Veganuary: Benefits of Adopting a Vegan Lifestyle
Goodbye January, hello Veganuary!
If you’ve never heard this term before, Veganuary is the annual event that encourages non-vegans to attempt a vegan diet for the entire month of January. This month long challenge of ditching all animal products aims to achieve better overall health and a positive impact on the environment, all while preventing animal cruelty. Although we are now just about halfway into January, it’s truly never too late to start! We have listed a few of the most prominent benefits of a vegan lifestyle in hopes of inspiring you to get started and complete the 30 day challenge!
Benefits of Eating a Vegan Diet:
1) Provides the Nutrients your Body Needs
If you follow a proper and balanced vegan diet you can reap all of the amazing health benefits, some of which are listed right here in this article. Plant based, whole foods including fruits and vegetables, contain a much higher percentage of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. However, not all vegan diets are equal to one another. A poorly planned vegan diet that depends solely on processed vegan alternatives can cause deficiencies of several key nutrients minimizing the potential health benefits. It is important to have a balanced diet, enjoying your favorite vegan alternatives while incorporating whole, nutrient dense foods into your meals.
2) Reduces the Risk of Cancer & Other Diseases
Although there are constantly new studies in progress and new information being discovered, researchers have temporarily concluded that there is a correlation between the lower risk of cancer with a vegan diet. Many animal products, especially meat, contain hormones which control the human body and can alter its proper functionality. Elements as simple as metabolism, appetite, body growth and development and reproductive health can all be affected as a result of hormone levels in the body. Focusing on a vegan diet high in fiber from plants and whole foods reduces the excess hormones. This ultimately decreases the risk of certain types of cancers including breast, prostate, and colon cancer.
3) Promotes Better Heart Health
Numerous studies over the years have shown a direct link between vegan diets and its reduced risk of heart disease among adults. Many animal products including meat, cheese and butter, are the main elements of saturated fats. Eating dairy products with high saturated fats causes your body’s cholesterol levels to rise. High levels of cholesterol can disturb heart health by increasing the risk of heart disease and stroke. Eliminating dairy from your diet allows your body to manage cholesterol levels in a more efficient way, dramatically reducing these heart related risks.
4) Prevents Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes can often be diagnosed as a result of a poor diet. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine and National Institute of Health, a person who recently began implementing a vegetarian or vegan diet was associated with a 53% lower risk of developing diabetes than non-vegetarians and non-vegans. Plant based foods that make up the bulk of a vegan diet are usually very low in fat. Foods that have a low fat content allow insulin to function properly throughout the body.
5) Helps You Achieve a Healthy Body Weight
Transitioning to a vegan lifestyle can be one of the most successful ways to kick start your health and wellness journey. It is not uncommon for you to lose weight when eliminating various animal products from your diet by replacing them with plant based, whole foods. Whole foods, such as fruits and vegetables, contain less calories because they are natural and not processed. Reducing your caloric intake can promote weight loss and lead to a lower body mass index, preventing the risk of obesity and other common diseases that may occur as a result of body weight percentage.
6) Supports Animals and Reduces Cruelty
The reasons people choose to adopt a vegan lifestyle can differ greatly depending on the person, diet restrictions, health goals, as well as one’s morals and values. Some people choose to go vegan because they may be suffering from an autoimmune disease or experience tummy troubles from animal products. Others may be compassionate animal lovers that are extremely disheartened by the animal cruelty present throughout the world. Maybe neither of these reasons apply to you and that is totally okay! More often than we think people adopt a vegan lifestyle because it supports their own health goals and for the simple fact that eating plant based foods nourishes their bodies and makes them feel like the best version of themselves.
These six benefits of adopting a vegan lifestyle are only a few of the many ways plant based eating can be beneficial in improving your overall health. We encourage you to use this information to your advantage and give the 30 day challenge a try! With all these amazing benefits of a vegan diet, it is important to monitor your diet change to avoid nutritional deficiencies.
Remember… eating a healthy, plant based diet doesn’t have to be dreadful. There are a multitude of delicious vegan brands that have been successful and make eating healthy taste great! You can find ten of our favorite vegan brands in our recent blog New Year, New Healthy Snacks.