Did you wonder why the vegan lifestyle become more and more popular? The answer : its healthy vegan diet side effects.
Whether you’re trying to dip your toes slowly into the world of plant-based eating, or you’re ready to make a complete shift, it can be helpful to keep a few things in mind.
Here is a list of 10 vegan diet side effects:
1 Weight loss
Studies show that those who adhere to a vegan diet have a lower body mass index than that of their meat-eating counterparts.
Several population studies show that a diet without meat leads to lower BMIs, commonly an indicator of a healthy weight and lack of fat on the body.
The researchers compared results of a dozen diets, including the American Diabetes Association diet, Atkins diet, and others, and concluded that those following a vegan diet could lose five pounds more in the short-term than those following traditional diet plans.
2 Better sleep
A vegan based diet is incredibly beneficial for your sleep health.
Even though you’ll likely have endless amounts of energy throughout the day, you’ll likely feel calmer (most likely before you consume fewer hormones) and find it easier to nod off to sleep.
Furthermore, certain foods like sweet potatoes, bananas, cashew butter, broccoli, peanut butter, almonds, avocados, kale, spinach, walnuts, and squash all contain tryptophan, vitamin B6, and magnesium, which ensure a healthy sleep cycle.
Swiss chard, kale, almond or soy milk, and dried figs are also richer in calcium than dairy milk (which has been proven to actually leach calcium from the body).
3 Higher energy levels
Too much fat in your bloodstream means that arteries won’t open correctly and that your muscles won’t get enough oxygen.
The result? You feel zapped.
Plant based diets are naturally free of LDL cholesterol, artery-clogging animal products that physically (and mentally) slow us down and keep us hitting the snooze button morning after morning.
In addition, because fruits, whole grains, legumes, and vegetables are so high in complex carbohydrates, they supply the physical body with plenty of energizing fuel.
Fiber, vitamin C, flavonoids, carotenoids, and other phytochemicals in the vegan diet are shown to exhibit protection against different cancers, whereas allium vegetables provide protection against stomach cancer and garlic against colorectal cancer.
A 2005 study by Dean Ornish, MD established that men in the early stages of prostate cancer who switched to a plant based diet either stopped the progress of cancer or may have even reversed the disease.
Moreover, about three dozen plant foods have been identified as possessing cancer-protective functions.
These include umbelliferous vegetables and herbs (celery, carrots, cilantro, dill, caraway, parsley), cruciferous vegetables (Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower), other fruits and vegetables (tomatoes, citrus, cucumber, cantaloupe, grapes, berries), whole grains (oats, brown rice, whole wheat), beans (chickpeas, soy, lentils), flaxseed, many nuts, and various seasoning herbs (scallions, garlic, onions, chives, turmeric, ginger, rosemary, sage, thyme, oregano, and basil).
5 Better immunity
Your immune system is only as strong as the food you use to fuel it.
Latest studies discovered that macrophages, a form of immune cells, slowed down in individuals with a high LDL cholesterol level.
Cholesterol is mainly found in animal-based foods.
Since vegetables and fruits are rich in powerful nutrients and many have anti-oxidant purposes, they can bolster the immune system and help the body fight against any illness.
6 Lower cardiovascular disease risk
Vegans, compared with omnivores, consume substantially greater quantities of vegetables and fruit.
A higher consumption of vegetables and fruit, which are rich in folic acid, dietary fiber, antioxidants, and phytochemicals, is linked with a lower incidence of stroke, lower level of LDL cholesterol concentrations in the blood, and a lower risk of mortality from ischemic heart disease and stroke.
For instance, a 2016 study from Italy’s University of Florence linked vegan and vegetarian diets to considerably lower rates of ischemic heart disease and cancer.
7 May reduce incidence of type 2 diabetes
Clinical research studies have concluded that adopting a low-fat (with no vegetable oil), plant-derived diet does indeed improve insulin sensitivity and reduce cholesterol and blood sugar.
Additionally, according to a 2013 study by Loma Linda University School of Public Health, plant-based diets are associated with a notable reduction in the incidence of diabetes.
8 Longer life
A few studies indicate that those following a vegan lifestyle live an average of 3 to 6 years longer than those who do not.
The scientists from Massachusetts General Hospital based their findings on health and diet records gathered from 131,342 individuals, who were tracked for 30 years.
They have established that every 3% increase in calories from plant protein reduced the risk of death by 10%.
The figure rises to 12% for risk of dying from heart disease.
9 Your carbon footprint will be lower
Breeding, raising, and feeding animals for food is a hugely inefficient use of our natural resources.
Animals raised for food production are fed more than 50% of all the world’s crops.
In Brazil alone, the equivalent of 5.6 million acres of land is used to grow soybeans for animals in Europe.
Also, according to the US Environmental Protection Agency, animal and chemical waste runoff from factory farms is responsible for more than 173,000 miles of polluted streams and rivers.
10 Animals will be grateful for your choice
Ten billion animals are slaughtered for human consumption each year.
Since vegans eat no animals, each vegan saves nearly 200 animals per year.
Of course, these are innocent animals who won’t be torn out of their ocean homes or confined to cramped, filthy barns, cages, and pens before being hung upside down on the slaughter line and having their throats cut.
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