan Diet Is Rich in Antioxidants
Most plant-based foods, especially berries, vegetables, seeds, and soy, contain high levels of antioxidants. Purple and blue foods like blueberries, red cabbage, blackberries contain the antioxidant anthocyanins, which have been proven to effectively lower cholesterol, prevent inflammation, boost cognitive performance, and reduce the risk of cancer. These foods also contain brain and mood-enhancing flavonoids, procyanidins, and polyphenols.
A Vegan Diet Boost Your Digestive Health
Plant-based foods are rich in fiber that promotes healthy digestion and bowel movement. The probiotics in your gut break down fiber and macronutrients into nutrients that your body can absorb more easily and quickly. They also produce vitamin B12 and K that prevent sicknesses and infections.
Probiotics feed on plant-based foods that contain prebiotic fibers, while disease-causing microbes feed on animal-based foods. That means eating too much meat, eggs, dairy, and cheese can harm your gut by causing an imbalance. Compromised gut health can cause several digestive issues like bloating, indigestion, weight gain, inflammation, and constipation.
A Vegan Diet Prevents Inflammation
Plant-based foods are your best choice for anti-inflammatory food since they are high in antioxidants and low in saturated fats and processed oils that can cause inflammation. It’s also important to limit your sugar intake when to ensure that you maximize the anti-inflammatory effects of the diet. Foods high in omega-3 fatty acids, such as flaxseeds, chia seeds, pecans, walnuts, algae, or seaweed, can also relieve inflammation.
A Vegan Diet Can Prevent Diabetes
A vegan diet can also reduce your risk of diabetes. The high-fiber content and low glycemic indexes of plant-based foods, such as legumes and root vegetables help manage your blood sugar, as well as improve your insulin sensitivity. Plant-based foods are also low in saturated fat, which is known to increase blood sugar levels.
A Vegan Diet Can Help Prevent Cancer
The high antioxidant and phytonutrient content of plant-based foods helps prevent illnesses. When you’re on a vegan diet, you consume plenty of superfoods like vegetables, fruits, seeds, nuts, and legumes that are packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that combat cancer-causing free radicals inside your body.
Antioxidants protect your cells, proteins, and DNA from damage caused by oxidative stress, and prevent inflammation, and the growth of tumor genes. Studies have found that the vegan diet helps lower the risk of certain cancers, including stomach cancer, colon cancer, breast cancer, and prostate cancer.
A Vegan Diet Can Make Your Skin Clearer
Animal products can cause inflammation that may affect your skin. For instance, dairy contains an inflammatory ingredient that can cause skin issues like acne.
Plants are not only popular as skincare products, but they also significantly benefit your physiological health. Many plant-based foods contain antioxidants and certain nutrients that make your skin clearer and more glowing. Walnuts, in particular, are packed with omega-3 that reduce inflammation and maintain the skin’s hydration.
So, if you want to get better skin, look for a skincare product with hydrating and anti-inflammatory ingredients, and avoid dairy and processed meat, which cause inflammation.
A Vegan Diet Benefits the Environment
Vegans are considered primary consumers in the food chain, as they only eat plants, which are the primary producers. As such, vegans consume far less water and natural resources with their plant-based diets than non-vegans who eat primary consumers. When you eat whole and natural food, you reduce your carbon footprint and help prevent the depletion of our natural resources.
A Vegan Diet Helps Save Animals
Adhering to a vegan diet can help you protect both farm and wild animals from troublesome industry practices. Several sources cite that going vegan can save about 95 animals in a year. By going vegan, you help put a stop to animal cruelty.
Plant-based lifestyle consultant in Austin, Texas
Going vegan is not an easy choice, but it can be one of the best decisions you will ever make in your life. If you want to switch to a vegan lifestyle but don’t know how to start, you’ve come to the right place! Whether you want to lose weight, have high blood pressure, or are at risk for diabetes, Pick Plant for Life in Austin, Texas can help you safely transition to a plant-based lifestyle. Contact us today to get a free initial consultation, or visit our website to see what our clients are saying about us!