Despite a surge in popularity, vegans still only make up less than one per cent of the UK population. So what are the benefits of a vegan diet, and should you jump on the bandwagon?
World Vegan Day has taken place at the beginning of every November since 1994, and has continued to grow in both publicity and popularity. The awareness day aims to highlight the health and lifestyle benefits of a vegan diet, which takes vegetarianism one step further by cutting out any produce that comes from an animal, including things like dairy.
But what exactly are these benefits of a vegan diet, and could going vegan actually increase your overall health? In honour of World Vegan Day, we’ve done some digging and found out exactly how going vegan could be good for you.
The benefits of a vegan diet include:
One look at any of the material on World Vegan Day will tell you that a major benefit of a vegan diet is weight loss among those who previously considered to be obese or overweight. Weight loss can come as a direct result of veganism and vegetarianism because on average, these diets tend to be lower in total fat, particularly saturated fat. Animal products are actually the main source of saturated fat in our diets, so veganism really lowers these rates.
Of course, medication can also help boost the success of a healthy weight loss regime.
Increased physical fitness levels
Similarly, an increase in physical fitness is also one of the benefits of a vegan diet, as many athletes follow the lifestyle in order to boost their performance. Plant-based diets, on the whole, have been shown to provide more energy and accelerate recovery – although, care does have to be taken in finding suitable protein sources on a vegan diet.
Nobody likes migraines, but many of us assume that they’re an unavoidable part of life. In many cases, however, migraine triggers can be related to food consumption. Studies have shown that low fat, plant-based diets can be beneficial to sufferers, as migraines are often directly linked to foods such as chocolate, cheese and alcohol.
If you are suffering from migraines, consulting your pharmacist could be a helpful first port of call. To find out more about some of the prescription medications available for chronic migraines, take a look at our treatments.
As ambassadors of World Vegan Day will tell you, some of the benefits of a vegan diet are emotional as well as physical. Studies have found that veganism can actually help reduce feelings of stress and anxiety, as healthy plant-based ingredients are often mood-boosting and provide energy. Stress can have both mental and physical implications on your health, so a change of diet could be the best decision you’ll make this World Vegan Day.
A study on the population of Kitavan Islanders in Papua New Guinea found that not a single one of them suffered from acne, and the findings deemed this to be due to their diet which was (you guessed it) full of plant-based, unprocessed foods.
Foods with a high glycaemic load, and groups like dairy products, have been shown to trigger acne in some cases, so one of the benefits of a vegan diet could potentially be a clear, glowing complexion.
Of course, you don’t need to switch to strict veganism to see health benefits through your diet. Simple dietary changes can make all the differences to your overall health. But before you make any significant changes to the food you consume, it is always worth consulting a healthcare professional to ensure that changes will not have an adverse effect. While veganism is thought to be a healthy way of life, this requires a close attention to finding balance and variety in the food one ingests.
Express Pharmacy can provide you with NHS approved healthcare guidance from the comfort of your own home. Simply give us a call on 0208 123 0703 or use our discreet Live Chat service.