As people look to focus on their health, often they start by improving their diet. Some may cut out bread, some cut out dairy and others aim to go vegan or plant-based. All of these diets offer various health benefits. However, this article is focusing on the science based health benefits of a vegan diet.
These health benefits all relate to eating a fiber-rich, plant-based diet. That means if you often eat vegan “junk food” you may not see the same results. It is also important to keep in mind that many vegans may have a B12 deficiency that they should take a supplement for.
Firstly, a well-balanced vegan diet is very nutrient-rich. This means that your body is receiving the essential nutrients it requires. As you switch from a meat-based diet, you should ensure that you replace meat and dairy with a suitable vegan replacement. Replacements for meat include tofu, beans, peas, nuts, seeds, and whole wheat-based products. When you are eating a diet that is high in fresh fruit, vegetables and whole foods you should see an increase in beneficial nutrients. Many studies have shown that vegan diets provide more dietary fiber, beneficial plant components and antioxidants. Often they are also richer in magnesium, potassium, folate and vitamins A, C and E.
The primary reason many people switch to a vegan diet is for weight loss. Weight loss can also help lower cholesterol and blood pressure. While eating a vegan diet, you should eat a large variety of fresh fruit and vegetables daily. You should also ensure you incorporate beans, legumes, whole grains, seeds and nuts into your daily meals. A vegan diet can offer a large variety of meals, which means you don’t need to get bored of your food.
Meat and dairy products are high in calories and fat, where as most plant-based foods are low in both fat and calories. This is why vegans often have a lower BMI than those on a traditional western diet. Those on a vegan diet also do not usually have to focus on calorie or macro counting to see weight loss results.
Research has shown many benefits of a vegan diet on one’s health. Many of these will also continue to benefit you throughout your lifetime.
These vegan health benefits include:
As you can see there are many science-based health benefits of a vegan diet. Many times non-vegans think that vegan will be missing protein or some other key nutrient. The fact is that all nutrients needed can be found in a plant-based diet, including plant proteins. However, you should always ensure that you plan out your meals to avoid deficiencies. If you have any current health issues, you should discuss any diet changes with your doctor. They can help advise of any additional supplements you may need both now and in the future. As vegan diets continue to rise in popularity, it is becoming even easier to adapt your eating habits.