5 health benefits of going vegan


Amanda Mikulski

Warm brownie sundae at Christopher’s kitchen. Who would ever guess it is vegan!

Thinking of going vegan? Maybe this will be enough to sway you. Veganism is the practice of eliminating animal products from your life, especially when it comes to diet. While it’s not for everyone, it does have some definite benefits. And now, going vegan is easier than ever with the addition of several local vegan-friendly restaurants, including Christopher’s Kitchen and Yard House in Palm Beach Gardens, Twin Peaks and Darbster in West Palm Beach, and BurgerFi in Jupiter.

Veganism can help prevent cancer

A 2012 study by the National Center for Biotechnology Information on the effects of a vegan/vegetarian diets on cancer concluded that vegans have substantially lower cancer risks. For women, in particular, following a vegan diet can reduce the risk of breast cancer. A study out of Loma University reported, “Vegans have lower rates of cancer than both meat-eaters and vegetarians. Vegan women had 34 percent lower rates of female-specific cancers such as breast, cervical and ovarian cancer.”

So, how does it all work? It has to do with a growth hormone called IGF-1. This hormone causes cancer cells in the body to grow more rapidly. Animal products increase IGF-1 levels in the body, while a plant-based diet reduces the levels of IGF-1. The bottom line is several forms of cancer can be prevented or treated by a vegan diet.

Veganism leads to weight loss

Weight loss and vegetarianism or veganism go hand-in-hand because these diets are lower in total fat. Animal products are the major sources of saturated fat. Gabrielle M. Turner-McGrievy, Neal D. Barnard and Anthony R . Scialli conducted a study on weight loss trial comparing a vegan diet to a moderate low-fat diet (published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information) and found that the vegan group had a greater reduction in body mass.

Veganism equals glowing skin

People who live on the Kitavan Islanders of Papua New Guinea do not suffer from acne, and their diet is thought to be the reason. They live off unprocessed, low-fat plant-foods, so scientists believe there is correlation between this and the clear skin. Research has also demonstrated that dairy products can lead to acne, as well as foods with a high glycemic load, though a vegan diet eliminates both of these.

Veganism means less body odor

Who knew there was a direct link between the food we eat and our body odor?! Body odor is affected by what is emitted by sweat glands. These glands are designed to help us get rid of toxins from the body. Red meat and other foods that lack fiber such as white flour, hydrogenated oil and added sugars tend to be the primary causes of B.O. These kinds of foods are not a big part (if at all) of a vegan diet.

Veganism has no place for migraines

Nobody likes them; they can actually cripple a person. Migraines are often triggered by what a person eats. According to the National Headache Foundation, “42 randomly selected [people who get migraines] ate either a vegan diet or received a placebo supplement for 26 weeks. Followers of the vegan diet reported a significant decrease in pain, as well as changes in body weight and cholesterol levels.” If you suffer from migraines, veganism is worth a shot, right?