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6 Science-Based Health Benefits of Following a Vegan Diet

Dec 17, 2020

Health and Wellness

6 Science-Based Health Benefits of Following a Vegan Diet

Unhealthy lifestyles are becoming the main contributors to the spread of obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases. Therefore, physicians are becoming more involved in helping their patients adopt healthier lifestyles by suggesting various plant-based diets that encourage whole-plant-based foods and discourage meats, eggs, dairy products, and processed foods. Such plant-based diets are generally regarded as the healthiest approach to food, and its benefits extend way beyond weight loss. A typical whole-foods vegan diet would consist of whole grains, fruits, vegetables, beans, peas, nuts, legumes, and seeds.

Following are some health benefits of following a vegan diet:

  1. Helps to lose excess weight: Many observational studies show that vegans tend to be thinner and have lower body mass indexes than non-vegans. Additionally, it leads to healthier digestion and frequent bowel movements. 
  2. Lowers blood sugar levels and improves kidney function: Vegans tend to have lower blood sugar levels, higher insulin sensitivity, and up to 50-78% lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes. It also lowers the acid load and stress on the kidneys. 
  3. Linked to lower risk of heart disease: Observational studies report that vegans may have up to 75% lower risk of developing high blood pressure and about 42% lower risk of dying from heart disease. Moreover, a low cholesterol level that comes with turning to a vegan diet is known to be protective against heart disease and ischemic stroke.
  4. Reduces arthritis pain: Scientific studies reported that a plant-based diet has positive effects on people with arthritis. The nutrients in such foods may help ease inflammation and improve joint pain for Rheumatoid arthritis patients. This is because it significantly reduces C-reactive protein (CRP), a key marker for acute and chronic inflammation.
  5. Protects against certain cancers: Most diets consisting of processed or smoked meats typically see an increase in the risk of certain types of cancers, such as bladder cancer. However, in regards to plant-based diets, research suggests that eating at least seven portions of fresh fruits and vegetables per day may lower your risk of dying from cancer by up to 15%.  
  6. May help you live longer: Studies show that such diets lower the risk of all causes of mortality. It is linked to several health benefits like reducing the risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, cancer, and heart diseases. Such studies also suggest that vegans may benefit from a 12% lower risk of death compared with people who eat meat.

In addition to these benefits, studies have shown that as a result of decreased meat-based food items and increased plant-based food items, vegan diets are rich in nutrients including fiber, vitamins A, C, and E, antioxidants, potassium, magnesium, folate, etc. 

However, not all vegan diets are equal, as poorly planned vegan diets can be detrimental to your health. If you wish to learn more about vegan diets and implement them into your daily life properly, contact the medical professionals at 8-2-8 Urgent Care clinic. Our medical experts are committed to the highest quality of care for our patients. For more information, please visit our website.

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