We all know at least one person who is vegan or vegetarian - or trying to be. And for good reason. There are numerous benefits to opting for a plant-based diet and lifestyle.
For some, the thought of becoming vegan can feel overwhelming. Having to change our entire diet and way of life just seems way too difficult. This is totally valid, considering the immense amount of stress we are all under. However, nowadays, especially in countries such as Australia, the UK, and the USA, vegan options are widely available alongside mainstream food options.
The easiest way to transition to a vegan lifestyle is to understand that every small change makes a difference. You don’t need to wake up tomorrow and throw all the meat and dairy out of your fridge and start fresh. Begin by making small changes such as choosing a vegan milk alternative at the coffee shop or choosing a plant-based protein option to add to your lunch.
By making these small changes toward a vegan lifestyle, you can enjoy renewed vitality and discover a whole new array of food and drink options. Read on below to discover some of our favourite benefits of a vegan lifestyle.
5 Benefits of A Vegan Lifestyle
1. Eating Vegan Can Boost Your Mood
It’s no secret that your diet directly impacts your mood. Researchers have been saying for years that the gut is the controller of the brain. When we are hungry or undernourished, we feel sluggish and irritable. When we eat food that doesn’t agree with us, we feel miserable and unproductive.
Scientists say that eating anti-inflammatory foods such as fruits, vegetables, and animal-free fats (AKA the staples of a vegan diet) creates a healthier gut environment, and therefore boosts your mood and brain function.
2. Experience Clear and Glowing Skin
We have been told our whole lives that the skin is a reflection of our inner health. Most of us have experienced a pesky, yet predictable, pimple popping up after we have an especially greasy few days of eating. Whole, plant-based food can create healthy, glowing skin that starts from within. Staying away from highly processed foods and focusing on unrefined fruits, vegetables, good fats and simple carbs can provide a range of benefits to the skin including increased hydration, reduced toxins, and more balanced hormones. Common skin disorders such as acne, dryness, irritation, and inflammation such as rosacea, psoriasis, and eczema can all be calmed by following a vegan diet.
Vegan skincare also provides a more clean, natural alternative to traditional skincare products packed full of processed chemicals. If you find your skin gets overwhelmed with the highly fragrant, strong skincare products that you are used to, try opting for a vegan alternative which utilises botanical ingredients proven to nourish the skin.
3. Being Vegan Can Lower Your Blood Sugar
Following a vegan diet has some incredible long-term health benefits including reducing your likelihood of diseases like cancer, heart disease, obesity, and type 2 diabetes. Eating low-processed vegan foods such as fruits and vegetables, legumes and vegetables, and carbs such as wholegrain bread and rice, can help your body regulate blood sugar to reduce insulin spikes. Controlling your blood sugar levels is essential to preventing type 2 diabetes and other diseases, and also immediately makes us feel more balanced and energised. A vegan diet that avoids the high saturated fats in meat has been proven to be a great method of managing glucose levels and maintaining a healthy equilibrium in the body.
4. Reduce Joint Pain with a Vegan Diet
As discussed in point 1, vegan diets are full of anti-inflammatory food in their whole form, which can have several healing and calming effects on the body. In particular, a vegan diet consisting of these foods can help ease joint inflammation and swelling, which is responsible for joint aches and pains. In a study of rheumatoid arthritis sufferers, participants stated that a vegan diet reduced their joint pain by 53 per cent. Whether you suffer from a form of arthritis or just regular wear and tear of joints, a vegan diet could provide you with the relief you are looking for.
In addition, a vegan diet consisting of whole and unprocessed foods can contribute to weight loss. Losing even half a kilogram of body weight can result in 2kg of pressure being removed from your joints. A vegan diet can dramatically reduce your daily pain and regift you mobility and freedom within your body.
5. Connect with the Vegan Community
Nowadays, the vegan community is flourishing. It is made up of people of every race, age, and gender, from every corner of the world. By joining this community you can share in people's enthusiasm for the vegan lifestyle and experience exciting events, recipes, and life hacks. Whether you choose to get involved in person by simply searching ‘vegan events near me’ and browsing the enormous amount of markets, food days, gatherings, and festivals, or interacting with vegan content on social media - joining the vegan community will certainly enrich your life.
I Love Vegan is a website full of resources to help coach you, wherever you are on your journey to veganism. They can help with recipes, FAQs, and guides with ingredients and grocery shopping as a vegan.
Vegan Travel Eats on Instagram is just one of the many thousands of vegan food bloggers who post mouth-watering photos of their vegan finds and creations - proving that vegan food is far from boring variations of tofu and salad.
With the food, beauty, and fashion industries all on board with the vegan lifestyle, it is now easier than ever to make small changes toward a vegan lifestyle. Start making small swaps today to experience all the benefits of a plant-based lifestyle and diet.