6 Reasons to Go Vegan, According to Science

Vegan is much more than just a buzzword—it's a way of life—with more and more people choosing to adopt the plant-based lifestyle in recent years. Whether you were raised on a vegan diet or not, studies have shown that there are tremendous benefits to following one, for both yourself and the environment.

Before embarking on a new diet you should always check in with your GP who can advise you on the best course of action for you and your body.

A properly planned vegan diet can provide you with many sources of beneficial nutrients that may have been lacking in your diet prior. By incorporating an increased amount of colourful fruits and vegetables into your diet, your body will be receiving more protective antioxidants, fibre, as well as higher amounts of potassium and magnesium—all essentials for a happy body.

Increased Fitness
Because properly planned vegan meals tend to be naturally lower in calories compared to meat-based options, vegans as a whole possess a lower body mass index (BMI) than their omnivore counterparts. Following a vegan diet and exercising regularly was shown to improve overall wellbeing compared to those who consumed meat and dairy products in a 2015 study from the University of South Carolina.

Reduced Diabetes
The link between the risk of developing type 2 diabetes and a vegan diet has been widely researched in recent years. A study published in JAMA Internal Medicine's journal explains that the reason for a reduced risk of diabetes in association with a plant-based diet comes down to an increased intake of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes and nuts, as opposed to refined grains, starches and sugars. Dr. Qi Sun, an associate professor in the Department of Nutrition at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, reveals that "Eating plant-based diets were associated with, on average, a 23% reduction in diabetes risk".

Expand Your Palate
Do you ever find yourself stuck in a rut when it comes to your nightly dinner rotation? Cooking the same meals over and over again can make mealtimes a boring task instead of an opportunity to create delicious food to fuel your body. A vegan diet can introduce fresh new ingredients and flavours that will broaden your tastebuds and bring back the fun to your cooking. After all, there are hundreds of domesticated edible plant varieties to try!

Improved Skin
Skin experts have been studying the link between meat-focused diets and skin for decades now, and have recorded some surprising results. For example, in a study of thirty-five individuals over a six-week period, researchers at the University of St Andrews found that skin appeared significantly warmer and healthier-looking just by consuming higher amounts of fruits and vegetables during that time. In regards to dreaded acne that most of us have experienced at some point, skipping the milk in your morning coffee could be the solution. One study by researchers from the Department of Dermatology at Zealand University Hospital conceded that "Intake of any dairy was associated with a higher odds ratio for acne compared to no intake in individuals".

Boost Mood
It's a simple idea—the better you feel physically, the more responsive and lighter your brain is. Adapting to a vegan diet eliminates the intake of long-chain fatty acids that are present in meat and are associated with symptoms of depression. Also, vegan meals with complex carbohydrates actually help to regulate the feel-good hormone, serotonin in the brain.

If you are concerned about your health, wellbeing or sleep, your first port of call should be your GP, who will advise a correct treatment plan.

While you're here, try this delicious vegan mushroom toast recipe.

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