Written by Whitney Blomquist
Vegans eat a plant-based diet that excludes ALL animal products, meat, fish, dairy, and honey. They also aim to eliminate the use of animal products such as leather, wool and silk. Veganism has a full circle effect on those who adopt it, influencing every aspect of ones life and resulting in a complete lifestyle change. Besides having a huge impact on the environment and significantly reducing the mistreatment of animals, a vegan diet has some amazing health benefits that come along with it:
1. Reduced cravings. When you first try out a vegan diet you will miss foods that you used to indulge in. After the withdrawal process your body stops craving the food you thought made you feel good. You begin to taste your food. Rarely will you feel the need to add salt or sugar anymore. Our bodies tell us that certain foods make us happy. When we beat that unhealthy craving and truly learn to enjoy healthier options, we reprogram our body and teach it to desire food that is good for us.
2. Weight loss. A plant-based diet reduces fat and sugar intake, making it easier to drop weight quickly compared to a meat dense diet. Maintaining a vegan diet also helps you sustain your weight loss. My mom has lost over 20 pounds since my family became vegan about a year ago and she has consistently continued to drop a few pounds every month.
3. Energy. Eliminating meat and dairy from only 1- 2 meals a week can leave you feeling more energized and less lethargic. Foods high in fat, like meat, make your body work a lot harder to digest them. Vegans tend to have increased amounts of energy because most of the food they are eating is rich in fiber and nutrients. Avoiding meat and dairy ever so often can give you that boost of energy you’ve been looking for.
4. Symptom reduction. Embracing a plant-based diet has been suggested to reduce symptoms in several common diseases like asthma, PCOS, diabetes, and high cholesterol. It has also been noted to lower the risk of heart disease, foodborne illnesses and respiratory issues. While it is not a cure, it certainly is a path in the right direction.
5. Simplicity. A vegan diet makes your life brighter and less stressful. It acts as a cleanse by ridding toxins from your body and balancing your nutrient levels. Stress can be caused by a number of things, but exercise and a healthy diet can really help you avoid unwanted stress. I have become less selfish and begun to eliminate things that bring me down or made me selfish in the first place since becoming a vegan.
Eating a vegan diet is not for everyone, but it is definitely a great way to kick start your weight loss or assist with health issues you may be having. Finding recipes is super easy and you can make a vegan version of literally everything (and it usually tastes better!) Give it a try a few days of the week and see how you like it. Your mood change will be a pleasant surprise!
Check out foodgawker and search vegan for tons of delicious and simple recipes.
*It is important to note that these are benefits I have personally experienced in my own life while eating a plant-based diet. These benefits are not proven facts. The VRG is my resource for all information related to veganism, plant based diets and environmental issues.