With the coming of the new decade, you might be thinking that now is the time for a drastic changeup to your current lifestyle. One of the most effective ways to generate a net positive force in your life is by switching your typical diet into one that is vegetarian or vegan. In this guide, we’ll go over some core reasons as to why a vegan or vegetarian diet is beneficial to your health.

Reason 1: Weight Loss

If you plan to put all your chips down on a vegetarian diet, you better be ready to literally put the chips down. The benefits of a vegetarian diet happen when you are able to cut back on the carbohydrates and increase on the leafy greens and rigid fibers. An increase in fibrous consumption and reduction in carb intake has led to bodyweight reduction in several notable cases.  If you plan to take the vegan route, you’ll have an even greater chance at weight loss because you will be cutting back on processed dairy ingredients while consuming fewer calories than a vegetarian or meat-eating diet would incur.

Reason 2: Reduction In Potential Health Complications

Like weight loss, vegetarian and vegan diets have been linked to a reduction in chronic health complications like heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and high blood pressure. Looking at European populations, in particular, vegetarian diets were seen to have an inverse correlation with the incidences of diabetes. Vegan dieters in the United Kingdom saw a significant decrease in blood pressure anywhere from 33% to 75% in individuals. The reason veganism leads to a significant reduction in blood pressure is likely due to a number of reasons but most likely it is linked to a reduction in salt intake from the majority of non-vegan processed foods, meats, and dairy (pizza anyone?).

Reason 3: Increased Vigor

While it may sound like a placebo effect to say that vegan and vegetarian diets are known to increase vigor, there is quite a bit of substantial anecdotal evidence to back up this claim. You can even look to your own current dietary habits to understand this. Take, for example, anytime you had a huge meal. Did you feel lethargic afterward? If so, that is because the foods that are rich in protein and carbohydrates are rich in the amino acid tryptophan that helps the body produce serotonin which causes you to feel sleepy. Foods that are rich in tryptophan include salmon, poultry, eggs, and cheese. By eliminating these ingredients from your diet, you might notice an increase in alertness and energy after having a meal.

While it is quite difficult to pull off a complete diet shift and develop a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle, there are ways to make the transition smoother. By incorporating meat substitution products like tofu and plant-based beef patties into burgers, you can prepare meals that are similar to what you are currently eating. With a vegan or vegetarian diet heading into the new year, you can jumpstart your health and wellness goals.