What Is A Vegan Diet And How Can It Improve Your Skin
Being a vegetarian or going “vegan” is the latest trend in the health and nutrition industry. Most people switch to a vegan diet for one of two reasons: they need meat-free alternatives due to health reasons, or they wish to avoid the suffering of animals. However, very few people know that a vegan diet can reduce your chances of getting serious diseases like high blood pressure and cancer. Whether you're new to vegan diets or you've been with them for years, you likely have a few questions about them, like exactly what foods you can and cannot eat. In this article, we’ll be answering the most frequently asked questions surrounding veganism and explaining how it can promote healthy skin.
What is a vegan diet?
A vegan diet involves consuming food that excludes all forms of animal exploitation and cruelty. Here are a few things vegans don’t consume:
- Meal and poultry. Foods like beef, lamb, pork, chicken and duck are off the table.
- Fish and seafood. Yes, a proper vegan diet acknowledges that sea creatures feel pain too. As a result, all types of fish, squid, scallop and lobster cannot be part of a vegan’s diet.
- Dairy. Even though these can be derived without hurting the animal, they still involve some sort of exploitation. Milk, yoghurt, cheese, ice cream and butter can’t be part of your diet either.
- Eggs. This includes any type of egg, from chicken eggs to ostrich, quails and even fish eggs.
- Bee products. Honey, bee pollen, royal jelly.
- Animal-based ingredients. Some ingredients you might now know originated from animals include whey, casein, L-cysteine, lactose, gelatine, or fish-derived omega-3 fatty acids.
Of course, many of these foods have vegan alternatives. For example, you can easily find beeless honey in many supermarkets, where you’ll also find meat alternatives like cultured meats and mock meats. Instead of using butter, you can use margarine, which is made from vegetable oil.
How can it improve your skin?
Vegan food has been proven to solve several skin issues, ranging from acne, inflammation, oily skin and dullness.
Vegan diets don’t contain dairy in them. With increasing evidence that dairy causes acne and congestion in the pores, this could be the solution if you often suffer from breakouts after consuming a product with dairy.
Plant-based foods are naturally anti-inflammatory, so you can expect to see a decrease in skin allergies, eczema or any other skin condition caused by inflammation. Some studies even indicate that the anti-inflammatory benefit of a vegan diet extends to the entire body, not just the skin.
Oily skin and dullness.
Whole Grains have been identified to reduce sebum production, leading to less oily skin overall. Flaxseed also contains natural oils which can help balance oil production in the skin, reducing clogged pores.
To combat dull skin, you'll need to consume foods that are high in Vitamin C and beta-carotene, an antioxidant that is responsible for "glowing" skin. You can find high amounts of Vitamin C and beta-carotene in apples, citrus fruits, kiwis, and vegetables, respectively.
- Just ensure you're not replacing the old foods with vegan foods which are rich in carbohydrates and sugar, as these ingredients directly affect acne production. These include bread, pasta and white rice.
Are there any other benefits?
- Weight loss. Results will vary depending on what you consume, but you should lose some weight if you're eating reasonable portion sizes. This is because vegan food choices often contain significantly less fat than meat.
- Better heart health. Studies have shown that vegans generally have better heart health. This can be attributed to a plant-based diet having less saturated fat and more fibre than meat-based diets. Lentils, vegetables, and nuts also help to remove bad cholesterol from your digestive tract quicker.
- Lower chances of getting diseases. When you switch to a vegan diet, your chances of getting diabetes, high blood pressure and even cancer decreases.
Vegan foods which promote healthy skin.
If you’ve decided to switch to a vegan diet, you might have some trouble finding your first few recipes. We’ve curated a list of foods you should check out below. All of these foods contain no MSG or GMO, and they're made locally in Japan.
This is high in fibre, so it’s great for lowering cholesterol and blood glucose levels. It can be used in many Japanese dishes like miso soup, Oden and stew.
Made locally and aged throughout the four seasons Shinshue Tateshina, Japan, this fermented miso paste can be used in deserts to marinades. It adds a unique umami flavour, and its reddish-brown colour makes each dish it's added to attractive.
These cereal bars are gluten-free and contain high amounts of Vitamins A, C and other minerals that are great for your skin. With natural ingredients like brown rice flakes, cashew nuts and walnuts, these cereal bars are a great vegan snack and are perfect for days where you don’t have enough time to make a meal. It comes in three different flavours, Original, Cacao and Golden Berry.
Made from veggie meat, it uses vegetable proteins instead of real ingredients from animals. It's lightly seasoned, so you don't have to worry about it changing the original taste of your dish. If you enjoy cutlets, simply coat it in breadcrumbs and fry it in oil.