The Incredible Health Benefits of a Vegan Diet

The Incredible Health Benefits of a Vegan Diet

Time to Read: 8 minutes


Want to try a vegan diet?

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Planning on going green and taking up vegan living?

The benefits of this option aren’t only for the animals. There are incredible health benefits for you too. You’ll have a clean conscience and still eat some of the tastiest food on the planet - we promise.

You’ll be contributing towards making the environment better too. A vegan’s carbon dioxide footprint is less than half the size of a meat eater.

Of course, no one’s perfect and we’re all working on improving ourselves and getting that number down. But it’s a start!

Here are the important ways in which vegan living makes you a healthier and happier person.

Why Vegan?

Vegan living is all about living better and improving your body’s natural functions.

In its simplest description, it’s commonly said that a vegan diet is the lack of dairy and meat from all meals. But that’s a reductionist explanation.

It doesn’t explain anything about why you’d choose to do that. Or accept that there are great reasons behind the choice.

It also doesn’t go anywhere close to explaining how exciting vegan diets actually can be. It only focuses on what is lacking from them.

In conjunction with an active lifestyle, you’ll start to feel fantastic in just a few weeks.

A Vegan Diet’s Weight Loss Properties

If you’re thinking of going vegan to lose weight, that’s a great start.

Weight loss is one of the first things which interests people about the vegan diet. New vegans lose an average of 10 pounds over a 10 month period - not shabby!

If you do want to lose weight, switching your diet may not be enough. You’ll still need to engage in decent exercise a few times a week in order to lose weight effectively. Besides, exercise has its own health benefits that play perfectly into a vegan lifestyle.

Once you’ve reached your goal, congratulations! But why stop just because you’ve shed a few pounds? There are plenty of other reasons to carry on living as a vegan.

Live a Longer and Healthier Life

As a vegan, you’ll benefit from decreased cholesterol and a lower risk of heart disease.

This improves your chances of living longer and being healthier for longer into your old age too.

In fact, it has been estimated that a global switch to plant-based diets could save up to 5.1 million lives by 2050. And that’s just diets which reduce meat, not cut it out altogether.

So think of the benefits fully plant-based diets will bring you! In fact, the same study reports that a global switch to veganism would raise that number to 8 million lives.

Staves Off Diseases

Going vegan helps your body’s systems to keep a number of diseases at bay. Just as one example, vegan living has been shown to be an effective defense against osteoporosis.

This is a condition in which the density of bones, and their structural soundness, deteriorates as we age. It can lead to bones fracturing and breaking more easily.

As an incredibly debilitating disease for some older people, you’ll want to do everything you can to avoid it. And vegan living can contribute towards preventing it.

As another example, high-fiber diets - which vegans are very likely to follow - result in better protection for your heart. Adding a healthy dose of nuts to your diet adds further protection, as they contain many essential fatty acids.

However, they contain a high-calorie count - so you shouldn’t go over the top. And to be clear, you shouldn’t be eating salted nuts every day. Too much sodium chloride can lead to high blood pressure, among other negative symptoms.

Plus, you’re less likely to be obese if you follow a healthy vegan diet.

Vegan Living Can Help to Prevent Diabetes

Diabetes can be a really unpleasant and dangerous disease. But veganism plays a strong role in its prevention.

One study found that vegan living was fairly comparable to a specially designed diet for diabetics. Researchers concluded that a low-fat vegan diet was associated with reduced body weight and increased insulin sensitivity, as well as reduced cardiovascular risk.

Being insulin sensitive means that your blood can be regulated by only a small amount of insulin. This takes demand away from the pancreas, which is the organ producing this hormone.

The result is that it’s easier for your body to manage its blood glucose levels. Insulin resistance is the opposite of insulin sensitivity. This is a key symptom in type 2 diabetics - their pancreas struggles to manage blood glucose levels because it has more work to do.

Blood sugar can spiral, leading to dangerous symptoms. A vegan diet can help to prevent all of these outcomes.

The research does caution that more research needs to be done into the effects of a vegan diet on potential diabetic complications. But it’s very interesting to see that it can be so effective in other areas, and does perhaps have promise in others.

