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From Omnivore To Vegan: 12 Vegan Health Benefits That Surprised Me

From Omnivore To Vegan: 12 Vegan Health Benefits That Surprised Me

Going from an omnivore to a vegan is a pretty difficult and radical transition to make. On the face of it, it seems easy, but there are cravings and foods that just taste so good some people find them hard to give up (bacon, for example). Personally, I had a lot of trouble giving up double decker tacos at Taco Bell. If you need a little motivation, here’s a reminder of the vegan health benefits.

1. You’re probably going to lose weight

Cheese, meat, and eggs all have one thing in common: they’re high in fat. That bacon cheeseburger tastes really good but it also contains a bunch of fat. The average bacon cheeseburger has nine grams of saturated fat and a whopping 20 grams of regular fat. Never mind the cholesterol, we’ll talk about that in a minute. When I went vegan, I went from 210lbs to about 170lbs in 15 months. It’s not as dramatic as some people, but still pretty good.

2. You’ll feel less bloated

This was the first thing I really noticed when I went vegan. When you eat more fruits, vegetables, and grains, you’re eating more fiber. Fiber helps move things along down there and keep your digestive tract healthy. The result is feeling less bloated. It’s a really nice feeling too.

3. You’ll have more energy

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vegan health benefits

    When you switch to being a vegan, you inevitably eat more fruits and veggies. This provides you with natural carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals, which help boost your energy. Many people have reported that they wake up, have their morning smoothie, and are bouncing off the walls before too long. Of course, you should also be careful. The change can also give you too much energy and give you a case of insomnia. Make sure you’re working off that extra energy!

    4. Your skin will clear up

    Meat means grease and grease getting into your pores will give you the kind of acne teenagers have nightmares about. You’re consuming less fat, which means healthier blood vessels, which in turn means your skin is getting more oxygen, which is important. Let’s not forget all those vitamins and minerals in the fruits and veggies that you’ll be eating instead of meat, either. Most of those have various skin-improvement properties.

    5. You’ll get sick less often

    I’m not talking about cancer or heart disease, because we’ll talk about those later. However, thanks to the increase in nutrients and decrease in fat, grease, and things that are bad for you, you’ll have a stronger immune system. That means fewer colds, fewer flus, and you’ll be less likely to catch those nasty bugs everyone is getting. You’ll also be far less susceptible to things like food-borne illnesses because you can’t get sick from eating undercooked chicken if you don’t eat chicken.

    6. You’ll have a reduced risk of heart disease

    There are studies out there that do state that a little bit of animal protein is good for you. However, people generally eat entirely too much meat and that’s why so many people are getting heart disease. Vegans eliminate the risk of overeating meat entirely and thus they have a lower risk of contracting one of the major diseases associated with overeating meat.

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    7. You may have a reduced risk of a bunch of cancers

    Studies have shown that you can reduce the risk of many types of cancer by switching to a vegan diet. There are a myriad of reasons but the baseline reason is that you’re getting more nutrition overall and that includes more fiber, vitamins, and minerals. You are also eating less junk food and less processed foods, which have also been loosely linked to contributing to cancer.

    8. You’ll be reducing the bad things

    vegan health benefits

      Most vegans eat whole foods and that means they don’t eat processed foods. Refined sugars, refined grains, trans fats, and other things that come from processed foods have been linked to everything bad under the sun. When you go vegan you’ll be cutting these things almost entirely out of your diet and that means you’ll be healthier overall and at risk of fewer diseases.

      9. The culture will likely lead you to improve in other ways

      When people go from omnivore to vegan, they learn that there’s a culture associated with it. Once they quit the processed food, they quit the smoking, become more health conscious, and exercise more frequently. While quitting the processed foods is a huge deal, quitting smoking and exercising have an equally impressive list of health benefits. When you go vegan, you may as well join the culture because it can be as equally good for you as the diet.

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      10. It’s an easier diet to follow if you have diabetes

      When you have diabetes you have to stay on a certain diet so you don’t aggravate your condition any further. According to a number of sources, a vegan diet helps keep your numbers where they need to be and it’s easier to adhere to (for some people) than the diets suggested by the American Diabetes Association.

      11. You may be able to prevent macular degeneration

      While fruits and veggies won’t prevent time’s natural way of making your eyesight worse, a vegan diet consuming plenty of them can make the process take place more slowly. More importantly, it can help you prevent diseases of the eye such as macular degeneration. Especially if you eat leafy greens, carrots, pumpkin, and sweet potatoes.

