Switching to a vegan diet is one of the best things you can do, not just for animals and the environment, but also for your health. This article will explain just some of the many advantages you will enjoy when you decide to switch to a plant-based diet.
Vitamins and Minerals
Eating a plant-based diet rich in fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and wholegrains means that your body will be taking in lots of micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) for example:
• Vitamin C – Found in citrus fruits, tomatoes and leafy green vegetables, Vitamin C is vital for the immune system, as well as aiding the absorption of iron. It also helps to heal wounds and bruises and keeps gums healthy.
• Vitamin E- Can be found in nuts, seeds, avocado and spinach, Vitamin E also boosts the immune system, prevents Alzheimer’s disease, protects against cancer and oxidative stress on the heart.
• Magnesium- magnesium is found in nuts and leafy green vegetables and it helps the body to absorb calcium, keeping bones strong and healthy
• Potassium- sources of potassium include bananas, avocados and potatoes. This mineral reduces the risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease.
• Antioxidants – Most fruits and vegetables are rich in antioxidants, which protect the body against cell damage, inflammation and cancer.
Cholesterol – Reducing fatty meat and dairy consumption drastically reduces the levels of bad cholesterol in the blood, whilst balancing the levels of healthy cholesterol, reducing the risk of stroke, heart disease, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes.
Type 2 Diabetes – Studies have shown that people who eat a vegan diet are 78% less likely to get type 2 diabetes than those who eat meat on a daily basis. Also it has been suggested that type 2 diabetes can be treated and even reversed by swapping to a vegan diet.
Cancer – According to recent studies, vegans are at 35% less risk of prostate cancer, 22% less risk of colon cancer and had 34% lower rates of female specific cancers, such as ovarian, cervical and breast cancer.
Arthritis – It is known that a diet high in red meat poses a higher risk of inflammatory arthritis. A vegan diet, which is high in anti-inflammatory foods and polyunsaturated fats has been shown to help ease symptoms.
Not only can a plant-based diet prevent and treat a whole range of diseases, there are many physical benefits which most people will notice in the first few months of switching.
Body Mass Index (BMI) – Studies have shown that vegans generally have a lower risk of obesity and overall lower BMI than meat eaters.
Glowing Skin- Plant based foods are generally rich in vitamins and minerals which contribute to skin health 4and appearance. For example, vitamins C and E fight brown spots and wrinkles. Zinc decreases inflammation, combat spots and redness. Also, unsaturated fats keep skin hydrated and cell membranes strong.
Body Odour- Eliminating meat from the diet changes the smell of your sweat- in fact, one study shown that men who didn’t eat meat had a scent that women found more pleasant and attractive than those who eat meat.
Digestion – since plant-based diets are generally high in fibre which assists the digestive system and makes for healthy bowel movements and reduces the risk of constipation.
These are just some of the many benefits of switching to a vegan diet. I hope this will help anyone who is thinking about transitioning to a plant-based diet, or even looking for motivation or information regarding how diet can affect your health and wellbeing. You can also check out my article about transitioning to a vegan diet.
If you are interested in switching to a plant-based diet or feel like you could benefit from coaching, feel free to contact me below. I offer one-to-one coaching, support and meal plans customised to you, and I would be very happy to help you in any way that I can!