There’s a world of benefits just waiting to uplift and stimulate you the moment you take that first step towards veganism. A diet that is gentle on the planet, animals, and fellow human beings. While there are a ton of benefits that veganism bestows comprehensively upon the planet and its inhabitants, we will solely be focussing on the benefits to human beings. You’ll notice how veganism not only positively affects your health, but lifestyle as well. A whole new world opens up with a lot of possibilities. You’ll learn a lot about health and nutrition. You’ll also be much more tuned and in a better position to listen to what your body is telling you. Some people feel lighter and calmer, some sleep better, some enjoy better stamina and energy, and some others are able to focus better. We will be discussing just a few of these benefits today.
- You’ll proactively take interest in your needs
Let’s face it! Prior to being vegan, you just ate anything that was kept in front of you. Well, not anything! but whatever you believed to be virtuous and healthy. You had your own diet regime and ate whatever deemed fit for your lifestyle and social structure. While you might not all of a sudden become a health freak on the vegan diet, what we’re saying is, you’ll be much more cognizant and mindful of how you’re shopping and what you’re putting into your body. As you start reading more and more product labels, a renewed sense of awareness allows you to fully understand where your food comes from, and how it was made. We not only have an ethical but a moral and social responsibility to the aforementioned three stakeholders of veganism. That becomes clear as day, as you progress along your vegan journey. You’ll become a much smarter consumer.
- You’ll be off antibiotics and hormones (and the rest of the nasties)
Yes, you read that right. Traditional meat and dairy contain tons of hormones and antibiotics, to facilitate faster growth of livestock and a better yield of animal products. When you transition to a vegan diet, you’ll prevent these nasty substances from entering your bloodstream and causing havoc. Whether you move to an organic vegan lifestyle or not, you’ll be far far away from these stimulants. Antibiotics and steroids are routinely injected or fed to farm animals living in CAFO’s (intensive confinement facilities) so that they don't develop infections or diseases arising out of unnatural living conditions. When these very same-sex hormones enter the human body through animal products, they disrupt regular hormonal function and cause a host of other diseases and maladies. Also, be aware that most bovines are fed an intensive diet of GMO soy and cornmeal, so those of you who’d like to stay off GMO derived ingredients would do well to make a note of this.
- You’ll always get your fiber…….well, most of the time.
Believe it or not, but it is almost impossible to be deficient in fiber on a vegan diet. Something that is a very real possibility, that happens quite frequently on a meat-based diet. Constipation is one of the fallouts of a diet that is lacking in fiber. There are two types of fiber: soluble and insoluble. Every plant-based food contains at least one of these types of fiber. There might be some with lesser or higher amounts, but the basic premise is that they all contain it. Having too much fibrous food can also cause the same issues as not having sufficient amounts of it, so make sure to balance it out. Consuming the right amount of fiber helps you regain normal and smooth bowel movements, along with improving the overall health of your colon and excretory system. We’re not saying you can’t go off track, eat excessive amounts of junk food, and still manage to become deficient in fiber. We’re just saying it's going to be much more manageable and treatable. At least you’ll know where you went wrong!
- Improved digestion
This benefit is directly linked to point three. Optimum fiber intake naturally equals better digestion, colon and intestinal health. Again, there is a very real chance of fumbling and going downhill here, but since you’re always conscious of what you’re eating, you’ll know where you went wrong. Better digestion leads to a digestive system that is not working as hard as it used to before leaving most of the food undigested. This allows the body to allocate more energy towards utilization in other tasks, be they physical or mental. All this is subject to the fact that you are eating healthy while maintaining a healthy work, exercise, and sleep routine.
- Faster muscle recovery
One of the most highly reported benefits gained from a vegan diet is accelerated muscle recovery and fast muscle growth. This has been proven time and again by world-class athletes and regular fitness enthusiasts alike. Vegan Strongman Patrik Babboumian is a testament to this fact. He has won multiple strongman events and also won the title “Germany's strongest man” a couple of years ago. A plethora of well absorbable and highly utilizable protein available on the plant-based diet is proof that you can build a strong muscular body or gain better cardiovascular strength. Another well-known athlete and ultrarunner ‘Scott Jurek’ has proven the efficacy of vegan nutrition for endurance events during his ultramarathon endeavours, beating his own previous records again and again.
