7 Benefits Of A Vegan Diet Or Plant-Based Eating Regimen

It wasn’t that long ago that the vegan diet was thought to be a practice upheld only by ethically-driven animal advocates with an unyielding passion for animal rights.

· 7 min read
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It wasn’t that long ago that the vegan diet was thought to be a practice upheld only by ethically-driven animal advocates with an unyielding passion for animal rights.

Nowadays, the rest of the world is catching on to the vegan way of eating, and it's not just because more awareness has been created around animal rights. The health and wellness benefits of a vegan diet are becoming proven, recognized, and indisputable.

Plus, vegan cookbooks prove eating a vegan or plant-based diet can actually be quite delicious and satisfying. For example, tofu, a common protein choice for vegan entrees, is very versatile. (Check out these delicious tofu recipes that will turn you into a tofu-lover.)

Many vegans feel that it’s very important to educate the public on what being vegan is all about. Most vegans would argue that eating like a vegan doesn’t necessarily make you a vegan. This is because being vegan is a lifestyle choice where one consciously chooses to omit any and all animal products from not only their diet, but also their clothing, accessories, makeup, skincare products and more. Omitting any animal products from their lifestyle is what being a true vegan is all about, in a refusal to exploit or harm animals. This means no leather accessories unless it’s vegan leather, no clothing made of wool, no animal products in skincare, no makeup tested on animals, and the list of restrictions goes on.

Vegans often get frustrated when their peers say, “I’m vegan” when in reality, they only eat like a vegan by eating a plant-based diet with no dairy, meat, fish or animal products - but they don’t omit animal products from other aspects of their lives the way an ethical vegan would. This is why a lot of vegans would prefer that you refer to your diet as “plant-based” if you’re not following the vegan diet for ethical reasons, and therefore you’re not not truly adopting a true vegan lifestyle.

Benefits of a Vegan Diet for the Planet, the Animals, and Yourself

Many people only follow a vegan diet because of all the health and beauty benefits of a vegan diet. However, these people are still helping animals and helping the planet by eating a vegan diet, even if saving the planet wasn’t their primary reason for following this diet.

If you're thinking about switching to a plant-based diet, you won't regret it. Sure, it involves significant effort, a lot more meal planning and noticeable sacrifices – but the benefits of a vegan diet make it well worth it.

A plant-based diet will dramatically increase your energy levels, promote weight loss, improve your overall health, get you that glowing skin and much, much more.

Below are 7 major benefits of a vegan diet plan being implemented and followed:

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1. Anti-Aging, Skin and Beauty Benefits

The beauty benefits of a vegan diet are perhaps the most surprising to people. Several vegans attribute their healthy, clear and glowing skin to their plant-based diet. Come to think of it, almost all the vegans I know have beautiful skin and look fantastic without makeup.

These beauty benefits of a vegan diet make a lot of sense, since eating a plant-based diet means they're taking in more vitamins, antioxidants, water and minerals than most people. And it's not just skin health that stands to benefit, either. Thanks to all that omega-3 and vitamin A and B, veganism results in healthier nails, brighter eyes, a younger-looking appearance and fuller, more healthy-looking hair.

vitamin A keeps skin extra healthy by promoting more blood flow to the skin’s surface, which makes the skin look more plump, young and firm.

Some of the vegetables commonly eaten by vegans such as sweet potato, spinach and kale are all high in vitamin A, which will significantly improve your skin.

Vegans look and feel younger, too, and there's a reason for that. 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.

Finally, since a plant-based diet is naturally higher in water and fiber, you’ll end up with better hydration and toxic removal. The result of that is the sparkly eyes, healthy-looking skin, and younger appearance.

2. Less Inflammation in the Body

Red meat, processed meat and dairy products are all considered to be ‘inflammatory foods’. Processed meats commonly eaten by non-vegans have a lot of saturated fat and sodium, and regular meat (as well as dairy products) have free radicals. These cause inflammation in the body.

Inflammation in your body can cause aging, stress, and trouble sleeping

Less inflammation in the body also means less eye bags, less dark circles, less bloating, reduced face ‘puffiness’ and more.

Luckily for vegans, many of the top anti-inflammatory foods tend to be included in the vegan diet, such as berries, broccoli and avocado.

3. More Energy

Eating foods that are easy on your digestive system will make all the difference when it comes to your energy levels, as animal foods are difficult for your body to digest.

When your digestive system is overworked, you feel lethargic and low on energy. That's why going vegan and eating more plant-based foods will dramatically increase your 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.

Furthermore, ‘plant-based energy’ is a real thing where many specific fruits and vegetables can make you feel more energized than having a cup of coffee.

For example, 1 banana can provide your body with enough energy to complete a 90 minute workout, and similarly, spinach and sweet potato give you quite the energy boost as well.

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4. Better Sleep Quality

When you become a vegan, you may notice more energy by day – but you'll also notice better sleep quality by night.

Your sleep will likely improve when you're a vegan, and it has everything to do with what you're consuming by day. Vegans can't eat meat, eggs or dairy – 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.

Furthermore, since many common vegan foods are anti-inflammatory foods, you’ll sleep better due to less inflammation in the body.

5. Weight Loss

Veganism is a great diet for weight loss, and studies have proven this. 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 diets studied included vegan, vegetarian, animal-based, etc. The vegans lost the most weight – but why?

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. When vegans cook themselves dinner, it's 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. You’ll Help Save the Planet

Why not be part of the solution, instead of being part of the problem? Vegans save animals, they contribute toward reducing their country's water-intake and their practices help avoid deforestation.

We need significantly less water and less land to produce plant-based foods compared to the amount needed to produce animal-based foods. So, those ‘tree-hugging’ vegans really are helping save the planet and reducing their environmental footprint.

7. Improves Overall Health

Adopting a vegan lifestyle can help you prevent a number of different cancers and diseases.

For example, research has shown lower breast cancer rates for those who eat a healthy, plant based diet. And, lower breast cancer risk 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 your cardiovascular health, lowers blood pressure and reduces your risk of heart disease and Type 2 diabetes. Veganism also can help combat arthritis, inflammation, asthma and osteoporosis.

Your overall health stands to benefit a remarkable amount if you go vegan sooner rather than later.

Summary of Benefits of a Vegan Diet

There are many health and beauty benefits of eating a plant-based, vegan diet. However, a  vegan lifestyle also helps prevent animal slaughter and suffering, while helping shrink your environmental footprint, and helps combat climate change.

If you’re not sure if you’re ready to make the switch, start small. Try ‘Meatless Mondays’ with your family, and you’ll start to realize how delicious vegan meals can be.

You may even find out through a DNA test that your body suits a plant-based diet best, based on your genetic makeup. For example, you might find out that you have a genetic lactose intolerance, where you can’t eat dairy without feeling unwell. Take a CircleDNA test and read your genetic diet and nutrition profile to find out the optimal diet for you.

References:

  1. Advanced Biotech (ABT) Naturally Energizing Fruits and Vegetables https://www.adv-bio.com/naturally-energizing-fruits-and-vegetables/
  2. National Library of Medicine (NIH) Effects of Plant-Based Diets on Weight Status: A Systematic Review https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7533223/
  3. American Society for Nutrition: Healthy, plant-based diet linked with lower cancer risk for postmenopausal women https://nutrition.org/for-breast-cancer-prevention-diet-quality-matter/