It Balances Your Hormones

Vegan living is generally effective at balancing hormones.

It makes your thyroid function better. This is the part of your body which is responsible for regulating a number of systems. Including your metabolic rate.

However, the change to a vegan diet can occasionally cause a few problems. This is usually because you haven’t quite figured out how to balance the diet yet, which will come with time.

If you think you’re experiencing some negative results from a vegan diet, don’t be afraid to look into vegan-friendly supplements.

It’s important that you get all your essential minerals and vitamins in the right amount.

The Nutritional Quality of Your Diet Increases

A quality diet is important for everybody. Think of vegan living as a shortcut to achieving this!

There’s no need to worry about the effects of dairy, meat and fish on your body. If you just cut them out, you’re left with highly nutritious options.

These are the equivalent (or better!) of a meat dish, in terms of flavor. But they’re far better for you.

However, it’s worth noting that a vegan diet is associated with a lower calcium intake. You can combat this with regular helpings of kale, almonds and chia seeds, among other high-calcium content plants and nuts.

Vegan Living Is a Healthy Choice for Pregnant Women

A vegan diet can be really beneficial for pregnant women. It contains all the essential minerals and vitamins you need during a pregnancy,

Plus, it’s delicious and healthy, passing on all its benefits to your little one!

There’s plenty of protein in potatoes, beans and spinach. Turn to oatmeal and brown rice as a source of iron. And avocado, cereal and asparagus will help you get enough folic acid, which is vital during pregnancy.

These are three of the most important things you need to make sure you’re getting enough of while you’re pregnant. Of course, you should always check in with your doctor regularly to make sure everything is OK and that your diet is suitable.

Less Chance of Developing Certain Cancers

It’s not a nice topic, but cancer affects millions of Americans every year. It’s sad but true.

You’ll be glad to hear that healthy vegan living reduces the chance of your body developing certain cancers. Fiber intake is important in preventing cancers.

So a vegan diet can reduce the chance of colorectal cancer by 16%.

Vegan women, meanwhile, experience a 34% lower occurrence rate of female-specific cancers, such as ovarian and cervical cancers.

Fat also raises cancer risk, so a low-fat vegan diet is a good route to help avoid this. And vegetables (including whole grains) have many properties which can help to prevent the development of tumors.

Vegans Generally Have Lower BMIs

Body Mass Index (BMI) is a scale used to measure how healthy a person’s weight is. It’s calculated using a person’s weight and height.

Vegans have a lower BMI than the average person. They are less likely to have large build-ups of subcutaneous fat, and less fatty arteries.

This makes them healthier on two counts, as both of these factors can dramatically affect a person’s health.

I Want to Learn More About Vegan Living

We’re not pushy - we understand it’s a process. Even if you’re already a vegetarian, the step to becoming a vegan can be quite dramatic.

No more eggs, milk, honey or beer (unless it’s special vegan beer!). It’s quite a change.

Luckily, there are plenty of delicious alternatives to these. You just haven’t discovered them yet.

For example, did you know you can make vegan cheeses using a number of common ingredients, including nuts, potatoes and chickpea flour? Try them out, they’re delicious!

So we’re confident that when you do, you’ll be every bit as happy as a vegan as you were before.

In fact, you’ll be happier, knowing that your impact on the planet is minimal. And that there’s no unnecessary suffering to support your lifestyle.

Tuck into the rest of our blog to learn how to do vegan living without missing out.

About the author

Julia Ott
Hi! I'm Julia and I'm a junior developer, vegan recipe inventor, furniture collector and mum to a little boy. I've been a vegetarian for 20 years, and a vegan for 3. I spend all of my spare time visiting farmers markets, searching for antiques at flea markets and cooking up a vegan storm in the kitchen! I co-founded Vegan.io to make the world a better place.

Want to try a vegan diet?

We created a meal planner app to help you! Get your fresh customized meal plan full of delicious, quick, budget friendly, healthy recipes.

GET YOUR MEAL PLAN!