There are so many little-known benefits of following a vegan diet.
The obvious reasons to follow a vegan diet are many, and they include better heart health and the peace of mind in knowing that you’re not contributing to an industry that practices blatant animal cruelty. But, in addition to the widely known benefits of following a vegan diet, there are also a number of little-known benefits that new vegans are pleasantly surprised to experience after they grow accustomed to the diet.
Before we go over the little-known benefits of a vegan diet, it’s important to understand that not all vegan diets are made equal. There are many vegans who follow unhealthy diets full of highly processed vegan foods. The benefits of following a vegan diet will only be experienced if you follow a healthy vegan diet, comprised of a variety of fruits, vegetables, high-quality grains, seeds, nuts, legumes, etc. Without further ado, here are the little-known benefits of following a vegan diet.
#1. Clearer Skin
If you struggle with acne, and you’ve tried everything from Proactiv® to Accutane without success, then you may want to consider following a vegan diet. Instances of hormonal acne have increased over the past several years, and many dermatologists believe that the hormones being pumped into the meat we consume are to blame. Dairy is also high in hormones, as a cow’s milk contains the hormones necessary for her young to grow big and strong. Vegan diets won’t necessarily cure every cause of acne, but if you struggle with hormonal acne, it might be worth a shot.
#2. Improved Energy
Do you feel like you’ve had to drag yourself out of bed and force yourself to be productive lately? If you feel like you just don’t have the energy, it’s time to consider adopting a vegan diet. New vegans often experience an uptick in energy levels. One of the reasons for the increased energy is that plant-based foods are just easier for our bodies to digest than animal-based food; therefore, less energy is required. Another reason why energy levels increase on a vegan diet is the influx of vitamins and nutrients gained by replacing meat and dairy with a variety of whole, plant-based foods.
#3. Easier Weight Loss
If you’ve tried and tried to lose weight with no success, it might be time to think about adopting a vegan diet. The vast majority of plant-based foods contain far less fat and cholesterol than meat and dairy products, and cutting those foods out of your diet will go a long way towards helping you lose weight. Of course, sugar is still vegan, so you’ll want to take it easy on the sugary treats, vegan or not. Additionally, the added energy that you’ll enjoy from your vegan diet could provide you with increased motivation in your workouts.
#4. Save Money
There’s a common misconception that vegans spend more money on groceries than people who follow a traditional diet, and some vegans do. This is because vegan processed foods, like specialty desserts and pre-made meat substitutes, can be pricey. It’s best to avoid these kinds of foods anyway, as many of them aren’t healthy, but avoiding them can help you save more money, too! The fact of the matter is that meat and dairy products are expensive, and when you cut them out of your diet, and replace them with whole, plant-based foods, you’ll save more money.
#5. Better Cooking Skills
Being a vegan forces you to be a lot more creative in the kitchen. Suddenly, you have to think beyond meat and a side, and that can push your cooking skills the whole new levels. New vegans get to experience the joy of trying a cornucopia of new foods, which also means learning to prepare new foods. Not to mention, many vegans prefer to make their own vegan alternatives at home, like tofu and seitan, which also requires learning new skills.
#6. Prevent Disease
There are so many diseases that a vegan diet can help to prevent. Vegans tend to have lower blood pressures than people who follow more traditional diets, which helps in the prevention of everything from heart disease to strokes. Studies have shown that vegan diets can also help to prevent many forms of cancer, including colon, breast, esophagus and lung cancer.
#7. Increased Bone Health
Many people believe that it’s difficult to get an adequate amount of calcium on a vegan diet. But, that’s simply not true, as many plant-based foods are actually high in calcium; not to mention, vegan supplements can help to fill in any gaps in calcium and vitamin D. However, bone health goes beyond calcium and vitamin D. Vegans tend to consume higher levels of the other vitamins and nutrients essential for bone health, including vitamin K, magnesium and potassium. Additionally, studies have shown that consuming soy may have a positive impact on bone health in postmenopausal women.
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