Veganism & Research: What really happens to our body on a vegan diet?

Updated: Aug 21, 2019

It seems like everyone is interested in pursuing a plant-based diet, or are well on their way to becoming a full-blown vegan. What happens when we eliminate things like chicken, dairy, and even fish from our diet? Here are seven things that happen to our bodies when we go on a vegan diet! You can also watch my take on this topic in the video below!


1. INCREASED MOOD


Many people "go vegan" for animals. This is because many vegans believe that whether an animal is humanely killed or not, they still experience fear due to premature death, pain, and suffering. I find it interesting that once you start cutting out meat, research says that you have an elevated mood, reduced anxiety, and depression. In a 2015 study, four researchers surveyed anxiety, depression, stress, and diet. Their objective was to investigate how different diets, such as a vegan, vegetarian, and omnivore diet, impacted mood.



They found that vegans had a lower amount of anxiety and stress in comparison to those who were on an omnivorous diet. Lower anxiety scores were related to a vegan diet, with daily fruit and vegetable intake in males. Lower intakes of sweets were also associated with lower levels of stress in females! Overall, while vegetarians also reported less stress and anxiety than omnivores, vegans reported less stress and anxiety than both vegetarians and omnivores.


Reference: http://eds.b.ebscohost.com.rlib.pace.edu/eds/detail/detail?vid=0&sid=8906fbdb-956d-445f-ad61-4f0c795aca4c%40pdc-v-sessmgr03&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWRzLWxpdmUmc2NvcGU9c2l0ZQ%3d%3d#AN=25415255&db=cmedm


2. IT WILL CHANGE YOUR DNA

When you go on a plant-based diet, you can literally change your DNA. In 2017 a few researchers studied the effects of 7 days on a low-fat vegan diet. Their objective was to document the impact of a low-fat (≤10% of calories), high-carbohydrate (~80% of calories), moderate-sodium, purely plant-based diet for seven days. Within seven days blood pressure and cholesterol decreased, and diabetes and high blood pressure medications for many patients were reduced or discontinued at baseline. They also found that patients whose risk for cardiovascular disease within ten years also dropped.


Reference: https://nutritionj.biomedcentral.com/track/pdf/10.1186/1475-2891-13-99



3. SKIN CLEARS

Acne affects most people at some point in their lives. Due to many unclear causes, and likely multiple factors, many people have a hard time clearing their acne. In 2017 a research article published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences found that there is an emerging body of work on the human gut and how it mediates feedback between the foods we eat and our bodies. They found that a diet rich in plant fibers and low in processed foods was linked to an improvement in acne, possibly through gut changes and changes in insulin levels. Furthermore, plant-based foods and supplements may be an excellent alternative to the current standard of care for acne, which typically includes antibiotics.



When you replace meat with fruits and vegetables, all toxins can be flushed out of your body, and new nourishing vitamins, minerals, fibers, and phytonutrients begin to enter.


Reference: https://search-proquest-com.rlib.pace.edu/docview/1910599111?accountid=13044


If you are interested in pursuing a vegan, plant-based diet, I recommend checking out the Plant-Based Health Coaching program so that you can receive 1:1 support, accountability, and resources to healthfully do so. Many people who try to transition to a vegan diet on their own tend to be more likely to become deficient in vital nutrients due to lack of guidance. Learn more about the health coaching program by visiting sincerelyshans.com/healthcoaching

4. THE NUMBER OF GOOD BACTERIA IN YOUR GUT INCREASES

Our body literally hosts as many as two trillion microbial genes that are technically not “you,” but rather benevolent guests working in exquisite harmony with our body in our GUT! I tell my clients all the time that gut health is directly linked to our digestion, mental function, and even mood, and play a HUGE role in shaping our appetite, allergies, metabolism, and neurological function. Countless research articles have revealed that vegetables and fruits can provide the body with more protective gut bacteria. This can help to reduce inflammation.



Reference: http://rlib.pace.edu/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=edsdoj&AN=edsdoj.97e5b16850b4f4e9c7e42edf3e567e6&site=eds-live&scope=site


5. REDUCES INFLAMMATION


A plant-based diet is also naturally anti-inflammatory because it is high in fiber, antioxidants, and other phytonutrients. Several studies have shown that a vegetarian diet (devoid of meat and poultry) lowers the risk of cardiovascular diseases and some cancers when compared with an omnivore diet. The vegan diet appears to have even more health benefits according to a 2015 article by researcher Winston Craig. He found that a vegan diet seems to be useful for increasing the intake of protective nutrients, phytochemicals, and minimizes the risk of inflammation.




Reference: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1038/oby.2007.270


7. LOSE BELLY FAT


Everyone knows that when you go on a vegan diet, you have the potential to lose weight, so I saved this for last. ;)


Reference: http://rlib.pace.edu/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=edsgao&AN=edsgcl.417894507&site=eds-live&scope=site


Are you vegan, why or why not? Would you pursue this lifestyle, or do you think it's too complicated? Comment below! To read my take on what a plant-based diet means to mean, click here!
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