When it comes to being vegan, the benefits of taking on the lifestyle go beyond causing no harm to animals. There are awesome side effects of being vegan as well.
When I went vegan, I never knew how much my life would change and how much better I would feel once I fully embraced the lifestyle.
There were things I was prepared for like a general increase in my health, but all these awesome new side effects had me hooked on the lifestyle. I knew if something as simple as changing my diet could make me feel this way, that I had to share it with those looking for a solution to their problems.
Most of these benefits came to me after I took control of my diet and embraced a plant-based lifestyle. Before that, I was vegan but still ate processed foods on the regular. To really get the best out of your vegan diet, you should try to eat mostly whole plant-based foods.
While there are probably countless more side effects of being vegan, here are my top 10 favorite benefits of becoming a plant-based vegan.
1. Clear Skin
If you have been having trouble with breakouts or rashes, going vegan can solve them. I had trouble with breakouts while I was a teen, but it continued until I went full on vegan.
Giving up dairy and meat can help you get that glowing clear skin that vegans tend to have. Rates of hormonal acne have gone up in recent years and that has a direct correlation to the amount of meat and dairy we are now eating. Hormones that are given to animals are passed onto us when we eat animal protein or consume dairy.
Vegans tend to eat way more fruits and veggies than the average meat eater. Those colorful plant-based foods are loaded with good for your skin vitamins and minerals. Plus, the phytochemicals in fruits and vegetables help to protect our cells from damage.
If you want that beautiful clear skin without any effort and without chemicals, going vegan can get you there.
2. Weight Loss
Going on a vegan diet can lead to significant weight loss. If you follow a plant-based vegan diet, it will be much easier to lose weight. You will be cutting out a lot of unnecessary calories.
A healthy plant-based diet is going to contain fewer calories in each meal. You are not going to be eating a bunch of empty calories where you will be hungry within an hour after eating. All of those awesome plant-based nutrients are going to fuel your body throughout the day.
Plant-based foods do not contain saturated fat and added sugars. These two items are what contribute to most of the weight issues in our modern diets.
3. Maintain Weight Loss
If you have already gone through the process of losing weight, being vegan can help you stay at your goal weight.
You are naturally going to be eating foods that are going to be low in calories. Your meals are not going to be calorie bombs and you won’t be surprised at the end of the day that you ate three times the calories you meant to.
Plant-based foods are also high in fiber, which has that desired effect of keeping you feeling full and satiated for longer lengths of time. You won’t be reaching for a snack as often when you are on a vegan diet.
4. More Energy
Many new vegans are surprised by the increase in energy levels. This is due to that fact that the food you are eating is so nutrient dense. If you are eating plant-based foods, it’s like you are eating foods that are little energy bombs.
Energy levels have several factors involved including how much sleep you have gotten, but also the foods that you eat. Food is used as fuel and if you are eating foods that are a high-end fuel, your energy levels are going to stay high longer.
Animal protein tends to make you feel sluggish and run down after a meal. It takes more energy for your body to digest food and essentially uses up some of your precious energy supplies.
5. Treat current health issues
Vegans tend to have fewer health issues. Eating plant-based foods high in key nutrients are responsible for keeping us disease free, our immune systems functioning optimally, and prevent major health-related illnesses.
Type 2 diabetes can be eliminated or brought under better control by eating a plant-based diet. A diet relying on whole foods has fewer sugars and fats, plus the high fiber content in veggies helps to regulate sugar levels.
Those with high cholesterol can get their health back under control on a plant-based diet. Eating strictly plant-based can lower cholesterol levels since plants do not contain cholesterol.
One of the side effects of becoming vegan is that they have lower cases of cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure, strokes, and high cholesterol.
6. Better Digestion
Plant-based foods are easier to digest than meat and dairy. Your body requires much less energy and time to digest foods like fruits, veggies, and beans.
When you eat plant-based, you are not left with that rock in your stomach feeling like you do when consuming animal products. Meat and especially dairy are difficult for our bodies to handle and digest. Usually, you will get that digestive queasiness after eating a meal heavy in animal products because the food isn’t readily digested.
By eating more plant-based vegan foods you are setting up your body for improved digestion. They are higher in fiber which will aid in digestion. Since plant-based foods move through the body faster, you are going to experience better and more frequent bowel movements.
7. Eliminating Toxins
When you go vegan and take on a plant-based diet, you are eliminating the toxins that come with eating meat. While all food contains some level of toxin due to how the food is grown, treated, or transported, meat and dairy tend to have much higher levels of toxins.
A toxin that is largely part of both the meat and dairy industry is artificial hormones. The animals that are being raised for food or dairy are treated with high levels of hormones that make their way into our foods.
Other toxins to be worried about are bacteria, pus, and antibiotics. Foods contaminated with E. coli, listeria, and campylobacteria are a leading cause of food poisoning. High levels of antibiotics in our foods has lead to even stronger, drug-resistant bacteria that is making it hard to treat infections.
8. Better Sleep
Plant-based vegans tend to have better sleep and wake up more energized. This goes back to how plant-based foods are digested versus how animal products are.
One of the reasons we have trouble sleeping is tied into what we eat. If we are eating foods that are processed heavily, then they are going to be harder to digest. This is what keeps us up at night.
Micronutrients play a large part in helping us sleep better at night. Fruits and veggies are high in vitamins and minerals that help us to get some quality sleep.
By eliminating hard to digest foods out of our diets, we will sleep better, and wake up more refreshed.
9. Better Moods
When you eat meat, you are consuming the stress hormones that the animal produced on the way to the slaughterhouse, and the added stress that it would have experienced once it arrived. These stress hormones that the animals produce is passed onto the meat you eat.
You may experience less anxiety, depression, mood swings, anger, and fatigue by consuming more plant-based foods as well. Diets rich in plants and vegetables are higher in antioxidants which have a positive effect on our emotions.
Good, healthy carbs also help to boost serotonin levels, the hormone responsible for controlling our moods. Higher levels of serotonin can be attributed to better moods.
10. Longer Life
More evidence is coming out every day that a vegan diet is one of the best things you can do for your body. Those who eat a vegan diet are living longer than their meat-eating counterparts.
This may do with eating more fruits and veggies, eating less processed foods, and consuming less added sugar. Plant-based diets don’t contain cholesterol and are not heavy in fats.
It has been predicted that the for the first time, the younger generation alive today will live a shorter lifespan than that of their parents. This has a lot to do with our shift in eating patterns. We are eating meat at every meal, processed foods are part of our daily routine, and we are less active.
As a plant-based vegan, you will avoid many of these pitfalls. Higher energy levels will keep you moving, preparing healthy plant-based foods will keep you out of the processed foods trap, and eliminating meat and dairy from your diet will prevent many of the diseases related to eating animal products.
If you are ready to embrace a plant-based vegan lifestyle, there is no better time. Taking on a vegan lifestyle will change the way you eat, but it also changes many aspects of your overall health for the better.