There are many benefits to be gained from moving away from an animal-based toward a plant-based diet, even before the transition is completed. Here are five benefits you will see immediately:
1. You will start to drop any extra weight.
Eating a plant-based diet accelerates your metabolism, so if you are carrying any unneeded pounds, they will start falling away. Vegetarian food raises the number of calories burned as body heat during digestion. Also, whole grains, beans, and vegetables are high in fiber that slows the release of glucose (blood sugar) in your system. Finally, you will be eating less, or none, of fat from meat products and cheese.
2. You will have better elimination.
Unlike animal foods, which have no fiber at all, plant-based foods are rich in fiber. That is important because fiber moves through your digestive system keeping you cleaned out. Your stomach will get flatter and you will feel lighter and much more energetic.
3. You will feel healthier.
Approximately 75 percent of people have some level of lactose intolerance. If you are one of those people, when you consume dairy, you experience bloating and cramps, excess mucus and possibly rashes.
Milk sugar and the hormones in commercially produced milk are bad for your skin, so any pimples will probably clear up. You will be less exhausted, because you’ll be getting top-notch nutrients and antioxidants available only from plant-based foods. You’ll sleep better.
4. You will save money.
Eating more plants means spending less cash on groceries. Meat and cheese are expensive, while high-quality vegan foods are much more affordable. Even organic fruits and vegetables are often reasonably priced at the farmer’s market, on sale, or frozen.
You won’t be spending much money at the doctor, or taking off work for a sick day. You’ll find you are more creative in your work and in every aspect of your life. More personal productivity translates to success and money.
5. You will be happier.
Science has a established a link between consuming the Standard American Diet (SAD) and depression, anxiety and other mood disorders. In a study done at the University of Warwick, researchers reported:
Happiness benefits were detected for each extra daily portion of fruit and vegetables up to 8 portions per day … that people who changed from almost no fruit and veg to eight portions of fruit and veg a day would experience an increase in life satisfaction equivalent to moving from unemployment to employment. The well-being improvements occurred within 24 months.
Don’t feel forced into a vegan lifestyle before you are ready. Many people take their time and transition at their own pace. In the end, you may choose to continue to eat some meat and dairy, but focus more on plant-based foods. Any step is a step in the right direction.