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7 health benefits of a plant-based diet

7 health benefits of a plant-based diet

More and more people are turning to a partial or full plant-based diet for a combination of health, ethical, environmental and animal welfare reasons. Did you know that 90% of more than 100,000 customers who DR.VEGAN® serve are not vegan? People choose DR.VEGAN® practitioner-grade supplements because they work, they're healthier for you and better for the planet. In the same way people are shunning established high street supplements with animal ingredients and nasty additives, the growth in people transitioning from an 'eat everything' approach to flexitarian, pescatarian, vegetarian or plant-based diets, is growing faster than ever before, even if they're doing so only for a few days a week. So, what are the health benefits of a plant-based diet? Our expert nutritionists explain. 

Health benefits of a plant-based diet

We all know the importance of eating at least five portions of fruit and veg a day, yet less than one in five people do so. While there are some common mistakes to avoid on a plant-based diet, there are many more benefits to your health of going plant-based, whether it's for a couple of days a week or everyday. 

1. High in Fibre

Plant-based diets are much richer in fibre than meat based diets, and fibre in your diet is essentialFibre feeds the beneficial bacteria in the gut, and these 'good bacteria' support better digestion, bowel movements, steady blood sugar levels, sustained energy, and a healthier immune system. Fibre rich diets also lead to lower cholesterol levels - high cholesterol increases the risk of heart disease. Learn more about why fibre in your diet is essential

See what your diet is missing in your free Diet Profile

2. Better for skin health

The antioxidants in plant-based diets are very beneficial for healthier and better skin because they protect your DNA, which maintains a higher rate of natural collagen production. Premature collagen loss and ageing of the skin can be caused by insufficient antioxidants in your diet. Discover the best foods for glowing skin and nutrition tips for growing strong nails

Plant-based diets contain more fibre than meat-based diets. Fibre is essential for clear skin because it supports regular bowel movements which transport toxins out of the body. If you don't have regular bowel movements, your body will reabsorb the toxins and push them out through the skin, causing inflamed skin, redness and acne. Our poo tells us a lot about our health - discover what the perfect poo looks like

In addition, plant-based diets are more likely to be low in saturated fats. Saturated fats are bad news for skin. The fats you consume are incorporated into the skin cell membrane. Saturated fats are hard fats generally found in butter, fatty meat cuts, sausages, bacon, cured meats and cheese, and these fats decrease the flexibility of the skin cells, contributing to flaking and cracking.

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Mono-unsaturated fatty acids, found in avocados, nuts and seeds, olive and rapeseed oils, which are consumed in higher amounts on plant-based diets, are flexible and when they're incorporated into the skin cells, they allow the skin cells to be flexible and hydrated. Remember, there is no such thing as vegan collagen, despite some supplement companies claiming to offer vegan collagen - the only collagen that is vegan is the collagen your body produces. Discover Skin Saviour® which is a unique formula including probiotics, Hyaluronic Acid, Vitamin C and essential nutrients that combat blemishes and acne, and fuel your body's natural collagen production for healthier, glowing skin. Learn more in 

3. Excellent for gut health

The increased fibre intake of plant-based diets feeds the probiotics in your gut.  Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that live in the body which keep in check bad bacteria, fungi and parasites that can otherwise cause disease.   

Probiotics produce over 200 digestive enzymes which help breakdown foods and increase nutrient absorption. The greater fibre consumed in plant-based diets ensures healthy digestion of carbohydrates and prevents imbalanced gut bacteria, and ensures healthy bowel movements which eliminate foul-smelling gas and bloating. 

Probiotics are also essential for supporting our immune system, our brain health, skin health and just about every cell in our body! An unhealthy gut can also lead to constipation, diarrhoea, poor concentration and insomnia - learn more in 6 signs of an unhealthy gut and you may be interested in 'What are probiotics?'.

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4. Rich in vitamins

A well-planned plant-based diet is richer in Vitamin C, Folate, beta carotene, Vitamin A and Vitamin E, all of which are needed for many functions in our body including:

Diets based on fresh whole foods, fruits and vegetables will contain much higher levels of these nutrients than other diets. You may enjoy 'Top 6 foods every vegan should eat and why'.

5. High in key minerals

Magnesium and potassium are consumed in higher levels on plant-based diets. Potassium is essential for healthy blood pressure, proper hydration of the body and energy production.

Magnesium is a 'Mineral Superhero', involved in over 300 chemical reactions in the body, and is essential for the production of many brain chemicals, for the onset of sleep and as an aid to relaxation. Magnesium is also vital for our bone health and is generally not found in adequate quantities in other diet types. Learn more in our blog "How do I know I'm deficient in Magnesium?"

6. Good fatty acids

As we mention earlier, plant-based diets are lower in harmful saturated fatty acids which can build up in the arteries. Saturated fats raise your LDL cholesterol, which increases cellular stress, the risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke. Learn about the warning signs of a heart attack

Good HDL cholesterol from foods such as avocados, oils, nuts and seeds has a positive effect on your body, absorbing cholesterol and taking it back to your liver where it is disposed of. As a result, higher levels of HDL cholesterol reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke. While your diet can help, you can also raise HDL cholesterol through exercise, losing weight and reducing alcohol consumption. Discover 4 tips to manage cholesterol

Plant-based diets are higher in mono-unsaturated fatty acids which are also beneficial to the cardiovascular system and prevent the build-up of plaque in the arteries. Learn more about healthy fats here

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7. Excellent antioxidants

Plant-based diets are high in antioxidants such as beta carotene (which is converted into Vitamin A), Vitamin C and Vitamin E and many other plant compounds with antioxidant activity. Antioxidants fight 'free radicals' (molecules that can cause illness) and are essential for the immune system, healthy skin, helping your body fight disease such as heart disease and certain cancers, and protecting cells against DNA damage.

Looking for recipe inspiration? Discover our fabulous plant-based recipes

Discover our range of vegan vitamins and supplements

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