How does a vegan diet help your health & fitness?
A vegan diet is great for improving many different aspects of life. Yes, it’s great for animals and yes for the planet but ALSO when done right it can be great for your health and fitness as well.
My personal improvements in health started when I went vegetarian. My digestion, energy, and weight improved. I knew I was onto something good! Years later after learning about what happens to animals in factory farms, I went fully vegan. Digestion got even better, fewer stomach aches (probably dairy), and energy got even better. I realized again I was on to something.
So I want to share here 5 reasons why eating a healthy vegan diet is beneficial for your health and fitness.
1. Protein found in plants can repair and rebuild your muscles
All proteins are built from amino acids. Amino acids are also in plant foods. If you eat a wide variety of plants you will be getting all of the building blocks your body needs to fuel and rebuild your muscles. If it still concerns you that you might not be getting adequate amounts, there are delicious organic plant protein powders lining the shelves to help you cover your bases.
2. Plant foods can help muscles heal
When you do a challenging workout that creates sore muscles you are excited. You know that the muscles you were targeting worked! Well, as much as we enjoy that feeling, we also don’t want it to linger too long due to there being inflammation in the muscles causing that soreness.
Eating alkaline foods like whole plant foods versus inflammatory causing foods, like animal products, helps to clear this inflammation with all of its nutrients and antioxidants. Whole plant foods are the healthiest foods on the planet. They are full of water, fiber, and nutrients. They have all the macronutrients and many micronutrients you need to recover, repair, and rebuild. If you choose organic there will be no chemicals and pesticides that also cause inflammation. And all plant foods are void of the dangerous cholesterol, hormones, and carcinogens found in animal products.
3. Plant-based foods provide an abundance of energy
The clean energy provided by plant carbohydrates and natural sugars are great fuel for your workouts as well as your recovery. You need carbohydrates for fuel and you need carbohydrates for your muscles to rebuild by restoring glycogen levels in the tissue. Processed carbohydrates and animal products are missing the nutrients and even quality carbohydrates to help your body and mind keep going.
Before your next workout, try a snack with fruit or grains in it to provide you with energy and have a postworkout meal of fruit and plant-based protein to rejuvenate you.
See my favorite post-workout smoothie below:
Strawberries and Cream Smoothie
1 cup soy milk or water
6 oz frozen strawberries
½ banana frozen
1 large handful of spinach
1 scoop of chocolate or vanilla plant-based protein
½ cup of ice
Blend and enjoy the energy from this post-workout smoothie!
4. Plant-based foods don’t weigh you down
Whole plant foods digest so much better than animal-based foods. Our body’s digestive mechanisms are made to eat plants all the way down to the length of our intestines. It takes the body days to digest animal foods and only hours to digest plants. You may feel full after your plant-based meal but not uncomfortable – helping you get back to your routine faster and feel better doing so.
5. Vegan food is life, not death
I know that sounds dramatic but let’s think about it here– just by going vegan you are putting pure living energy in your body. Food that was sprouted and grown from the earth was powered by the sun’s energy. It grew and sprouted beautiful leaves and fruit to attract living organisms to consume it. Plants are healing energy and as hippy-dippy as it may sound, that vitality will flow through you in your workouts and your day-to-day activities.
Don’t believe me? Try it! It will transform your physical and mental well being.
Vegan food is any food that doesn’t include animal products or wasn’t produced by using, harming, or taking from another earthling. So that said, there are plenty of vegan junk foods out there such as Oreos, fries, fried vegetables, chips, processed vegan cheeses, and much more. The above tips are most beneficial when eating whole, natural, organic plant foods.
Hope these five reasons were enough for you to consider a vegan diet to improve your health and fitness. Wishing you the best on your wellness journey friends!