Discover over 17 plant based diet benefits for your health, for standing against animal cruelty, and for your overall well-being.
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Looking for reasons to go vegan? Seeking a healthier lifestyle? A vegan diet can be beneficial to your health, give you peace of mind when standing up against animal cruelty, and increase your overall well-being. Everyone finds their own reason to go vegan, so find the one that shifts you towards this rewarding lifestyle with these 17 plant based diet benefits.
What is a plant based diet anyway?
Maybe you've heard the terms plant-based or plant-forward. These are used interchangeably. A plant-based diet is one that is primarily focused on foods from plants.
This isn't just fruits and vegetables, but nuts, seeds, oils, grains, beans, legumes. Surprisingly, it also doesn't mean that you are automatically vegan or meat-free. It means that you are focusing more on plant sources than animal sources.
What is the difference between Plant-based and vegan?
A plant-based diet is a stepping stone to Veganism. It follows a less strict diet and may not affect the way you buy items. It’s more for your health and focuses on eating whole-foods, fruits, and vegetables.
The lifestyle that is common to Veganism is more of an after-thought with plant-based options as it has a more relaxed approach to consumerism, such as the clothes you buy and companies supported.
Of course, don’t let plant-based dieting confuse you from actually being 100% Plant-based. Full plant-based diets restrict all animal products much like veganism, and even goes as far as limiting (to straight removing) sugars, sodium, oils, and processed foods.
(Check out Plantricious “The medically endorsed seal for plant-based nutrition. Making plant-based nutrition easy...because not all plant-based foods are created equal.”).
Don’t let any of this scare you, though. While you learn a new cooking and eating style, you gain an abundance of healthy food choices and overall health by going Vegan or starting with plant-based food options.
Top 17 Plant-Based Diet Benefits
1. Your Health of Course! We do many things for many reasons, but it is clear that choosing a plant-based lifestyle is for your health. It is surely a huge decision to find awareness around what foods you consume. Once you learn how fat-laden, sugar overloaded, cruelly sourced, and overly processed foods affect your body, it becomes quite difficult to step away from such knowledge.
Believe me, sometimes I just wish I could unlearn what I know about food and health because it would make life so much easier. But on the other hand, I wouldn't feel as healthy as I do now on a plant-based diet.
Food has become too convenient in a way that our health is suffering from it. Fast food and quick meals are CONVENIENT but only benefit companies when it comes to your health. They wreak havoc on your body with an over-accumulation of fats, processed animal products, sugars, and much more than our bodies can process. This is why we are seeing a negative effect on our health as a whole, such as chronic disease, obesity, and inflammation.
Your health deserves a chance and so do you. Going plant-based gives that to you.
A plant-based diet is nutrient-rich. We’re talking protein, fiber, Omega 3 fats, iron, and vitamins to name a few. Choosing whole-foods increases the intake and absorption of all the plant-based goodness that these foods naturally offer.
Choosing to go plant-based is like that friend that’s always got your back, kicking disease in the ass. Some health benefits of a plant-based diet are: lowering your risk of heart disease; improving cardiovascular health; lowering blood sugar that leads to reducing your risk of diabetes and also improving kidney function.
Women also benefit from consuming a plant-based diet as it can lower their risk of breast cancer, according to The Physicians Committee for Responsible Health, as eating a diet that’s low in fat and rich in grains, beans, fruits, and vegetables promotes breast health.
2. Lose or Maintain Weight Better - A plant-based diet is all about healthy choices. Once you stop consuming fatty meats, cheeses, and dairy products and limit the amount of processed food consumed, you’ll find that your weight is more manageable. By giving the body what it CRAVES, it can normalize and boost your metabolism to function for you.
What we find in many processed and manufactured foods is an over-abundance of hormone-injected foods. What happens to your body when you consume these altered foods? Your hormones will likely become off-balance, which in turn, leads to weight gain and inflammation. So taking steps to remove these dirty, health-restricting habits and filling them with whole-foods will work wonders on your ability to lose and maintain your weight. Plus, you consume fewer calories with fruits and veggies vs. commercially produced items where they are about longevity of food instead of quality.
