A vegan diet is one of the best ways to maintain a healthy heart and increase longevity. The rich fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes in a vegan diet provide many nutrients that contribute to heart health, including antioxidants, vitamin C, and potassium. A new study shows that this type of diet can protect you from some types of cardiovascular diseases, lower blood pressure, decrease cholesterol levels, and help with weight loss. Learn more about how going vegan will improve your health below.
Increased Fiber Intake
The vegan diet has a higher fiber intake than the average American diet, usually low in fiber. This is due to an increased intake of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes that provide many nutrients that contribute to heart health. Fiber helps lower cholesterol levels and can protect against some cardiovascular diseases such as strokes and heart attacks. This is because it can reduce blood pressure, decrease cholesterol levels and help with weight loss. Researchers now believe that fiber is even more critical than previously thought to lower cardiovascular disease risk. Cashew nuts are a great source of fiber – one ounce contains about 14% of the required daily intake.
Another benefit of going vegan is losing excess body fat, which contributes to heart problems, including high cholesterol levels, hypertension (high blood pressure), and diabetes mellitus type II, which increase your chances of stroke or heart attack. A study shows that adhering strictly to a low-fat vegan diet significantly reduced the participants’ BMI, body weight, waist circumference, and blood glucose level compared with omnivores following an American Diabetes Association Step I diet. A vegan diet can help with weight loss and improve heart health by providing the nutrients that contribute to a healthy body, such as antioxidants, vitamin C, and potassium, which lower blood pressure while increasing metabolism or energy production in your cells. A low-fat vegan diet effectively loses excess body fat due to its high protein, fiber, and nutrient contents.
Less Saturated Fat
Some cholesterol levels are present every time you eat food containing animal products, such as meat, dairy, and eggs. A vegan diet is deficient in saturated fat, which can damage your cardiovascular system. Cholesterol contributes to plaque buildup or hardening of the arteries that reduce blood flow through them, making it more difficult for oxygenated blood to reach your heart. This increases risk factors for stroke and other types of cardiovascular disease, including high blood pressure, angina (chest pain), and even death from a heart attack if left untreated over an extended period of time.
Lowers Blood Pressure
A vegan diet can also help to lower high blood pressure, which is good for heart health. High blood pressure occurs when more and more plaque builds up in your arteries, making it difficult for oxygenated blood to reach areas of the body that need it most, including vital organs such as the brain, kidneys, and liver. This condition increases risk factors for stroke, angina (chest pain), and even death from a heart attack if left untreated over an extended period of time. One study found that adhering strictly to a low-fat vegan diet significantly reduced both systolic and diastolic measurements of arterial hypertension after only six weeks by providing many nutrients that contribute to heart health like antioxidants, vitamin C, and potassium.
Reduced Risk Of Type II Diabetes
Type II diabetes is another prevalent cardiovascular disease that causes plaque buildup in the arteries, heart, and kidneys, reducing blood flow to various areas of the body, including vital organs such as the brain, liver, and kidneys. This increases risk factors for stroke or kidney failure if left untreated over an extended period of time. You can reduce your risk of type II diabetes by following a vegan diet. Type II diabetes usually occurs due to poor dietary choices like processed foods high in sugar and fat combined with little exercise throughout life. Still, it’s also associated with obesity making weight loss key to reversing this condition. A study found that vegans were 54% less likely than omnivores (meat-eaters) to develop Type II diabetes because they generally have a lower BMI, reduced abdominal obesity, and increased insulin sensitivity.
Improved Nutrient Intake From Plant-Based Foods
Vegan diets provide many nutrients that contribute to heart health. The USDA recommends eating a diet containing vegetables, fruits, and whole grains, part of the vegan diet. These foods have higher amounts of fiber, vitamins C & E, magnesium, potassium, and phytochemicals than meats or other animal products do, making them ideal for your heart’s optimal functioning. Phytochemicals are antioxidants found in plants that can help protect cells from damage caused by free radicals, suitable for cardiovascular health because it slows plaque buildup or hardening of arteries, therefore, lowering blood pressure.
The vegan diet is an excellent source of omega-three fatty acids, proven to reduce the risk factors for cardiovascular disease. These nutrients are found in vegetarian sources such as flax seeds, hemp, and chia seeds, so you don’t have to eat fish or other animal products that contain unhealthy cholesterol levels.
Antioxidants & Vitamin C
Vegan diets include more antioxidants than non-vegetarian diets because they’re loaded with fruits and vegetables known for their antioxidant properties, including tomatoes, carrots, kale, and broccoli, just to name a few. Antioxidant activity helps decrease free radical damage caused by substances called “free radicals,” which contribute to heart problems like atherosclerosis (hardening of arteries), high blood pressure, and strokes.
People who follow a vegan diet have been shown in studies to be healthier than those following a traditional American diet. Heart disease is the leading cause of death worldwide. Many people die from heart attacks each year, so choosing good foods for your cardiovascular system can help you live longer while improving your quality of life. Along with energy levels, mental clarity & overall mood make this dietary choice optimal for all types of people regardless if they’re looking to lose weight or simply feel better.