5 Health Benefits of a Vegan Diet

assortment of vegan food with fruits and vegatablesThe strictest of all vegetarian diets, it’s sometimes assumed that veganism severely limits food enjoyment and offers less nutritional benefit. However, the opposite is true. Although considered by many to be an extreme diet, veganism has won many fans worldwide.

When done correctly and responsibly, it is an exciting and healthy option for everyone. Indeed, it offers several unique benefits for a healthy lifestyle. Not convinced? Read on, and discover the top 5 health benefits of a vegan diet.

Lots of Vitamins and Minerals

Vegan meal plans generally contain lots of fresh fruit and vegetables. Thus, they provide lots of vitamins and minerals the body needs to be healthy and function properly. Some people think veganism is unhealthy and vegans take supplements to ‘make up for not eating meat’. This is not entirely accurate.

When new to veganism, they might not meet their daily dietary needs for certain vitamins and minerals. Once they acclimatize to the new eating plan, this issue tends to fall away. Another reason is that, simply put, vegans are into health, and they want to give their bodies the most complete nutrition possible.

For example, Omega fatty acids 3 and 6 are only obtained from what you eat, as the body can’t produce them. To be sure you get enough, it’s best to take a supplement. The best vegan multivitamin must however meet vegan principles and contain no animal derivatives (some supplements on the market, do).

Improved Gut Health

The vegan diet is entirely plant-based, and although it contains a variety of tasty foods, they are all either directly sourced from plants or made from plant products. But this diet mostly centers around foods that naturally contain a lot of fiber, like fruits and vegetables.

This is good news for anyone interested in health because fiber-rich diets offer an array of benefits. Fiber makes you feel full and keeps your bowel movements regular. This makes it beneficial to people trying to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight.

But fiber-rich vegan diets also support good gut health. And this is crucial for your all-round health. A healthy gut biome is necessary for vitality and energy, and a robust immune system. The bacteria and other microbes found in your gut can help you digest food and may even support brain and heart health.

Probiotics are an excellent option for improving your overall gut health, naturally. However, those on a vegan diet might never need to take them. Well-balanced, fiber-rich plant-based diets like the vegan diet also support gut health, but without the need for any additional probiotic supplementation.

Easier Weight Management

Carrying a few too many extra pounds around the middle can impact your health. Heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and certain cancers are all linked to excess belly fat. But no matter if you’re trying to lose excess weight for health reasons, or simply want to maintain a healthy weight, veganism is the way to go.

Although there are different types of vegans, and some eat junk food, most stick to healthy and natural whole foods, fruits, and vegetables. These fiber-rich foods make you feel fuller for longer, and often have a lower calorie content than other foods, too.

Many processed foods and sweet treats like marshmallows, gummy candies, and chewing gum contain non-vegan ingredients like gelatin. Because vegans automatically avoid these, there’s less opportunity to fill up on high-calorie, low-nutrition snacks. This makes weight management much easier.

Reduced Risk of Chronic Diseases

A vegan diet may reduce the risk of heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, and type 2 diabetes.

So despite its reputation as an extreme diet, veganism can keep you healthier. And a vegan diet doesn’t just reduce your risk for chronic diseases. It boosts the immune system so that you’ll have protection against less serious (but still unpleasant) afflictions like colds and flu.

But those who benefit the most, are people at risk for colorectal cancer. It’s the third most common form of cancer and is common in people who eat a lot of red meat and processed foods. This is by no means the only risk factor for colorectal cancer but it is a significant one.

Because vegan diets contain no meats whatsoever, the risk of diseases linked to high animal product consumption is drastically reduced.

Combats Inflammation

The ‘vegan anti-inflammatory diet’ has received a lot of attention recently. This is a diet that focuses on eating foods with natural anti-inflammatory properties, to reduce inflammation in the body. Inflammation is the body’s natural response to injury or infection. However, it can quickly get out of control.

Chronic inflammation sometimes has no easily identifiable cause but left unchecked, it can lead to further health issues. Interestingly, certain diets can even worsen inflammation. On the other hand, carefully planned plant-based diets like veganism can fight inflammation and repair the damage.

If you are worried that a vegan diet might impact your fitness, then read this: Why Vegan Athletes Keep Winning.

If you’re interested in trying this anti-inflammatory eating plan for yourself, aim for a wide variety of vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, and whole grains. They will collectively offer numerous health benefits, particularly antioxidants that help to fight inflammation.

See also: The Mediterranean Diet – What It Is and Why It’s Good For You

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