Physical and Mental Health Benefits of Being Vegan
Today, veganism has become a widely recognized lifestyle that tons of individuals around the world subscribe to. Many people would agree that going vegan is a healthier and beneficial choice. While this is a common thought, though, few people truly understand the actual physical and mental health benefits it brings. Today we are going to talk about the benefits, especially vegan mental health:
Lowers Blood Sugar Levels
As you continue to consume more plant-based foods and follow a vegan diet, your blood sugar levels may lower to a healthier level over time. This is particularly helpful for anyone who has Type 2 Diabetes, as the plant-based foods are not as high in sugar and are less likely to be processed than animal-made foods. Instead, these plant-based foods contain healthier amounts of sugar and are unlikely to cause spikes throughout the day. Combining this with the overall management of your blood sugar levels can help you bring them to a more normal level.
Promotes Healthy Weight Loss
After going vegan, many people experience a healthy weight loss as a result. This is because plant-based vegan foods are high in nutrients, including fiber and other vitamins that contribute to a healthier diet. What’s more, cutting out more animal products, including meats, cheeses, and more, removes sources of saturated fat and cholesterol, to name a few.
A well-planned vegan diet tends to be high in fiber and less processed, which leads to a low glycemic index (GI) value, which tends to foster weight loss.
Reduces Risk of Cancer
Though going vegan does not necessarily remove your risk of getting cancer overall, it may help to reduce it. This is because consuming red meat, especially in larger quantities, can increase your risk of getting cancer due to the chemical preservatives included. Additionally, how you cook your meat may have an even worse impact on your health and increase your risk of developing cancer further.
Alternatively, plant-based foods contain phytochemicals, which help your body and immune system protect themselves from harmful diseases, including cancer. Phytochemicals act as antioxidants, which are natural compounds that protect your cells from damage. As you continue to consume more plant-based foods, you can actively work to curb your risk of kidney and other types of cancers.
Promotes a Healthy Gut
Eating too much bread, pasta, and other glutinous items will often leave us feeling sluggish and unwell - this is because of how these foods negatively affect our gut microbiome. Our gut microbiome is crucial to how the rest of our mind and body operations: when you are eating heavy, non-nutritious foods, your gut microbiome will suffer as a result.
Taking care of your gut microbiome is the key to feeling best, both physically and mentally. Plant-based vegan foods contribute to a healthier gut microbiome due to the lack of inflammatory foods and include key nutrients that promote healthy digestion. From here, your body will thank you by providing you with more energy, and a more positive mindset.
Improves Your Mental Wellbeing
We didn’t talk much about mental health benefits a balanced began diet can bring. Many plant-based foods have a large number of healthy amino acids and vitamins that our bodies and minds need to function effectively. From here, you will find your mental health improves astronomically - putting good things into your body will result in a better overall mindset.
A study found that people who follow a vegan diet experience lesser stress and anxiety than people who consume a meat-derived diet. Leafy vegetables may also help in slowing cognitive decline, according to Harvard Medical School. Both lead to healthier wellbeing and a productive lifestyle.
May Potentially Reverse Symptoms of Depression
Though not proven as fact, there have been multiple studies done that support the claim that following a vegan diet may potentially reverse symptoms of depression. In one study, individuals who were being treated for depression followed a vegan plant-based diet for 12 weeks. At the end of the 12-week period, those that followed the plant-based, healthy diet reported a more positive disposition and a happier mood overall.
All in all, eating a plant-forward vegan diet will likely not cure your depression, but you will be getting more nutrients that support positive endorphins and other feel-good hormones that will leave you happier as a result.
The Bottom Line
Going vegan has been shown to have multiple benefits to individuals’ physical and mental health, affecting various areas of your body to contribute to overall healthier wellbeing. Particularly plant-based diets provide you with key vitamins and nutrients that help you avoid certain illnesses and diseases, and help you stay happier, and keep a more positive mindset.
If you are thinking about going vegan, you may want to take these various benefits into consideration. After spending some time eating plant-based meals, you will find some of these benefits start to positively affect your life as well. These are just a few of the amazing benefits going vegan can have on your mind and body - there are countless other ways subscribing to a plant-forward vegan diet can lead you to a healthier life.