Most of the time, people subscribe to and adhere to a certain popular diet for health reasons. Whether it’s the Mediterranean Diet, the DASH Diet, the Paleo Diet, Whole30, or any number of popular diets, the main reason a specific diet is selected is usually because the person thinks it. will help them lose weight, improve their body composition and / or reduce the risk of certain diseases.
The vegan diet is a notable exception. Not only may followers be drawn to the diet for its potential health benefits, but also for its ethical and environmental benefits. The vegan diet is completely devoid of animal products; this differentiates it from a vegetarian diet, which usually includes dairy products and eggs. Vegans can also avoid honey and may even adopt a vegan “lifestyle”, expanding the animal-free policy to include choices like not wearing furs or leathers, or using cosmetics or hygiene products that contain ingredients. animal origin or using animal testing.
The vegan diet has been studied quite extensively, with lifelong safety and effectiveness demonstrated for men, women and children. That said, in order to maximize the benefits of a vegan diet and minimize potential nutritional deficiencies, some degree of planning needs to be built into dietary intake, with the potential need for specific supplements, such as vitamin B12 and vitamins. omega-3 fatty acids. Below, we’re sharing some of the top benefits of a vegan diet to help you decide if a diet that is all plant-based foods is right for you.
A vegan diet can help you lose weight
As with just about any diet, it is certainly possible to lose weight on a vegan diet, as long as your calorie intake is lower than your daily calorie expenditure. Vegan diets are often quite conducive to weight loss, as plant-based foods tend to be more filling in bulk than animal products. Vegetables, fruits, and legumes contain a lot of water and fiber compared to foods like cheese, meat, and eggs. As a result, the caloric density of many vegan foods is significantly lower than that of foods derived from animals, making it easier to feel full with fewer calories. Most people who switch to a vegan diet experience significant weight loss as long as they focus on consuming whole, natural foods.
A vegan diet can lower blood pressure
Vegetables and fruits contain antioxidants, minerals like potassium and nitrates, all of which can help lower blood pressure. Research has shown that those who follow a vegan diet tend to experience significant improvements in blood pressure, with decreases in systolic and diastolic pressures. Some studies reported that vegans are up to 75% less likely to develop hypertension than omnivores.
A vegan diet may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease
A vegan diet can lower both blood pressure and cholesterol. Most studies show a decrease in both “bad” LDL cholesterol and total cholesterol levels. Additionally, longitudinal studies have shown a reduced risk of heart disease, stroke, and atherosclerosis in vegans compared to omnivorous diets. Again, the quality of the diet is the most important factor in capitalizing on the health benefits. It’s technically possible to follow a vegan diet and eat mostly junk food and processed snacks. The key is to eat as much whole foods in their natural state as possible. This includes vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts and seeds.
A vegan diet is rich in antioxidants
Most plant-based foods, such as berries, vegetables, seeds, and soybeans, are high in antioxidants. For example, blueberries, red cabbage, blackberries, and other purple and blue foods contain anthocyanins, antioxidants that lower cholesterol, lower inflammation, improve cognitive performance, and lower cancer risk. They also contain flavonoids and procyanidins, polyphenols that can improve mood, cognition, memory, and learning.
A vegan diet promotes digestive health
The high fiber vegan diet promotes healthy digestion and may provide relief from constipation. The beneficial bacteria residing in your gut aid digestion by breaking down fiber and large macronutrients into absorbable nutrients. They also produce key vitamins such as vitamins B12 and K, and they play a vital role in fighting disease and infection. These good bacteria thrive on foods of plant origin rich in prebiotic fibers, while foods of animal origin preferentially select pathogenic microbes. Therefore, a diet high in meat, dairy, cheese, and eggs can disrupt your gut microbiome and cause imbalances in bacteria (known as symbiosis). This can lead to indigestion, bloating, weight gain and obesity, inflammation, skin conditions, and bowel problems.
A vegan diet is anti-inflammatory
Plant-based foods tend to be the best anti-inflammatory food sources because they are high in antioxidants and low in inflammatory compounds like processed oils and saturated fat. To maximize the anti-inflammatory effects of a vegan diet, it’s important to limit your intake of added sugars. Additionally, consuming omega-3 fatty acids in the form of flax seeds, seaweed or seaweed, chia seeds, pecans, and walnuts can also reduce inflammation.
A vegan diet can regulate blood sugar and improve insulin sensitivity
The vegan diet has been shown to lower blood sugar and improve insulin sensitivity, thus lowering the risk of type 2 diabetes. It is principally due to the high fiber content, plant intake, and low glycemic index complex carbohydrates such as legumes and root vegetables, which are high in resistant starch. The vegan diet is also low in saturated fat, which has been linked to high blood sugar levels.
A vegan diet may protect against cancer
The vegan diet is rich in disease-fighting antioxidants and phytonutrients. Between vegetables, fruits, soybeans and other legumes, hemp and other seeds and nuts, vegans consume a variety of superfoods rich in vitamins, minerals and anti-free radical antioxidants. Antioxidants prevent oxidative damage in the body, inhibit tumor genes, and confer anti-inflammatory effects. As a result, the vegan diet has been found to reduce the risk of certain cancers, such as prostate cancer, stomach cancer, colon cancer, and breast cancer.
A vegan diet is good for the environment
Vegans are primary consumers rather than secondary consumers. As such, the vegan diet consumes much less water and natural resources than omnivorous diets and leaves a much smaller carbon footprint. We only have one planet, and the environmental impact of many of our choices is rapidly depleting our natural resources and deteriorating our global home.
A vegan diet protects animals from harm
Animal welfare is a driving force for many people who decide to follow a vegan diet. The meat, dairy, and egg industries are teeming with troublesome practices, and many vegans are tapping into the idea of saving animals’ lives through their food choices.