When I switched to a plant-based diet, I was interested in curing my debilitating microvascular angina. The diet worked exceptionally well for that and within 4 weeks my angina was completely gone. I was thrilled to be back to my old self, but I was surprised to find that I seem to have gone back to a younger version of myself* altogether.
Here are some of the reasons why whole plant foods can make you feel younger:
Reason #1 You have more energy.
The best, in fact only, thing you can do to improve the function of your arteries is to eat a whole food, plant-based diet. Eating oils and animal fats impairs arterial function and eating vegetables improves it, so almost immediately your blood vessels are able to respond better to demand from your muscles for oxygen. It’s not just your muscles, of course, it’s also your brain, heart and other organs that will benefit from improved circulation. You’ll notice the difference in just a few days.
Reason #2 Aches and pains disappear and recovery from exercise is faster.
As you get older you start to get stiff, sore joints and other aches and pains. Getting out of bed the morning after a day working in the garden can make you feel like a rusty tin man. It seems like you are always throwing something out of alignment. And all of that is quite normal due to the increased inflammation that occurs naturally as we age.
But it doesn’t have to be. Animal protein and fats are inflammatory, but fruits and vegetables and other foods high in antioxidants are anti-inflammatory. Meaning for many people, giving up animal products means giving up their sore joints and aching muscles.
Lots of vegan athletes report that they were able to recover from workouts quicker when they switched to a plant-based diet. Exercise generates free radicals which can cause inflammation and damage, but a vegan diet is filled with antioxidants which counter the effect.
When stuff doesn’t hurt anymore, you feel younger.
Reason #3 You lose weight
Most people eating a whole food, plant-based diet find their weight drops easily and stays off without much effort.
How eating whole plant foods results in effortless weight loss
Having a middle-aged paunch does nothing to help you feel younger, but losing it certainly does. I am down to the weight I was in high school and I love being thinner. I didn’t set out to lose weight – I was motivated by my angina. But I don’t miss those 40 pounds at all.
There is nothing like having a chronic illness to make you feel old beyond your years. Eliminating the disease and feeling fit and healthy certainly goes a long way towards making you feel younger. Now if only the plant-based diet could fix grey hair and wrinkles!