Veganuary: 4 Health & Nutritional Benefits of Vegan Diets

More than half of Brits (58%) are using plant-based meat alternatives in their diet. Kristina Vervoorst, Marketing Manager at Ohly, shares her insights.

Worldwide meat consumption continues to drop because of growing concerns around environmental impact and animal welfare, as well as health. 

Vegan, vegetarian and flexitarian lifestyles are becoming increasingly popular with 4% of the UK population having taken part in Veganuary during January 2023, according to a YouGov poll.

According to a recent study by Ipsos, approximately 46% of Brits aged 16-75 are considering reducing their intake of animal products in the future, with 58% now using plant-based meat alternatives in their diet.

With this in mind, Kristina Vervoorst, Marketing Manager at Ohly, has shared her insights on adopting a vegan lifestyle as a mindful choice for overall well-being.

Nutrient-rich foods 

One of the primary benefits of a vegan diet lies in its emphasis on nutrient-dense plant foods. Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds provide a great variety of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fibre. 

A well-planned vegan diet including a diverse range of plant-based foods can deliver all the essential nutrients the body needs for optimal health and overall well-being. 

Heart health and cholesterol

Numerous studies have demonstrated the positive impact of vegan diets on cardiovascular health. By excluding animal products, which are typically high in saturated fats and cholesterol, individuals following a vegan lifestyle may experience lower blood cholesterol levels and a reduced risk of heart disease. 

The inclusion of heart-healthy foods like nuts, seeds, and plant-based oils can further enhance cardiovascular health.

Blood Sugar Regulation

Vegan diets which are rich in whole foods and fibre can help regulate blood sugar levels. Vegetables like broccoli, spinach, and other leafy greens are packed with fibre and magnesium. Both these elements play a role in managing blood sugar levels by slowing down energy release and glucose absorption. Kidney beans, chickpeas and lentils are high in fibre, complex carbohydrates and protein, contributing to maintaining stable blood sugar levels.

Vegan diets high in these types of food offer individuals a proactive approach to diabetes prevention and management.

4 tips to improve taste & nutrition in vegan diets

  • Diversify your diet: Packing your diet with a wide variety of nutrient-dense vegetables as well as trying our different meat alternatives can improve nutrition and add taste to vegan diets. It’s an attainable goal with careful planning and culinary creativity.
  • Unlock flavour potential with seasonings: One of the secrets to enhancing vegan dishes is using the right herbs and spices. You can bring lighter, more vibrant flavours to your dish by simply incorporating fresh herbs or if you’re looking for more depth of flavour, that’s where spices come in. Yeast extract’s distinctive savoury, meaty flavour can bring out umami flavours too.  
  • Your cooking methods matter: The way you cook your food will have a huge impact on the overall taste and texture of your meal. Grilling, roasting, frying or sauteing can unlock all kinds of different flavours.
  • Consider what’s in season: Fresh produce that is in season has long been considered to taste better. This is mainly because produce that isn’t in season will likely have been imported so it would be picked early, cooled, and heated – a process which reduces the overall flavour. 
Tatiana Rehmova

A glass half-full kind of a girl and a believer that everything happens for a reason, Tatiana works in Media Relations and is the Content Producer at Enhancv. She loves writing, spotting inspiring stories, and building meaningful relationships.