3. To Help our Environment, Planet, and Earth - Did you know that choosing a plant based diet is one of the greatest ways to lower our impact on the Environment? As a sociocultural movement, Veganism actively aims to reduce its footprint and does so by eliminating factory farming that contributes to a large part of environmental issues.
Unfortunately, even trying to move away from factory farming to a more humane method, such as pasture-based farming, would likely increase the destruction of wild animals and their habitats.
This learned behavior that the larger production companies have implemented to keep up with the growing population has failed the animal population and the planet. Crops slathered in harmful pesticides that feed animals are then ingested by us.
Hormones are injected into animals, not for the benefit of the animal, but for the producers to increase their profits. Animals gain weight faster, which means more meat in less time. But at what cost? Farm animals have no quality of life before being sentenced to death.
How unfair is such a reality that we can sacrifice our humanity and ability to care just to throw a slab of meat on the table? Going Vegan offers peace of mind against these violent acts towards the future of our planet and those that live on it.
4. You Don't Need Meat - Eating meat as part of a healthy diet is a thing of the past. No longer do you have to sacrifice the wellbeing of animals and follow rules by large companies. Meat is just not necessary to live a healthy life. Don’t worry, you will not wither away and there are many options available to meet the recommended quota for dietary needs.
This goes for milk, as well. It is the strangest thing that adult humans consume milk. Firstly, vegans do not consume any animal product, and though the animal is alive when milked, treatment of the animal is unfavorable. Also, most mammals only feed their offspring milk as a source of the nutrients required after birth. The same is for humans. Dairy is not meant for consumption after a certain point and can negatively affect digestion and cholesterol.
Did you know plant-based foods have just as many (if not more) of the nutrients as the animal foods you’re used to consuming? Yup, you can find everything you need without a single bite of meat. Healthy fats, an array of beneficial vitamins and minerals, protein, and fiber are found in fruits, veggies, grains, legumes, seeds, and other whole-foods.
Showing compassion for other beings and creatures.
You now know the environmental and health reasons for going vegan and how consuming meat and dairy products have negative effects on the Earth, but where’s the compassion?
Farmed animals are faceless, and it’s certainly set up that way. What you can’t see won’t hurt you, right? That is the point though and a major reason to consider going Vegan
These animals are just like the pets you have at home. They have feelings, emotions, and even personalities. Animals are not different because one is raised for food and another has the comfort of your bed. They are not faceless objects that just show up at the store packaged for you to eat.
Eating plant-based meals is a relief for your heart and the growing cruel farming techniques of these animals.
5. Improve Digestion. Give your gut microbiota a boost by going vegan. The more animal products you replace with plant-based foods, the more fiber and nutrients you feed your gut. Dietary fiber helps build lean muscle, dissolves fat, and positively contributes to overall gut health. Imagine pairing the awesome benefits of plant-based foods with a healthy exercise routine!
Eating a vegan diet means less inflammation. Many gut-diseases like IBS and ulcerative colitis can wreak havoc on digestion. When you drop fatty, overly processed foods and added sugar from your diet, the healthy foods work to reverse damage caused by such diseases.
6. Better Mood - Did you know that 90% of serotonin is made in your gut? This happy hormone loves a healthy gut, and once you cut animal products from your diet, you’ll notice your mood and mental cognition improve.
7. Improved Concentration - A vegan diet can get tricky around consuming the right amount of nutrients to reap the benefits of eating healthy. You may have to work a little harder to get the Omega 3 and B12 vitamins that are easily sourced through seafood and meat products. But not impossible and there are alternatives to include in your diets such as leafy greens, nuts, seeds, cacao, blueberries, and banana. All these are great ways to naturally boost your focus and concentration.
8. Age Gracefully - So many wonderful benefits are possible when going vegan, including skin health. A vegan diet is rich in antioxidants which naturally affect your skin and can greatly improve your complexion and bloating in the face.
Meat and animal products contribute greatly to acne, swelling, and even wrinkles. Consuming dairy is among the most harmful for your skin, especially for those who struggle with acne.
It is also common when you start a vegan lifestyle you are focusing on your overall well-being. This could include exercising, drinking more water, and better hygiene.
9. Live Longer - Some studies show that veganism could lead to longevity. It is discussed that “the lower risk among vegetarians of several high prevalent chronic diseases results in a greater life-expectancy compared to non-vegetarians.”
