What are the benefits to going vegan?

Today, switching to a vegan diet is easier than ever, with almost all national supermarkets and even some fast-food chains carrying a wide range of vegan options.

Don’t get us wrong — going vegan is still a challenge for many. Veganism requires you to eliminate all animal byproducts, including eggs, dairy, and even honey from your diet. That means some bread, marshmallows, and even certain types of alcohol are off-limits. The switch may be hard, but it’s well worth it whether the switch is for ethical or health-related reasons, or just out of plain curiosity. This is because the benefits are well worth the restrictions—veganism is animal friendly, boosts your health, and improves your mood.

Are you considering switching to a vegan diet? Keep reading to learn more about the advantages.

Healthy vegan breakfast
Brooke Lark/Unsplash

Keep in mind that vegan doesn’t automatically mean healthy. Oreos, certain non-dairy ice creams, and even tater tots are all vegan options that aren’t necessarily the healthiest products available. Since some of the biggest and most common sources of energy come from meat-based protein, dairy, and bread, many new vegans replace these with empty calories for every meal. Like any diet, it’s important to eat balanced meals that are full of vitamins and nutrients. As long as you do, you’ll be sure veganism works for you.

More nutritious

A vegan diet is quite different from the standard Western diet. By cutting out meat and other animal products, you rely on other foods like whole grains, beans, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds, all foods full of body and mind-boosting nutrients.

Several studies concluded that, in general, vegan diets also contain more fiber, antioxidants, and plant compounds than other diets. They may also contain more magnesium, potassium, folate, and vitamins A, C, and E to boost bone strength, immunity, and skin elasticity.

Boost your energy

Processed sugars and fats can take a toll on your energy levels, so when you start eating healthy, nutrient-rich foods, you start to feel a boost in your mood and liveliness. Because clean vegan diets are full of healthy fats and complex carbs, many vegans feel the lifestyle change invigorated them. In one 2014 study, vegans reported lower stress levels than omnivores, so you truly may be able to improve your mood and lower your anxiety levels with this diet change.

Vegan burger
Deryn Macey/Unsplash

Decrease the risk of heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and more

Eating more vegetables, fruits, legumes, and fiber is correlated with a lower risk of heart disease, so a vegan diet can actually protect your body against disease. Vegans may also have up to a 75% lower risk of developing high blood pressure than the general population.

Vegans also tend to have lower blood sugar, higher sensitivity to insulin, and a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Some studies have also found that people with diabetes who replace meat with plant protein can reduce their risk of kidney-related diseases.

Good for animal lovers

A lot of people cite ethical concerns as their reason for switching to a vegan diet. For many, consuming any animal byproduct is inhumane, no matter how the animals were farmed. Unfortunately, the notion that a vegan diet is better for the environment is largely a myth.

Raising cattle does contribute to the planet’s methane gas emissions and, indeed, causes more environmental and water damage than any other individual food product. However, vegetarian and vegan products aren’t innocent, either. Out-of-season fruits are often imported, releasing toxic smog into the air from the trucks, planes, and boats that ship them. Additionally, there is a human toll: Some farms pay migrant workers substandard wages for over 12 hours a day, causing an outcry from human rights advocates.

That being said, it’s impossible to make sure that every food you consume is completely harmless. However, buying local and researching where your food comes from can go a long way in minimizing your environmental and human impact, regardless of your diet.

There are tons of advantages to eliminating meat and animal products from your diet. It can positively impact your health in numerous ways, decrease your anxiety levels, and save some animals. Veganism isn’t for everybody, so listen to your body and make sure that whatever food you eat is fueling your mind and body.

BlissMark provides information regarding health, wellness, and beauty. The information within this article is not intended to be medical advice. Before starting any diet or exercise routine, consult your physician. If you don’t have a primary care physician, the United States Health & Human Services department has a free online tool that can help you locate a clinic in your area. We are not medical professionals, have not verified or vetted any programs, and in no way intend our content to be anything more than informative and inspiring.

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