If you’ve been considering giving vegetarian or vegan diets a try, I encourage you to go for it. Adopting a vegan lifestyle has increased my quality of life and, according to research, decreased my risk of multiple diseases. Plus, I sleep soundly at night knowing I’m doing my part to help the planet we share!
Here are six benefits I’ve experienced after making the switch to vegan eating. Hopefully, these will convince you to give a cruelty-free lifestyle a go too!
1. Higher Energy
When I switched to vegan eating, I did experience some mild gastrointestinal distress — at first. My body simply wasn’t used to the added fiber I was consuming. However, this subsided after the first few days, and I started experiencing positive improvements instead.
My energy levels soared. I went from dragging by 3 p.m. to feeling ready to tackle almost every moment of the day. My pace at the gym picked up, and I had more spring in every step.
2. Better Hormonal Health
I lead a somewhat stressful and hectic life, so I often felt fatigued. Turns out an overabundance of cortisol impacts other hormones, and stress influences levels of this master hormone.
Since I switched to a plant-based diet, my magnesium intake increased. Magnesium, a mineral found in dark, leafy greens, impacts neurological function. Low levels of magnesium cause headaches and also contribute to anxiety, depression and hormonal irregularities.
3. Reduced Cancer Risk
I used to be a Subway junkie, thinking I was eating at least somewhat healthy. But many lunch meats contain sodium nitrate, a common preservative linked to increased colon cancer risk.
It’s not only preserved meats which prove troublesome. Recent research indicates that excessive consumption of any red meat increases the risk of various forms of cancer. Even if you don’t have a family history of this disease, why add unnecessary risk?
4. Better Heart Health
The Mayo Clinic testifies to the power of a plant-based diet in fighting heart disease for good reason — eleven different studies confirm such a diet lowers cholesterol levels! Eating more fruits and veggies also decreases blood pressure.
If you stick to a healthy vegan diet, you won’t feel anxiety about blood pressure if you dig into a particularly salty bag of chips. However, make sure you are keeping things in control when it comes to the balance of major vs trace minerals.
5. Not Causing Animal Suffering
Animals on factory farms endure horrific conditions for their entire lifetimes. As an empath, I am overwhelmed by such suffering, regardless of whether a critter walks on two legs or four.
Pigs, for example, spend most of their lives on cramped concrete floors Breeding sows linger in gestation crates so small, they can neither stand nor turn around. Chickens fare little better, many existing without feathers due to pecking each other from the stress of living in overcrowded conditions. Veganism doesn’t cause suffering of this nature.
6. Helping Save the Rainforest
Approximately 450,000 square kilometers of the Amazon rainforest now serves as cattle pasture, and deforestation continues. Not only does this destroy native species we may never reclaim, it also contributes to global warming. Fewer trees mean less carbon emissions removed from the air naturally. Which, in turn, means less oxygen for us to breathe.
Cattle need a tremendous amount of grain to feed on. The food used to raise one cow for slaughter could feed multiple starving children. Refusing to eat meat assures you’ve done your part to stop deforestation and carbon footprint.
I would never judge someone else for their choices — it took me a long time to even realize how much I could gain from dropping meat and other animal products from my life. However, if you think it could be for you, I truly encourage you to give it a try! Discuss a plan with your doctor and go from there — I think you’ll be happy you did!