6 Important Health Benefits of a Vegan Diet

There are so many incredible ways veganism can better our lives – great health benefits, less stress on our environment, more effective use of our energy, and more! While there are a number of explanations for taking a vegan diet, health considerations attract a great deal of scientific attention. Vegans have lower cholesterol and lower blood pressure and there is some suggestion that there are other health benefits that can contribute to longer life expectancy. We take a look at important health benefits of a vegan diet.

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Abundant in Nutrients

From a healthy, balanced vegan diet rich in whole foods including fruits, vegetables, pulses, grains, nuts, and seeds you can get all the nutrients you need. Several studies have shown that people who eat vegan prefer to consume more protein, antioxidants, potassium, magnesium, folate and vitamins A, C and E. Getting some super greens powder can be a great way to ensure you are getting the correct amounts of nutrients and antioxidants that you need.

Good Skin

Who isn’t looking for a radiant complexion? One of the worst culprits when it comes to skin problems is milk. Several studies have shown that dairy intake exacerbates acne in both men and women. While ditching dairy, vegans typically consume more fruits and vegetables, which means they get more of the good stuff they need for healthy skin, such as antioxidants and vitamins.

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Heightens Mood

It is a given that you will be given a better conscience adopting a humane lifestyle that prevents harming animals. Statistics indicate that vegans may genuinely be happier than meat-eaters. In fact, vegans and vegetarians had better scores than those who ate fish and meat on depression tests and mood profiles. 

Metabolism benefits

Vegans benefit from increased vegetable intake but can lack vital nutrients due to meat and dairy avoidance. Typically, vegan diets are rich in protein, magnesium, folic acid, phytochemicals and vitamins C and E. By contrast, they tend to be lower in calories, saturated fat, cholesterol, omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, zinc and B-12 and D vitamins. Short and moderate-term studies have shown that vegan diets can boost energy metabolism in individuals with balanced, obese and type 2 diabetes. Many believe this is due to beneficial changes in the gut microbiota caused by the vegan diet; but at the moment there is not enough work to prove this.

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Cardiovascular benefits

Diets rich in fruit and vegetables, nuts, vegetable oils, and whole-grain are also associated with lower rates of occurrence of cardiovascular disease. Traditionally these types of diets include Mediterranean and Asian diets like Thai diet where vegetables are a major component. A vegan diet helps in achieving a lower risk of cardiovascular disease. It appears to be largely due to the increased intake of fruits and vegetables, which contain essential nutrients including fiber and antioxidant vitamins and were independently associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease. Observational studies comparing vegans to vegetarians and the general population indicate that vegans may benefit from a lower risk of developing high blood pressure of up to 75%. Vegans may also have up to 42% lower risk of heart disease deaths. This can be particularly beneficial for cardiac health because lowering high blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels can reduce the risk of cardiac disease by as much as 46%.

Effects on cancer prevalence

A lot of evidence suggests that vegans and vegetarians have a lower risk of various cancers, both due to the intake of nutrients directly and due to side effects. Fruits and vegetables have been identified as reducing the risk of lung, mouth, oesophagus, and stomach cancers. Phytochemicals, which abound in vegetables and exist in vegan diets at a higher rate, have antioxidant qualities and kill cells to avoid cancer progression. While vegan diets include nutrients known to reduce the risk of cancer, vegan diets can have adverse effects on cancer risks as well. Low vitamin D, for example, is associated with increased cancer risk and is generally also low in vegan diets.

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In summary, a vegan diet in the long-term tends to be generally healthy and could be better for certain diseases and medical problems than comparable omnivores. Although more research is required, especially on the long-term health of vegetables, the findings are sufficient to indicate that a reduction in the consumption of animal products, particularly red and processed meat and high-fat dairy products, is likely to have a beneficial effect on your health.

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