Vegan health benefits are limited, of course. But the science says that eating a plant-based diet is healthier than eating a diet full of animal products.
Despite the slight chance of malnutrition for those who aren’t doing it right, veganism comes with a host of health benefits. But this lifestyle isn’t just healthy for the individual; it’s also an extremely sustainable diet. Thus, eating vegan food is good for our health AND for the environment.
People who adopt a vegan diet, or even a primarily plant-based diet, don’t consume animal products like most people. Vegans don’t consume any meat, dairy, eggs, honey, and gelatin. However, some people eat plant-based, still consuming some animal products on occasion.
In any case, veganism is more than just a diet. It’s a lifestyle.
For example, vegans do not wear garments made of animal products (such as leather and wool). They also don’t purchase cosmetics that have been tested on animals, and refuse to promote entertainment that involves animal cruelty, such as bullfighting or SeaWorld’s aquariums.
However, while the vegan diet and lifestyle are beneficial for animals and environment, it’s also advantageous to humans. While we can – and likely will – list all of the other pros of a vegan lifestyle, for this article’s purpose, we’re covering vegan health benefits backed by science.
Healthy Heart on a Vegan Diet
Vegan diets can help the heart in a number of different ways, but the most important is heart health. Plant based diets and heart health seemingly go hand-in-hand.
Adults with a higher intake of plant-based foods and a lower intake of animal foods have a lower risk of heart disease and death. This fact comes from a large-scale 2019 survey.
Saturated fats are primarily found in animal products, such as beef and dairy items. With this in mind, it’s best to avoid these products if you’re worried about heart health. Which, let’s face it, who wants to get a heart transplant if it’s avoidable?
Weight Loss While Eating Plant-Based
When you eat a low-fat diet, this means you’re avoiding animal fat and consuming few oils. This allows the body to generate ready energy from its stored energy.
The body uses its glycogen first, and as any runner knows, when you run out of the accessible energy stored in the liver and muscle cells, your body will turn over your energy system and begin to burn stored fat. This translates to drawing energy from the supply on hand, which is your fat.
People lose more weight on a vegan diet since you avoid inflammation-inducing animal products. Instead of these fat-promoting foods, you’re consuming plant-based whole foods. These foods are low in oil, simply prepared, and high in fiber, contributing to a healthier diet that promotes healthy weight loss.
Healthy Skin for Vegans
A plant-based diet can help your skin stay healthy, which can improve your beauty routine.
A number of studies have linked dairy to skin issues such as acne. According to Health Line, after infancy, it’s more challenging for humans to break lactose down and digest it.
Most of the evidence from studies highlights that dairy can irritate acne. However, it’s still unknown as to the underlying reason.
Dairy products include growth hormones and are also processed with artificial hormones, which can disrupt the hormone system in the human body. The cows are given these hormones to impact the milk supply. Researchers believe that it’s these hormones that are triggering acne.
Some theorize that growth hormones already found in dairy can aggravate acne. However, others believe that milk products paired with refined foods and processed sugars observed in most Wester diets are disrupting insulin levels, which makes skin more susceptible to acne.
Relief from Arthritis Pain Through a Vegan Diet
Vegan diet is high in probiotic-rich whole foods, which can help people with osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis feel better. Some studies highlight that this plant-based diet benefits people with various forms of arthritis, including gout.
For six weeks, 40 arthritic participants were randomly allocated to either continue consuming their omnivorous diet or turn to a whole-food plant-based vegan diet. Vegans showed higher energy levels and improved overall performance than those who did not switch to a vegan diet.
Thus, it’s safe to say that if you’re looking for arthritis relief, a vegan diet could help. Regardless of such, it’s always worth a try, especially if your diet is currently full of animal products.
Mood Elevation with a Plant-Based Diet
Can a vegan diet make you happier? Some hardcore carnivores will disagree, but many vegans are ecstatic about their plant-based diets. Science says that eating more plants can elevate our moods, though!
The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) discusses research that analyzed the dietary patterns and moods of 3,486 people over the course of five years. Participants who consumed whole, plant foods had less signs of depression, according to the study.
Nutritionist Geeta Sidhu-Robb in her interview with the Cosmopolitan about the study, which was published in Nutrition Journal.
“The elimination of long chain fatty acids, predominantly arachidonic acid which is present in meat and is associated with symptoms of depression, means you are less at risk of suffering from it,” she said.
She was also quoted saying, “Vegan diets also have more complex carbohydrates present which increase the feel good hormone serotonin in the brain.”
As you can see, the health benefits of veganism are apparent. With more studies outlining the positive impact veganism can have on our health, society, and the environment, the choice is easy for some. However, for others, it may take a little longer to convince.
Stay healthy, stay happy, and eat plant based if that’s the lifestyle that grants you the most value.
What’s your favorite plant-based food? I LOVE avocados! But I’m also a big fan of nature’s natural sweetener, dates.
Leave a comment below and let us know!