Most of us are aware that being vegan isn't just a diet, it's really a lifestyle. We do it for the animals and we do it for the planet. However, a great added bonus to eating a vegan, wholefood plant based diet, is pretty good health. As a family we choose to eat WFPB as often as we can, and we know the benefits to eating this way are endless. We will name our top 5 reasons to eat this way:
1. Skin Health
Cutting out dairy is one of the best things you can do for your skin. If you suffer from adult acne, you will know how upsetting this can be to have. Milk contains components related to the hormone testosterone that may stimulate oil glands in the skin, setting the stage for acne. Eating lots of vegetables will provide a variety of antioxidants which reduces inflammation in the skin.
2. More Energy
Animals products take a lot longer for our bodies to digest and require a lot more energy from our digestive system. Eating plant-based meals takes less time and energy to digest, therefore leaving you with more energy to do the things you want to do! Just remember to eat sufficient calories and fibre from complex carbohydrates (likes oats and quinoa!) to keep you satiated.
3. Heart Health
How many times haven't you heard the story of a fit, 'healthy' person that has a heart attack unexpectedly? Unfortunately, we can't see inside our bodies and we really have no idea if our arteries are clogged or not. We might look slim and trim on the outside but what's going on inside our bodies may be a slightly different story. The saturated fat in animal products create plaque in our blood vessels, which is from an increase in LDL (bad) cholesterol. Therefore eating a diet full of fresh fruits and vegetables, legumes, and fiber is linked to a lower risk of heart disease.
4. Weight Loss
Before you say, "well I know a couple of 'junk food vegans' who live on Oreos and 2 minute noodles who are overweight", the benefits of a whole food plant based diet are what we are talking about here. Several randomized controlled studies in scientific research, report that vegan diets are more effective for weight loss than the other types of diets. Observational studies suggest that vegans tend to be thinner and have lower body mass indexes (BMIs) than non-vegans. WFPB diets tend to have significantly less calories even without focusing on reducing them consciously.
5. Cancer Prevention
The World Health Organization, suggest that about 1/3 of all cancers can be prevented by factors within your control, including diet. A WFPB vegan diet may offer protection against certain cancers such as prostate, breast, and colon cancers. Research has shown that vegan diets generally contain more soy products, which may offer some protection against breast cancer (yes, soy is good for you!). Vegans tend to eat more legumes, fruits, and vegetables than non-vegans. A review of 96 studies found that vegans may benefit from a 15% lower risk of developing or dying from cancer.