There are a variety of reasons that people have when they decide to go vegan. Some people are concerned about the animals, environment, or health. But if you are still on the fence and need some health-based inspiration, here are a few ways going vegan can improve your health in 2022.
10. You’ll Need Less Medications as You Age
It is no secret that following a vegan diet can benefit your health. Plant-based diets contribute to an abundance of health benefits such as low blood pressure, low cholesterol, reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, and diabetes. Given this information, it makes sense those individuals following a vegan diet will require fewer medications as they get older. A recent study published in the American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine concluded that participants who consumed a plant-based diet needed to take 58% fewer pills than meat-eaters. This study included data from 328 participants aged 60 and older, proving that the vegan participants required the lowest number of drugs throughout the sample.
9. You Can Reduce Your Cognitive Decline Risk
Studies have indicated that a healthy, plant-based diet in mid-life may significantly decrease the risk of developing Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia or cognitive impairment. Fruits, vegetables, and plant-based foods contain elevated levels of polyphenols and other compounds, which could potentially reduce the risk of cognitive decline due to aging.
8. Decrease Your Risk of Having a Stroke
Diets high in animal fats are proven to increase the risk of illnesses, including strokes. Diets rich in leafy greens, whole grains, and beans, on the other hand, may lower stroke risk by up to 10%. The healthiest diets also avoid refined grains and added sugars and fats.
7. Lower Your Risk of Prostate Cancer
Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in men. Research has shown that avoiding eggs, dairy, and processed meat could significantly lower your risk of developing prostate cancer. And even after a cancer diagnosis, following a vegan diet can slow the progression of the disease. Individuals following a vegan diet have a 35% lower prostate cancer risk than meat-eaters and vegetarians.
6. Lower Your Blood Pressure
Approximately half of adults in the United States are affected by high blood pressure. High blood pressure increases the risk of numerous cardiovascular diseases, including stroke and heart attack. When done correctly, plant-based diets also can lower blood pressure. Multiple studies found that vegetarians tend to have a lower blood pressure than those who eat meat—those who follow a healthy vegan diet experience even better blood pressure benefits. Avoiding meat and dairy products reduce the blood’s thickness, making it easier to pump and lowering blood pressure. Introducing a plant-based diet into your life could lower your blood pressure in as little as two weeks.
5. A Healthy Gut Increases Your Immunity
A balanced gut means a healthy immune system and going vegan is great for gut health. When the microorganisms that live in our digestive tracts are balanced they promote healthy digestive tracts, immune systems, metabolism, bowel movements, and appetite regulation hormones. People who eat a balanced plant-based diet have a better gut balance, while meat-eaters have more harmful bacteria. A sixteen-week study with 147 participants showed that vegans in the group experienced weight loss, fat mass loss, and lowered visceral fat levels.
4. You Can Reduce The Risk Of Heart Diseas
Coronary heart disease is the leading cause of death worldwide. Processed meat has a high saturated fat content and high sodium content, raising the risk of heart disease. On the other hand, plant-based diets decrease these risk factors significantly. According to a scientific study that followed 1.4 million people over 30 years, meat consumption led to an 18% increase in heart disease risk.
3. Prevent or Reverse Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes is becoming increasingly prevalent, especially among older adults. There are approximately 422 million cases of type 2 diabetes worldwide. Vegan diets are an effective way to prevent, manage, or even reverse the deadly disease. Eating a plant-based diet that emphasizes legumes, whole grains, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds and eliminating most or all animal products are especially effective in preventing type 2 diabetes. A study in Slovakia saw plant-based diets reverse type 2 diabetes in 84% of patients.
2. Decrease Your Breast Cancer Risk
Researchers have noticed significantly lower cancer rates among people who do not consume meat. Vegetarian diets are second, while vegans appear to have to lowest cancer rate of any diet. Research clearly shows that eating lots of fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, and whole grains is linked with lower cancer rates. Plant-based diets also boost fiber consumption which, in turn, decreases the risk of breast cancer in women by as much as 25%.
1. You Can Age Slowly & Gracefully
The foods we eat will have profound effects on health and appearance over the years. While nothing can completely halt the aging process, the right foods can slow the process. Studies have shown that diets rich in fruits, vegetables, and nuts can slow aging. Individuals who consume a plant-based diet are physically healthier as they age than those who consume meat. People who eat vegan diets also live longer. Studies refer to so-called Blue Zones like Loma Linda, CA, and Okinawa, Japan, where people have longer-than-average lifespans. What do these places have in common? You guessed it; a healthy, plant-based diet.
Go Vegan For Your Health
Vegan diets have many health benefits, while meat-based diets are more likely to cause detrimental effects on health. Many of the population’s ailments could easily be reduced or even eradicated by removing animal products from our diets. Isn’t your health and the health of your loved ones worth fighting for? Going vegan is not as difficult as you might think. Manufacturers constantly introduce healthier substitutes for the meat and cheese you may not want to give up. It is easier than ever to make healthier choices for yourself and your family.