Incredible Physical Health Benefits of Veganism
It’s been over two months since I transitioned to veganism, and I can honestly say it’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made—for the animals, for the planet, and, as I quickly discovered, for my health. I’ll write in the future about the abundant mental health upsides but for this post, I want to focus on all the surprising and incredible physical benefits of my new lifestyle.
I’m not a doctor and this is my personal experience. Also, I think it’s important to clarify that I didn’t go vegan for my health. I already considered myself a relatively healthy person in the sense that I ate well, was physically active, and practiced decent self-care. No, I adopted a vegan lifestyle because the way animals are treated in the animal agriculture industry is sickening, inhumane, and completely unnecessary and I wanted no part of it. Not to mention that going vegan is the single biggest thing an individual can do to reduce their carbon footprint. How could I advocate for protecting the environment while I continued to support an industry that significantly contributes to climate change? It simply didn’t add up.
Not long after I made the transition to veganism, I adopted a whole food plant-based diet. A WFPB diet is all about eating whole, unrefined, and minimally processed foods and excluding meat, dairy, and eggs. I still enjoy (vegan) processed foods on occasion but the majority of the time, I strive to eat this way. This means I make most of my own foods and incorporate an abundance and wide variety of fruits, vegetables, legumes, beans, and nuts into my daily diet. It’s inexpensive, relatively easy, and, best of all, I feel absolutely fantastic.
I started to notice changes after only a couple of weeks of eating plant-based. The first big difference was an increase in my energy. I used to need naps in the afternoon to get through the day, yet since going vegan, I nap very infrequently. Mentally, I feel sharper and can accomplish more in a shorter period of time. Physically, my ample energy enables me to run further and faster, play tennis at a higher caliber, and lead a busier, more robust life.
The next positive change to occur was with my sleep. I’ve struggled with insomnia for years and often spent hours tossing and turning, unable to drift off. Now, minus a few nights where my mind has been bursting with writing ideas, I usually fall asleep within thirty minutes to an hour (and without my melatonin too!) and wake up around 7:00 refreshed and ready for the new day.
One of the most unexpected and pleasantly surprising changes was that my allergies went away. As in, they disappeared altogether. I live in New England and during the spring in particular, I’m always hit hard by allergies: runny nose, dry eyes, dry mouth, headaches, sneezing, shortness of breath—you name it. This allergy season, however, my symptoms are nonexistent. I don’t even need to take my allergy pill or inhaler anymore, and I’m outside much more than I was in previous years too.
In addition to all these wonderful changes, my body is much less sore (I used to take ibuprofen every day and now can’t remember the last time I needed one), my digestion is super smooth, my skin is clearer, and my PMS symptoms are less intense, not to mention that I’m increasing my longevity and significantly reducing my risk of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and other chronic health conditions.
When I transitioned to veganism a couple of months ago, I had no idea I’d feel so amazing. I’ve never felt as healthy in my life, and this is coming from a girl who just a few years ago was battling anorexia and depression and could barely get out of bed. I love food now and look forward to nourishing my body with the best and most wholesome products every day. Above all, I love that I can share this incredible lifestyle and diet with those close to me and see them make a change that benefits themselves, the animals, and the environment too.
If you want to learn more about the WFPB diet or how to go vegan, check out these great resources: