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June 13, 2016 / Nicole Villeneuve

5 Surprising Benefits of Going Vegan

Roasted vegetable stack with lemon hummus

Not one diet works for everyone. Our nutritional needs differ based on our genetics, our environment, our lifestyle, the demands of our jobs and hobbies, our age and other underlying health concerns.

Despite there being no universal food solution for health, a plant-based diet can give you more energy, an immunity boost, and help the planet in the process. While you might not be ready to go entirely animal-free, here are some of the benefits of going vegan you might want to consider.

Thinking about going vegan? Design your custom menu on PlateJoy!

You’ll have more energy
Plants provide the body with easy-to-metabolize energy and require less energy to break down than animal foods. They also carry a lower toxic load, so your body will use less energy trying to detoxify throughout the day. Think of plant-foods, including nuts, grains and seeds, as clean-burning fuel: they burn efficiently and leave little behind.

You’ll experience smoother digestion
Thanks to their high fiber and water content, plant foods move easily through the body, scrubbing the digestive tract as they go, picking up toxins and waste matter. If you tend to experience slow digestion, aim to cook your veggies more often than you eat them raw, particularly cruciferous ones like kale, cabbage and broccoli.

You’ll boost your immunity
Edible plants provide great prebiotic food for your gut bacteria, the cornerstone of the immune system. When your bugs are happy, your immune system is bolstered and you can more easily avoid sickness. Plus, plants are packed with a variety of disease-fighting compounds that protect your cells while fighting off invaders.

You’ll be eating for the planet
It takes far fewer resources to feed 1000 vegans for a year than it does to feed 1000 meat eaters when you take into account the use of land and water required to raise and feed livestock. Focusing your food choices on plants instead of animals will help to decrease the amount of air and water pollution created by animal agriculture.

You’ll notice your other habits get better, too
When you’re conscious of what you’re eating—where it comes from, why it’s good for you—you may notice you start to develop a heightened awareness of your other habits. You may feel more in tune with your physical activity, how you monitor your mood, how you sleep: one good habit feeds another, and when you start to feel the difference, you’ll want to keep the good vibes going!

Thinking about going vegan? Design your custom menu on PlateJoy!

Nicole Villeneuve

Nicole Villeneuve is a certified Diabetes Prevention Lifestyle Coach. A graduate of Yale University, she previously worked in book publishing, with a focus on cookbooks and health, and ran the food blog Paper and Salt. Her writing has been featured in Bon Appetit, Food & Wine, The New York Times Magazine, The Paris Review, and The Daily Beast. Nicole lives in San Francisco and loves cooking, reading, exploring new restaurants, and running by the ocean. You can (very occasionally) find her on Twitter.

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