We all know the environmental and ethical reasons, but what about the health benefits of a vegan diet? Feel-good factor aside, veganism offers a whole host of instant benefits – as long as you bypass the junk food and embrace delicious, natural ingredients.
Those who’ve changed to a plant-based diet report better skin, improved sleep and weight loss in the first week alone. So what are you waiting for?
A natural health benefit of a vegan diet is the fact that you’re almost inevitably upping your fiber intake. From lentils and beans to fruit and vegetables, the building blocks of a plant-based diet are crammed full of fiber. Not only that, but as natural vegan foods tend to contain more water, healthy fats and plant-based protein, there’s very little to slow down your digestion.
Just make sure you take it easy in the first few weeks – a sudden increase in fiber can have the opposite effect, so make sure you chew your food properly and drink plenty of water.
Embracing a vegan diet means eating far more nutritious plant alternatives to meat and dairy. Whether it’s nutrient rich coconut oil instead of butter, or iron-packed lentils instead of meat, these ingredients tend to be packed with vitamin A, E and C, antioxidants, water and chlorophyll. With better hydration and a good nutrient boost, your skin should be glowing within only a few days.
When you’re feeling good, you sleep better. Fact. When your body is happy, calm and energized (as it should be on a nutritious plant-based diet) you’ll notice how much easier it is to nod off. Plus, certain vegan favorites including broccoli, peanut butter, avocados and nuts all contain vitamin B6, magnesium and tryptophan – vitamins and minerals that help promote a healthy sleep cycle.
Turning to a plant-based diet won’t necessarily make you happier, but it may well help you better cope with whatever life throws at you. A study from the University of Warwick found that increased happiness levels were detected for every extra portion of fruit and vegetables eaten a day. And on top of that is the knowledge you’re embracing a cruelty-free life. If that doesn’t leave you feeling perkier, we don’t know what will.
A study published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine found that out of dozens of diets, veganism came out top in terms of weight loss. In fact, researchers concluded that those following a vegan diet could lose five pounds more in the short-term than those following traditional diet plans. Thanks to increased fiber intake, a boosted metabolism, and greater consideration of what you’re eating, turning vegan can help you lose weight quickly, healthily and sustainably.