Being a vegan not only means being a vegetarian, it means not eating anything that has an animal base. Eating meat is a no-no, as is eating anything that comes from animals—this includes yogurt and cheeses. The choice to become a vegan requires a lot of discipline and research; it is not just a diet, it’s a way of life.
People take on the vegan lifestyle for many reasons, but the two most common reasons are out of respect for animals and for health benefits. Of course, not eating meat or anything that comes from an animal base shows respect for animals, which is obvious. However, the health benefits of this type of diet are many, and may not be as obvious.
Are you thinking about becoming a vegan? Are you wondering what the health advantages are? Read on to find out some of the biggest perks of eating vegan.
Decrease in saturated fats.
It is a known fact that saturated fats are bad for your health, particularly your heart. When you eat vegan, you significantly reduce the amount of saturated fats that you consume. Why? Because meats and animal-based products are rather high in these bad fats. As such, not eating these foods means that you are greatly reducing your intake of these unhealthy, saturated fats.
Boosts magnesium and calcium levels.
Since becoming a vegan means not eating milk-based products, you may think that vegans would have trouble with their calcium intake. However, quite the opposite is true. Since a vegan diet consists largely of nuts, seeds, and other foods that are high in magnesium—the stuff that helps the body absorb calcium—being a vegan can actually help you boost your calcium levels.
You need antioxidants in order to prevent cell damage, and a vegan diet is rich in antioxidants. Since vegans eat so many foods that are high in antioxidants, such as blueberries, cherries, beets, and the like, they have higher levels of antioxidants. This, of course, means that the body is better able to ward off cell damage and is also more equipped to repair any cell damage that it experiences.
Meats and animal-based foods are often injected with hormones. When you aren’t consuming meats and foods that contain hormones, well, you aren’t putting them into your body. What does this mean for you? A much healthier body, over all.
Removing foods that are high in cholesterol from your diet translates to an overall healthier system. Meats, cheeses, and foods that are prepared in meat-based products (oils, etc) are high in cholesterol. By going vegan, you reduce the amount of cholesterol you take in.
Better cardiovascular health.
Foods like meat and dairy can really take a toll on cardiovascular health, while nuts and whole grains, essentials in a vegan diet, help in boosting your cardiovascular system. If you want to have better heart health, consider going vegan.
The benefits of becoming a vegan are far greater than showing respect for animals (though that is certainly one of the biggest benefits). This type of diet greatly increases your overall health, which helps to increase your quality of life.
Tara Heath is a freelance writer in Southern California. She tries to make health-conscious decisions daily when it comes to her diet, ensuring a healthier life overall. As a health and beauty writer, she contributes to the Skintrium blog.by