The Side-Benefits of Being Vegan
4 ways you treat yourself better by treating the world better.
Choosing to live a vegan lifestyle is not only great for the planet, and those we share it with, it's also a great way to take care of yourself.
1. It can help fight depression.
One of the trickier parts of adopting a vegan lifestyle is ensuring that you're managing to get all of the essential nutrients and minerals we need to survive. Once you've spent a couple of months researching your options, you'll likely be getting a far more balanced diet, and using supplements to fill in any nutritional gaps. If you take your time, and do this properly, you'll likely start to notice an increase in overall mental wellbeing thanks to the fact that you're now giving your brain the food it needs.
Vegan alternatives to products you would have normally consumed, such as replacing cows milk with a plant-based option like soy or almond milk, comes with an added side bonus. Most of these products tend to be fortified with additional vitamins and the like, meaning that is actually easier to get the stuff your body requires.
On a more esoteric level, you'll also be doing your second brain a world of good. It turns that there is a complex neural network that lives in your gut, and research has shown that the food you eat can cause changes in the performance of this network, directly impacting mood on a long, and short term basis.
Choosing a vegan lifestyle also comes with a host of other challenges you'll have to face if you want to do it successfully. You'll learn about nutrition, how to cook, try new experiences, and you may even become involved in activism, and meet lots of like-minded new people as a result. All of these new skills, and learning processes keep your mind active and healthy. Going beyond simply fighting depression, this can also help protect your brain against conditions such as Alzheimer's.
2. You'll consume less toxic material.
It would not be much of a stretch to declare our entire food chain as poisoned. Pollutants are now so widespread that it is thought that every single person on the planet contains a worrying amount of plastics, and other highly undesirable compounds–and a huge percentage of this comes from consuming animals, which have themselves inadvertently consumed hazardous by-products, trash, and other forms of waste.
Sticking to a plant-based diet means that you'll heavily reduce your intake of these dangerous toxins, and you'll also be doing everybody else a favour by not adding these to environment yourself.
Of course you'll never be able to completely avoid things like pesticides and microplastics, at least not right now, but any steps you can take to avoid knowingly consuming these is going to benefit you.
3. Less chance of disease.
You'll never have to deal with cross-contamination from raw meat, or risk catching salmonella if you've accidentally undercooked something.
You'll never run the risk of consuming flesh from a cow that had mad-cow disease.
Of course, you'll still have to use proper food hygiene precautions like washing your fruit and veg, and you can't control what goes on when you eat at a restaurant. Having said that, you'll be far less likely to become a victim of food poisoning one way or another
4. Balanced hormones.
Diary products contain massive amounts of estrogen, which will directly influence your own levels of hormones, and can often throw this delicate balance into disarray. Whether you're male or female doesn't matter–a hormone imbalance is not something you'll desire.
By removing this huge impact on your own hormones, your body will find it much easier to maintain the correct levels. This has been linked to numerous benefits such as clearer skin, elevated mood, and even better performance in bed. What's not to like there?