- Superfoods and anti-aging benefits
Superfoods constitute a range of foods that bestow superior health and longevity on the human body. Some of them improve muscle recovery and endurance, while some of them improve libido and overall well being. Some of them contribute to skin health while some others play their definitive role in preventing cognitive and mental decline. No matter what it is, superfoods and veganism pack a one-two punch to your immune system, creating a powerful force field, shielding you from most bacterial and viral strains. Combining superfoods with a whole foods plant-based diet (WFPB) has been proven to bestow anti-aging benefits on the consumer, along with a superior state of health and an exceptional fitness profile. They actively fight free radicals, help in cell regeneration, and even benefit the central nervous system. Certain superfoods and herbs also contain phytonutrients that rid the body of toxins, reduce oxidative stress, arrest the spread of dangerous cancerous cells, while improving cognition at the same time.
- Lower susceptibility to modern lifestyle diseases
The modern 9 to 5 work life is analogous to someone shooting arrows at you from all directions. Long work hours, stressful commutes, poor sleep routines, zero exercises, and sedentary living have all conspired to create an epidemic of diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, anemia, obesity, and cancer.
Going vegan drastically reduces your chances of contracting lifestyle diseases. That’s because you’re going to be keeping loads of saturated fats, refined oils, excess protein, and processed meat products off your plate. The World Health Organization even classified processed meat as a Group 1 carcinogen. Also, doctors working in the field of holistic health made breakthroughs when they noticed that transitioning to specific vegan diets helped in reversing type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, and certain cancers, negating the need to continue on lifelong medication.
Many FMCG manufacturers have taken an interest in the steadily rising health food sector and have tweaked their existing products, or have come up with new ones, to cater to this target market. Traditional ingredients like white sugar, refined wheat flour, and hydrogenated and refined oils are out; whole wheat flour, millet flour, stevia, jaggery, brown sugar, and cold-pressed oils are in. There is a revolution happening in processed food at the moment. Smart labeling, clean and organic ingredients, and preservative-free products are popping up like never before. The time is ripe for you to take advantage of this upswing, and get onboard the health wave.
- Optimized metabolism
No. We’re not going to say you’ll see “better metabolism” on a vegan diet, as that is something that is dependent on a ton of factors, but we’ll definitely say that you’re going to see some kind of change in it. Weather, activity levels, eating habits, stress levels, travel habits, sleep routine, and work routine are just a few factors that affect a person's metabolism. Also, it is something that is quite fluctuating, with the change in season or with the change in lifestyle.
However, if you’ve been a very heavy consumer of fatty meats, there is bound to be some change, when you are predominantly on a diet of plants. People on pescatarian diets, those consuming lean meats, or those who consume meat quite sparingly, might not notice much of a difference to their metabolism, but most heavy meat eaters have noticed quite a bit of weight loss, on transitioning to vegan diets. Conversely, many thin people who have been trying hard to gain weight, have seen some pounds come on after transitioning to plant foods.
Both of these are mainly due to a change in the nature of foods being eaten. Fruits, fibrous, leafy green vegetables, pulses, grains, and other plant foods move much more easily along the intestines and digestive tract, thereby facilitating easy digestion, better absorption, and smoother and faster elimination of undigested food.
- Your taste buds change
Yes, while it might initially be excruciatingly hard to give up feeling the taste and texture of meat, your taste buds will eventually change. You’ll develop a new interest in all that’s good and meant to be enjoyed in the vegan sphere. The world of veganism is definitely not short on ice creams, cakes, doughnuts, pastries, pizza, burgers, mock meat creations, and many more. Furthermore, if you’ve been finding it difficult to give up on the taste and texture of meat, well, guess what? You don’t have to!
Vegan meat, also known as mock meat, is all ready and pepped up to come to your rescue when those cravings hit, threatening to throw your off your path towards transitioning to a plant-based diet. Chunky, delicious, and healthy mock meat selections from Vezlay and Gooddot can be used in a variety of dishes and cuisines, allowing you to take full advantage of their versatility.
Also, to add to the already existing variety in the world of vegan food, you’ll find multiple versions of each creation. Just to give you an example, you can choose between cakes that are made with whole wheat flour, millet flour, almond flour, or refined wheat flour. One’s made with superfood ingredients or made with traditional ingredients. Ones made with refined sugar or made with the goodness of healthy organic stevia or maple syrup. You’ll be thrilled to notice the massive abundance of options to try out, right in front of you. Don’t blame us if it takes you forever to try them all!
A plant-based diet, when done right after careful research and scrutiny, is bound to produce positive results. We have written a blog on the topic of starting out as a vegan, which you can read here. Do your due diligence. Figure out all your sources. Find out how they can be incorporated into your traditional/conventional diet, and you’re good to go. You can also try experimenting with foods that are new to you, or ingredients that you’ve never used before. You’ll be thrilled to know how they were right there all the while, just waiting to uplift and spice up all your favourite dishes.