A vegan lifestyle is a ‘BIG DEAL’ around the world these days. Owing to so many vegan health benefits, many people have decided to switch to veganism — adopt a plant-based diet, and give up any animal-based products. While making a shift to a vegan diet isn’t easy (if you are a die-hard meat fan), here are some compelling reasons why switching to a vegan diet is good for you, the planet, and ultimately, the animals living on it too.
1. A plant-based diet positively impacts the Earth
Did you know that a typical non-vegetarian diet uses 2.9 times more water, 2.5 times more energy, and 13 times more fertilizers than a plant-based diet? Also, in 2008, the UN reported that meat production releases more greenhouse gas emissions compared to the entire transport industry. So imagine the amount of water and energy you will save just by switching to a plant-based diet. And let’s not forget that you will also help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, along with so many vegan health benefits.
2. A vegan diet has many health benefits
There are a plethora of vegan health benefits to quitting meat products & leading a vegan lifestyle. One of the biggest benefits of a vegan diet is that a vegan diet promotes weight loss and can reduce the risk of heart disease by lowering cholesterol levels and diabetes by lowering A1C levels. From a vegan diet, one will get all the nutrients that are required to stay healthy. From plant protein to minerals, being vegan means, you are getting it all, without the nasty stuff that you get in meat, like cholesterol and saturated animal fat.
3. A plant-based diet is good for the economy, too
Along with the many health benefits of a vegan diet, opting for a plant-based diet can also benefit the economy. Don’t believe us? A study conducted by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences showed that if people keep following the animal-based dietary trends instead of shifting to a balanced plant-based diet, it could end up costing the US between $197 billion and $289 billion per year. The study also showed that the global economy can also lose up to $1.6 trillion by 2050.
And if the masses shift to a vegan diet, it could add enough food to feed 350 million additional people in the US alone!
4. A vegan diet helps to keep fit and energetic
Did you know that, on average, vegans are 10 to 20 pounds lighter than meat-eaters? Another huge benefit of a vegan diet is that going vegan will help you keep the excess fat away (you know, the fat that comes from an unhealthy fad diet) and will make you feel more energetic. If you are already on a weight loss journey, then going vegan might just be the cherry on top.
5. A vegan diet improves digestion
Here is another amazing vegan health benefit that you won’t be able to ignore. Including plenty of whole plant-based foods will increase your intake of dietary fiber. Fiber is required to support the healthy functioning of your digestive tract. After making the switch to a plant-based diet, you may also find that you visit the loo more often. At the same time, you will be feeding your gut’s beneficial bacteria, producing an anti-inflammatory effect.
6. A vegan diet helps you smell better
Another benefit of a vegan diet that will definitely interest you! A vegan lifestyle does make you smell better. A study conducted in 2006 showed that a non-meat diet could make you smell more pleasant. On the other hand, eating meat can make you smellier is that meat contains sulfur content, which smells like rotten eggs.
How to switch to a vegan diet?
There are a number of reasons to consider when going vegan: it does wonders for your health, the animals, and the planet. But, even if you were already convinced about all this, here are some things to keep in mind when you’re considering making the switch to the vegan diet:
1. Start slow.
When beginning a vegan lifestyle, being patient with yourself and believing in the journey is the key to achieving any goal. Start slow, with a few days, and pick the veggies you already love. Next, choose one or two days a week to eat only vegan food. And then slowly incorporate it for the rest of the week. You will start noticing the benefits of a vegan diet within a matter of a few weeks.
Try different vegan recipes on those days. And then, slowly by surely, introduce more healthy vegan meals into your diet.
2. Join vegan communities to help inspire your journey.
Join fellow vegans who support and inspire your journey and also help you learn about all the vegan health benefits of a vegan lifestyle. They also are a great way to get your hands on tons of tasty vegan recipes and tips with you. You can even follow Instagram accounts like @noraspiration, @veganmammy, and @plantbasedjane for many vegan recipes and inspiration.
3. Try new foods but don’t cut meat out right away.
Make a habit of trying at least two new foods each a week (vegan, of course). Don’t forget to try vegan alternatives to your favorite dishes, too.
We understand that cutting down meat altogether and opting for a vegan lifestyle is not that easy. Our body and mind need time to accommodate any lifestyle changes. So, instead of quitting meat in one go, start going for healthy vegan alternatives for a few days a week first. And then, work on eating less meat, eventually, and eat no meaty.
5. Spend time with animals.
Are you quitting meat and starting a vegan lifestyle? Take some time out and spend it with animals. This will allow you to discover that, just like the cats and dogs, we share our homes with cows, chickens, pigs, and goats too, who are all intelligent and social beings with unique personalities. The Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries and Sanctuaries.org will help you find a reputable animal sanctuary in your area.
6. Stock up your kitchen with vegan foods.
So many amazing products are available in the market today, making it much easier to incorporate plant-based foods into your diet. In addition, there are many vegan alternatives to try, from kale chips and dairy-free milk to tempeh and tofu. So, take time to stroll through the vegetarian, vegan, and fresh produce aisles at your local supermarket. Keep your kitchen stocked up with nutritious, plant-based foods. Keep healthy snack options in easily accessible places like your bag, desk drawer, kitchen counter, fridge, and in your lunch bag.
In the end, there are so many benefits of a vegan diet we cannot encourage you enough to go for it. Eating a plant-based diet will not be easy, but with time and effort, it will only give results that are better experienced than reading. So, to inspire your vegan journey, we also recommend you to read these must-read books about a vegan lifestyle.
We wish you luck on your journey and feel free to share what works for you with the rest of our readers.