6 Benefits of a Vegan Diet
A strict vegan diet means no meat, dairy, eggs or any other animal by-product. For some, it’s a huge sacrifice. For others, the benefits are an absolute no-brainer. Let’s dive in.
1. More Nutrients, Please
When done correctly, a vegan diet is much richer in certain nutrients than an animal-based diet. Just by filling up on plant-based items, you’ll likely lean into a diet full of antioxidants, fiber, potassium, magnesium, folate and vitamins A, C and E. Some additional research and thoughtfulness may be required in order to ensure you’re replacing meat and animal products with plant-based foods that are rich in essential fatty acids, vitamin B12, iron, calcium, iodine and zinc. Like anything else, be smart and you’ll succeed.
2. You’re So Vain
More nutrients (especially antioxidants and Vitamins A & E) makes way for naturally healthy skin, hair and nails. Without all that extra biotin nonsense. Fewer blemishes. A radiant glow. Eliminating meat and dairy will also have you smelling better — body odor and bad breath are greatly reduced for those who maintain a vegan diet.
3. Shed Some Pounds
Veggies, grains and plant proteins tend to be much less caloric than meats and animal products. Reducing animal fat intake to zero can do a lot for a diet (well, duh). Countless observational studies show vegans have lower body mass indexes compared to non-vegans, while several controlled studies resulted in vegan diets proving to be one of the most effective diets in terms of losing weight. This rang true even when the vegan dieters were allowed to eat as much as they wanted, while other diet groups were on calorie-restricted regimes. Food for thought.
4. I Like These Odds
Sometimes, the odds of you getting a certain disease are genetic. Most of the time, these odds can be improved with a plant-based diet. Eating nuts & grains and eliminating animal fats is hugely beneficial for your cardiovascular health. Vegan diets have been known to help reduce your risk of heart disease, stroke and Type 2 diabetes. Eating vegan lowers blood pressure and completely eliminates dietary cholesterol. Certain cancer risks (such as prostate, colon and breast) go way down with a diet full of fruits and veggies and little to no meat. A healthy, antioxidant-rich intake of leafy greens, carrots and sweet potatoes may prevent macular degeneration and cataracts. A few studies even show that a vegan diet promotes higher energy levels and reduces pain and inflammation for those suffering from arthritis.
5. For The Animal Lovers
The documentaries are rough. Horrible living conditions. Tiny cages. Abuse. Hormones. Over-feeding. Stress. At the most basic level, veganism could simply rid you of any guilt you may feel when supporting the meat industry. And boy, it’s a big one. No matter which way you spin it (despite organic/cage-free/free-range practices) humans take the lives of animals before they are naturally fulfilled. If you want your hands clean of the exploitation of animals, veganism is the easiest way to go.
6. A Smaller Carbon Footprint
Growing plants requires substantially fewer resources than growing animals. Think about the water and food supply for the animals. The crops grown solely for meat production (grain feed) is a huge contributing factor in deforestation, which leads to habitat loss and species extinction. Impoverished populations are often times forced to grow cash crops for animal feed, when their focus should be on food for themselves. This fuels the malnutrition and starvation in many underdeveloped countries. Now consider the transport and processes involved from farm to slaughterhouse to grocery store to fork. More fuel, more emissions. More environmental crises. Eating vegan creates a smaller demand for the meat industry, and takes less of a toll on the environment.
At the end of the day, it’s your life, and you’ve got to do (and eat!) what makes you happy. Find your fulfillment. Always, always stay well-informed. Knowledge is power. Love you.