Like I told my friend the other day, unless you’ve been “living under a rock” in recent years, you have probably heard of the fact that being vegan/plant-based is extremely good for your health. Today I want to share with you 8 health benefits of being vegan as these are benefits I have encountered first-hand since becoming vegan over 2 years ago.
Before we get started, let’s go over the difference between vegan and plant-based. In terms of eating, they are the same. However, a vegan takes things to a different level outside of just eating: a vegan is someone who does not and will not use animal products or bi-products in any area of their life (beauty, health, home cleaners, clothes, accessories, etc.). For the purpose of this post, I am going to use the term vegan, but know that for eating-related content, vegan and plant-based are the same.
I recently filmed a video on my YouTube channel going over the 8 health benefits of being vegan. I also went further into the reasons why I initially became vegetarian and then vegan. If you would like to watch this video, please do so by clicking below!
In case you do not watch the video, here’s the short version of why I became vegan: I was vegetarian or pescatarian for years (around 6 years) before I became vegan. I became these because of some documentaries a friend shared with me (those documentaries will be found at the end of this post, I highly recommend watching them all).
When I had my son, Harrison, in November of 2017, my husband and I noticed that at around one month old he was getting a rash and stomach upset after breastfeeding. I read all about this trying to find out how I could help him, but something stuck out to me more than anything else – I read somewhere that sometimes infants can be very sensitive to dairy from their mother’s breastmilk. So, I decided to stop consuming dairy in order to see if this would help him.
Well, it helped Harrison – tremendously. While he would still get eczema from time to time (simply from having sensitive skin), he no longer got a rash after eating and the stomach upset went away completely. But here’s the thing: he wasn’t the only one who noticed a difference – I had major improvements in my health in the week that I went off dairy – so much so, that I decided to stay off of it completely and forever.
The benefits I noticed right away was the lack of joint pain (which I so frequently got in my hips and knees), the lack of fatigue, and the lack of stomach issues such as IBS. But, over time, I noticed so many other health benefits of being 100% plant-based vegan.
8 Health Benefits of Being Vegan
1. More Energy
My energy sky-rocketed when I quit eating dairy and was no longer consuming animal products. I felt like I was 18 again! (And this was with a 1 month old!)
2. Feeling Better
I no longer had that “sluggish feeling” that I often got midday or after eating a heavy meal. I just felt “lighter” if that makes sense.
3. Fewer Joint Issues
As I previously mentioned, my joint issues almost completely went away (dairy causes inflammation of the joints). Thank goodness for this.
4. Clearer Skin
My skin was glowing (still is, I get compliments all the time on it!).
5. Weight Loss
As you saw in my YouTube video, I lost 30 pounds when I went vegan. Most of this was body fat. I am in the best shape of my life to this day and I accredit it almost completely to my vegan lifestyle.
6. Better Sleep
Other than when I was a teenager, I have never slept as good as I sleep as a vegan. I promise you this is one you don’t realize you’re missing until you experience it!
7. Fewer GI Issues
Fewer gastrointestinal issues. While I never really had a lot of GI issues, I had enough to be uncomfortable from time to time, especially after eating. However, those are all a thing of the past. I have not had a single GI issue since becoming vegan.
8. Decreased Risk of Cancer & Disease
As you will see in the documentaries I have listed below, my risk for cancer, heart disease, and diabetes is much lower (if not zero) now that I am vegan. Yours can be too.
There are many other benefits (health and otherwise) of being vegan. However, these are the 8 major ones I noticed when I became vegan, and the ones I know you will noticed when you make the switch.
Being vegan is not easy to do at first, but I feel this is only because everything is so dairy-overloaded and meat-overloaded on TV, on billboards, at the grocery store, etc. that it just makes it hard for us to think of a life without these things. But let me tell you, friend, if you make the switch, you will realize that it actually is easy to eat plant-based. Nowadays, we are lucky because many grocery stores have plant-based sections and freezer aisles making it even easier for us.
Your reasons may be different, but again, my first reason for becoming vegan was that of trying to help alleviate pain and discomfort from my infant son’s life. And I did that. However, I remain vegan because of several reasons: I do not condone the torture and abuse of animals for their meat or dairy, I know that my health is in prime condition when I eat a plant-based diet, and finally, I know that I am helping the environment (climate change!) by being vegan.
Documentaries to Watch if You’re Considering Going Vegan
If you want to know more about being vegan or how to get started, check out these documentaries. I will warn you, some are graphic, but all are life-changing:
- What the Health
- Forks Over Knives
- Game Changers: available on Netflix
- Eating Animals: available on Hulu & Amazon Prime
Thanks so much for reading, friends! If you are interested in more vegan-related posts, make sure you check out my post on how to be vegan as a family, my vegan skincare routine, and how to meal plan for a vegan family.