by Ainsley Lawrence,
Contributing Author, Conscious Reminder
Veganism is nothing new. However, “going vegan” has become more prevalent in recent years for various reasons. Some people want to reduce their carbon footprint. Others are interested in leading a healthy lifestyle.
There’s no denying that eating more plant-based foods is good for your body — and your mind. But, there are still some things to consider before you go all in on a vegan diet, especially if you’ve been a meat-eater for years. Changing the way you eat overnight might not be the best solution. However, with the right information and education, you can healthily adopt a vegan diet and enjoy many of the benefits associated with it.
If you haven’t made the switch because you’ve believed some common myths and misconceptions, it’s time to learn more about how this kind of diet can really improve your well-being. Let’s take a look at some of those benefits, as well as some of the common considerations people should keep in mind before deciding if it’s the right move.
What Are the Bodily Benefits of Veganism?
Aside from protecting the planet, the health benefits associated with veganism are often one of the biggest reasons why people want to make the switch. Some of the benefits are more obvious than others. Many people experience weight loss and more energy as they introduce more plant-based foods. However, the benefits go much deeper than that, including:
- Reduced risk of heart disease
- Reduced risk of certain types of cancer
- Lower blood pressure
- Reduced risk of stroke
Vegan diets tend to be higher in fiber and many vitamins and minerals. Even if you’re at low risk of developing certain conditions, eating so many nutrient-dense foods can help you to feel and look your best. That can offer a big boost to your self-esteem.
Speaking of which, veganism can be a great way to improve your mental state, too. It can be difficult to develop authentic self-esteem, but things like setting realistic goals and doing something good for your body can boost your personal development and your confidence. Knowing you’re doing something good for your body and the planet is a fantastic way to see yourself in a more positive light.
What To Know Before Adopting a Plant-based Diet
While there are plenty of health benefits associated with veganism, it’s necessary to consider what you might be “giving up” if you decide to adopt a vegan lifestyle. Some research has shown that veganism can lead to nutritional deficiencies, causing issues like:
- Hair loss
- Muscle loss
- Weak bones
- Skin rashes
Vegan diets tend to be lower in protein and other vitamins and minerals often found in animal products. It’s also not uncommon for vegans to over consume carbohydrates, which can lead to an imbalance in your body’s metabolism and issues with blood sugar levels. Some research has suggested that a vegan diet can even be detrimental to your dental health since it tends to include a lot of foods that are highly acidic, as well as fruits that are high in sugar.
The good news? The more you educate yourself on how to become a vegan the “right” way, the easier it is to avoid these issues. You should focus on creating a diet plan that’s well-balanced and includes a variety of plant-based foods. Keep your intake of acidic foods to a minimum, drink plenty of water, and avoid frequent snacking. Instead, enjoy nutrient-dense, filling foods at meal times. You can still get the vitamins and minerals you need, and even plenty of protein by fighting back against some of those common vegan stereotypes and making smart choices with ingredients.
How To Implement Healthy Changes
Transitioning to a vegan lifestyle doesn’t have to happen immediately. Even if it’s something you’re passionate about, you’re likely to form long-lasting habits if you transition over time.
Start by incorporating more plant-based foods into your existing diet. Things like tofu, beans, legumes, nuts, and seeds can easily be included in your daily meals, no matter what else you’re eating. You’ll start to experience the nutritional benefits of these ingredients, as well as how quickly they can satiate you. Once you’ve added plant-based ingredients you enjoy, you can start phasing out animal products like eggs and dairy.
It takes time to figure out what will work best for you. The reality is that some people will have an easier time switching to a vegan diet than others. Make sure you’re prepared for the change and find a diet plan that really works for you. Thankfully, there are more plant-based choices available today than ever before. From plant-based “meat” that tastes like the real thing to ready-made vegan meals that are perfect for busy people, you can adopt this healthy, delicious lifestyle relatively easily if you’re ready for the commitment.
About the Author: Ainsley Lawrence is a freelance writer with an interest in balanced living through education and technology. She loves travelling to beautiful places and is frequently lost in a good book.
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