Getting your nutrients from plant-based and vegan foods allows more room in your diet for health-promoting options like whole grains, fruit, nuts, seeds, and legumes. These are packed full of fibre, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that will reap health benefits for your body, mind, and spirit! With the reduction of meat and dairy and an increase in nutrients, there are many additional benefits that come along with this diet and we’re here to list all of those here for you!
Health Benefits of Eating Plant-Based Include (but are not limited to!!):
1. Increased Energy
Good nutrition generates more usable energy for your day! Whole grains, legumes, fruits, and vegetables are high in complex carbohydrates which will supply your body with plenty of energizing fuel! Plant-based food is also easier to digest than animal products and saturated fat, meaning it will metabolize quicker and provide you with the macronutrients and micronutrients that make you feel like your best and energized self!
2. Optimal Digestive System
Eating a lot of fruits, vegetables, and legumes provides you with a lot of fibre! And fibre is what keeps us regular and makes our digestive system function its best. Meat doesn’t contain any fibre and can be considered a burden on our digestive system. As we have said before, a vegan diet is easier to digest than a diet of animal-products and tends to break down quicker and easier! You’ll definitely notice easier and more comfortable digestion on a plant-based diet!
3. Helps Reduce Risk of Cancer
In 2015, the WHO named red meat a Group 2 carcinogen and named processed meat in the Group 1 – meaning it could cause cancer in humans. Eating an alkaline diet through a whole-foods plant-based diet has been linked to a lower risk of disease and cancer. Also, many vegan foods are packed with cancer-protective nutrients like phytochemicals, powerful antioxidants, carotenoids, vitamins, minerals, omega-3 fatty acids, and lower levels of saturated fat which are all linked to positive health outcomes as well!
4. Helps You Maintain Healthy Weight
Your risk of obesity decreases when you swap a meat-heavy diet for a plant-based one. Studies show that those on a vegan diet tend to weigh less, even if that’s not your main goal. The weight loss may just be a by-product of replacing or reducing certain foods but eating more plants can help you drop pounds too. A plant-based diet tends to be a lot higher in fibre which will generally keep you satiated for longer. A vegan diet also tends to digest quicker than a meat-heavy diet which will benefit your digestive and intestinal system as well as your metabolism.
5. Reduces Risk of Heart Disease
Meat contains saturated fat which can contribute to heart issues when eaten in access. So, by loading up on a whole-foods and plant-based diet and cutting back on meat can really do your heart a favour! Many studies now actually find that eating a plant-based diet may reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular disease by around 16% and reduce the risk of dying of this health condition by about 31%.
6. Helps Lower Blood Pressure
High blood pressure or hypertension can increase the risk of health diseases such as heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and more. However, the foods we eat can make a huge difference and several studies have shown a plant-based diet can help reduce blood pressure (which will reduce your risk for those conditions).
7. Decreases Inflammation & Arthritis Symptoms
Animal-derived foods are linked to pain, inflammation, and acidity so a diet high in healthy plant-based foods will really help tame that inflammation down and reduce the symptoms of arthritis among other inflammatory diseases and disorders. Plant-based foods also have many carotenoids and flavonoids and phytonutrients that help eliminate free radicals which will further decrease inflammatory responses!
8. Lowers Cholesterol
High cholesterol can lead to fatty deposits in the blood which could restrict blood flow and potentially lead to a heart attack, stroke, or heart disease. However, a healthy and plant-based diet can help keep cholesterol levels in check. Studies also show that moving away from a diet filled with animal products towards one that is filled with whole and vegan foods can lower LDL (“bad” cholesterol” by up to 25%!
9. Promotes Healthy & Clear Skin
When it comes to skin issues, one of the worst culprits is dairy! Many studies show that dairy consumption exacerbates acne in both men and women and you’d be surprised to find out that dairy doesn’t just mean milk and cheese, it’s actually hiding in many packaged foods too. Aside from ditching dairy, a vegan diet is typically full of more fruits and vegetables which means that you’ll consume more skin-loving antioxidants and vitamins that will help give that glowing complexion you strive for!
10. Lowers Risk of Diabetes
Research has shown that people who eat plant-based tend to have lower blood sugar levels than meat and dairy consumers and may actually reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes (by nearly 70%!). And managing existing diabetes is a lot easier with a plant-based diet, especially if the diet is high in fibre and plant compounds with antioxidant activity as it will help regulate blood sugar levels. Consuming plenty of healthy plant-based foods can also mitigate some of the risk factors associated with diabetes such as obesity.
11. Betters Your Life Expectancy
Some studies show that a vegan diet that is rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and is low in sugar, salt, and processed meats may actually promote healthy cellular aging and will help you avoid chronic health conditions that become more common as we age. The Journal of the American Heart Association study also found that a plant-based diet lowers the risk of all causes of mortality by 25 percent!
12. Bonus: Protects the Environment we Live in!
Did you know that eating plant-based is one of the most sustainable practices you can adopt in your daily life to ensure we have a future here on Mother Earth?! The production of plant-based foods is a more efficient use of resources as it requires less energy from fossil fuels as well as less land and water. Eating plant-based will reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions, will help conserve water, will protect habitats and species, will stop destroying land and forests, and so much more! Stay tuned for our future blog on the benefits of eating plant-based for our planet!
Transitioning to a vegan diet is definitely not the hardest thing in the world but it’s not the easiest either! However, we’re always here to help and support you in this journey and we try to make it as convenient as possible with all of our offerings and resources here on ShopVejii.com!
Lots of love,
The Vejii Team