      12. You’ll probably live longer

      vegan health benefits

        While studies seem to have conflicting information about how long the vegan diet will extend your life, pretty much all of them agree that it will. Of course, as we talked about earlier, there is that culture that makes you quit smoking and exercise more too. Between that, those healthy veggies, and eating less toxic foods, you end up with a whirlwind of tangible health benefits that logically add up to living a longer life.

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        There are plenty of arguments to use a certain diet and vegan is no different. Just keep in mind that a lot of these health benefits don’t just come from the fruits, veggies, and grains but also from not eating as many processed foods. If you have any other awesome health benefits, let us know in the comments!

        Featured photo credit: Cook Eat Delicious via cookeatdelicious.com

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        Last Updated on September 20, 2018

        How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

        How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

        Being in a hurry all the time drains your energy. Your work and routine life make you feel overwhelmed. Getting caught up in things beyond your control stresses you out…

        If you’d like to stay calm and cool in stressful situations, put the following 8 steps into practice:

        1. Breathe

        The next time you’re faced with a stressful situation that makes you want to hurry, stop what you’re doing for one minute and perform the following steps:

        • Take five deep breaths in and out (your belly should come forward with each inhale).
        • Imagine all that stress leaving your body with each exhale.
        • Smile. Fake it if you have to. It’s pretty hard to stay grumpy with a goofy grin on your face.

        Feel free to repeat the above steps every few hours at work or home if you need to.

        2. Loosen up

        After your breathing session, perform a quick body scan to identify any areas that are tight or tense. Clenched jaw? Rounded shoulders? Anything else that isn’t at ease?

        Gently touch or massage any of your body parts that are under tension to encourage total relaxation. It might help to imagine you’re in a place that calms you: a beach, hot tub, or nature trail, for example.

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        3. Chew slowly

        Slow down at the dinner table if you want to learn to be patient and lose weight. Shoveling your food down as fast as you can is a surefire way to eat more than you need to (and find yourself with a bellyache).

        Be a mindful eater who pays attention to the taste, texture, and aroma of every dish. Chew slowly while you try to guess all of the ingredients that were used to prepare your dish.

        Chewing slowly will also reduce those dreadful late-night cravings that sneak up on you after work.

        4. Let go

        Cliche as it sounds, it’s very effective.

        The thing that seems like the end of the world right now?

        It’s not. Promise.

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        Stressing and worrying about the situation you’re in won’t do any good because you’re already in it, so just let it go.

        Letting go isn’t easy, so here’s a guide to help you:

        21 Things To Do When You Find It Hard To Let Go

        5. Enjoy the journey

        Focusing on the end result can quickly become exhausting. Chasing a bold, audacious goal that’s going to require a lot of time and patience? Split it into several mini-goals so you’ll have several causes for celebration.

        Stop focusing on the negative thoughts. Giving yourself consistent positive feedback will help you grow patience, stay encouraged, and find more joy in the process of achieving your goals.

        6. Look at the big picture

        The next time you find your stress level skyrocketing, take a deep breath, and ask yourself:

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        Will this matter to me…

        • Next week?
        • Next month?
        • Next year?
        • In 10 years?

        Hint: No, it won’t.

        I bet most of the stuff that stresses you wouldn’t matter the next week, maybe not even the next day.

        Stop agonizing over things you can’t control because you’re only hurting yourself.

        7. Stop demanding perfection of yourself

        You’re not perfect and that’s okay. Show me a person who claims to be perfect and I’ll show you a dirty liar.

        Demanding perfection of yourself (or anybody else) will only stress you out because it just isn’t possible.

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        8. Practice patience every day

        Below are a few easy ways you can practice patience every day, increasing your ability to remain calm and cool in times of stress:

        • The next time you go to the grocery store, get in the longest line.
        • Instead of going through the drive-thru at your bank, go inside.
        • Take a long walk through a secluded park or trail.

        Final thoughts

        Staying calm in stressful situations is possible, all you need is some daily practice.

        Taking deep breaths and eat mindfully are some simple ways to train your brain to be more patient. But changing the way you think of a situation and staying positive are most important in keeping cool whenever you feel overwhelmed and stressful.

        Featured photo credit: Brooke Cagle via unsplash.com

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