10. Better Immune System - Vegetarian diets reduce inflammation because of its abundance of antioxidants. This is prevalent when you do get sick, as inflammation usually worsens. Animal products contribute to inflammation whereas vegans are always actively reducing inflammation with the vitamins and minerals that allow your body to fight harder for you and fight disease.
11. Reduce Arthritis Pain - Inflammation is a real pain, but as aforementioned, a vegan diet is a way to go when trying to reduce health issues, like arthritis. A healthy diet that is low in fat and full of plant-based goodness like fruits, veggies, and whole-grains has the nutrients to ease inflammation and the effects of RA.
12. More Energy - Eating a vegan diet has been found to increase energy levels not only from the food you consume that is nutrient-dense but from the foods that are not being consumed. Animal products take more energy to digest and weigh you down with their saturated fats, carbohydrates, and added sugars. Plant-based foods have natural vitamins, minerals, fiber, antioxidants, and so much more to boost your energy and keep you going longer.
13. Animal Products are Gross and Dirty! As we’ve learned, the livelihood of farmed animals is atrocious. They are injected with antibiotics and hormones, then slaughtered in inhumane environments. There’s no way that these methods aren’t affecting our health. Cattle can have infections that leach into milk and toxins that humans then consume. This causes an array of health issues such as food poisoning and contributes to chronic diseases. Animal products can even cause cancer development.
14. Inspire Others - Once you start to reap the benefits of following a Vegan diet, you’re going to want to share it with the world! Don’t be afraid to share your journey with others. Your health is improving and you feel fantastic, inflammation is down, your weight is down, and your friends and family want to know what’s changed. Inspire them with your wins and how confident you are that this is the best lifestyle you could have chosen for yourself and how they may benefit from a vegan diet, as well.
15. Try awesome new Recipes - Can I just say how amazing it is to find recipes that are full of wonderful plant-based goodness that is wholesome, fresh, and just make you feel great!?
You’ll be surprised how exciting and delicious plant based meals are when you broaden your horizon and try new recipes. Stick around and find many of these flavor-packed, healthy dishes here on Happy Food, Healthy Life where I guide you through finding foods that replace the unhealthy, fat-laden dishes with bright, colorful, and fresh recipes that will excite your taste buds.
16. Saves Lots of Money - Your pockets are going to love how affordable a vegan diet is. This diet is based on grains, beans, nuts, and seeds, which when purchased in bulk, is inexpensive and beneficial with a long shelf-life and high yield.
To save money on produce, choose meals that use seasonal fruits and vegetables.
Learn how I Meal Plan in 20 Minutes to make life so much easier!
It’s not just the food that will save you money on a vegan or plant-based diet. Your health will improve which means fewer doctor visits and Rx prescriptions. That, in itself, is a truly rewarding goal to meet.
17. Going Plant Based is Easier than Ever Before! Great things are happening with more people choosing a plant forward lifestyle. Restaurants are appealing to the consumer and have more vegan options that are fresh and new. Why? Because Veganism is culinary fascinating and offers an array of ingredients and new recipes. A chef’s dream giving you flavorful, delicious dishes.
We’re also seeing our favorite products gaining traction in the plant-based world... Hello Oreos! No more sacrificing your favorite go-to snacks or bland and flavorless foods.
And it’s easier than ever to replace dairy with so many plant-based milk options. Nut-milks, oat-milks, grain-milk, you name it! And you can make it fresh at home if you’d like. Even ice cream, yogurt, parmesan cheese, and mayonnaise have vegan options.
Ready to Take the Next Step?
Now is the time to take all the reasons to go vegan you’ve been learning about and find the ones that resonate with you to take the NEXT STEP to transition to a plant-based lifestyle. It’s okay to make small changes to get you going.
- Start by choosing one night a week to cut out meat
- Cut one dairy product at a time, like cheese
- Limit the easy and convenient options with dining out
Get ready to take that step and learn How to Go Vegan!
Here are just a few Vegan Recipes you could start with:
Comment below telling me which of these benefits resonates with you the most! This will be your WHY - your reasoning that keeps you going when it becomes hard to stay vegan. I can't wait to hear from you!