Is eating vegan worth it? Yes! Here are 7 amazing benefits of a plant-based diet, including for your health, for weight loss and for the environment!
A lot of people who come to SQ are interested in plant-based eating. For the last 5 years, I've been following a primarily plant-based diet. While I'm not 100% vegan, I do eat plant-based/vegan about 95% of the time.
And you know what? I feel incredible!
I've talked about this before, many times, BUT I have personally seen the benefits of a plant-based diet. Not only do I feel better, but I also look healthier, I'm supporting my long-term health and I'm helping Mother Earth.
Today we're going to talk about why a plant-based diet is so incredible. I'll be sharing the top 7 benefits of eating plant-based and how you can make the transition to a plant-based diet if you want. Let's get this party started!
Amazing Benefits of a Plant-Based Diet
There have been countless studies done that have shown the power of a plant-based diet. Not just for immediate health, but also long-term health and chronic disease. But as the research gets more and more in depth, it's also been discovered that eating this way goes beyond our physical health. Eating a plant-based or vegan diet is also beneficial for the environment, for animal welfare, world hunger, water scarcity and more!
1. Improve Your Digestion
We've been talking a lot about gut health recently. I've shared some of the best foods for gut health and some amazing gut-friendly recipes, but the gist of all of this is plants. Plants are amazing because they're naturally full of fiber and fiber is the key to good digestion. Fiber helps add bulk to your stool, while also help regulate things and help everything eliminate smoothly.
One thing to keep in mind: if you're new to this diet, go slow with your fiber intake. If you aren't accustomed to eating a lot of fiber, it can actually do the opposite (block you up). So, just like we teach in Powered by Plants, ease in slowly!
2. Reduce Your Risk for Chronic Disease
From what I've read and researched, it isn't necessarily that plant-based diets reverse disease, it's that's the Standard American Diet promotes disease. People with diets that are full of meat, dairy and processed foods have a higher risk for chronic diseases like diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.
Plant-based eaters, on the other hand, have been shown to do have the opposite effect. People who follow a plant-based diet have reportedly lower cases of many common chronic diseases including diabetes, heart disease, some types of cancer (colorectal being one!), Alzheimer's, and others. So if you're concerned about chronic disease or they run in your family, switching to a plant-based diet is definitely a good idea!
3. Naturally Boost Your Energy
Plants are super high in vitamins and minerals which are amazing for energy! They're rich in antioxidants, phytonutrients and often times healthy fats and protein, all of which are amazing for your brain and mood. Not only that but since plants are also easier to digest, which gives our body extra energy to spend. Plant-based foods are also amazing for performance. That's why you're seeing more and more professional athletes talk about being plant-based!
4. Get Healthy Skin, Hair & Nails
I always get asked what I do for my skin, hair, and nails, and my response is always that it's at least 95% my diet. I'm a firm believer that what we put into our bodies is what shows on the outside. And again, because plants are so full of vitamins and minerals, they're particularly amazing for your skin. Meat, dairy, and processed foods have all been shown to cause inflammation in the body and main times inflammation can show in our skin.
Now does that mean just by going vegan your skin is going to miraculously clear up? Potentially, but it might take some time. Be patient. And if you want more tips, here's an article I wrote about how to get glowing skin!
5. Lose Weight Effortlessly
Ever wonder why people recommend you eat fruits, veggies and whole grains to lose weight? For one, we know they're more nutrient-dense than processed foods. But plant-based foods also have a lower calorie to volume ratio.
Basically, if you ate the same weight/volume of food (i.e. one pound) and compared how much room it takes up in your stomach, plants would be significantly less. That means that you fill up more quickly on plant-based foods while eating fewer calories.
But you might be wondering… “but I might not get enough nutrients!” I'd argue that you're likely getting more nutrients when you eat this way. You'll just have to make sure that you're still getting in proteins and healthy fats!
6. Support the Environment & Our Planet
I'm writing an entire article on how vegan diets help the environment, but long story short is that eating a plant-based diet is probably one of the single best things you can do for the planet. Animal agriculture is responsible for more greenhouse gas emissions than the entire transportation sector. It's also responsible for nearly 90% of the deforestation in the Amazon, and is a huge drain on our water supplies.
If you eat a plant-based diet, every single day you'd be saving 1,100 gallons of water per day, 30 square feet of forest, 10 pounds of CO2 emissions and one animal. Yes, every single day!!
7. Save Animals
And of course, animals. I think a lot of people don't make the connection between the food they see on the grocery shelves and actual living animals. Because if they did, I have to imagine more people would stop buying that ground up cow muscle that gets turned into burgers.
Layer on top of the actual killing of these animals, but the conditions they live in are absolutely horrific. They're riddled with disease, babies are separated from their mother's at birth, they're sleeping in they're own feces. Just writing about it makes me sick.
So I'd argue, that if you are a caring, thoughtful person, you'd consider saving these animals instead of slaughtering them ❤️
Want to Try Going Vegan? Here's How!
My best tip for transitioning to a plant-based diet is to take it slow. When we jump into things too quickly, we tend to feel deprived and when we feel deprived, we end up not sticking with it. My goal is to never share “quick fixes”. I want to help you live a healthier lifestyle for the long run!
Which is precisely why I created my program, Powered by Plants. Powered by Plants is a 6-week online training program that teaches you the ins and outs of a plant-based diet. We cover everything from nutrition, to building the perfect meal, tips for eating out and so much more. And the best part? It teaches you how to make this a lifestyle instead of a diet!