Going vegan is so popular right now. Everyone from Beyoncé to Stella McCartney and Ellie Goulding are doing it. Here are some reasons you might want to give a plant-based diet a go.

You’ll feel happier

Several studies have revealed ditching the meat can actually make you feel happier. In some cases, this has been linked to lower levels of inflammatory omega 6 fats which are high in meat and dairy but it may also be due to antioxidant protection from fruit and veg. A new study of 12,000 people found the more fruit and veg we eat; the better life satisfaction scores we have. Happiness benefits were detected for each extra daily portion of fruit and vegetables up to eight portions a day.

You may live longer

Studies have shown vegans have higher intakes of protective phytochemicals and antioxidants. These can protect our cells from damaging free radicals which promote inflammation and shorten our telomeres which is linked to ageing. Several studies indicate that those following a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle live an average of three to six years longer than those who do not. You will also protect your eyesight - going vegan can help prevent the onset of age-related macular degeneration and the risk of cataracts as you get older

You'll keep your heart healthy

Vegans and vegetarians typically have lower cholesterol levels, lower blood pressure, lower rates of Type 2 diabetes, and lower rates of obesity than meat eaters. In fact, a vegan diet can be a smart approach to managing ongoing health conditions.

You'll boost your physical performance

Some of the most talented athletes in the world like the ultra runner Scott Jurek, and the world champion boxer Keith Holmes have enjoyed successful careers as vegans. One of the reasons a vegan diet may be beneficial for sports performance is that the higher intake of antioxidants speeds up recovery after exercise meaning you can train harder for longer.

You'll boost immune health

Switching to a vegan diet may enhance your immunity. Since fruits and vegetables are rich in super nutrients and many have anti-oxidant purposes, they can bolster the immune system and help the body fight against disease. Many researchers also believe that antioxidants help protect your body against forming some types of cancer. Countries where women eat very little meat and animal products have a much lower rate of breast cancer than do the women in countries that consume more animal products.

Looking for some healthy vegan inspiration to get in shape? Here’s a recipe from Christine Bailey’s new book GO LEAN VEGAN

Chocolate Orange Pots

This is a delicious, creamy rich recipe. Using the orange naturally sweetens this recipe without the need for syrups. If you want to boost the protein content, swap one of the tablespoons of cocoa powder with chocolate protein powder.

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 2 minutes

Serves 4

100g sugar-free and dairy-free dark chocolate

1 tbsp. unsweetened almond milk

2 tbsp. cocoa powder (or 1 tbsp. cocoa powder and 1 tbsp. chocolate protein


1 large orange, peeled and pips removed

250g silken tofu, drained

Grated orange zest, to decorate (optional)

1. Place the chocolate and almond milk in a pan and gently melt over a low heat, stirring to combine.

2. Put the melted chocolate into a food processor or blender with all the remaining ingredients and blend until smooth and creamy. Spoon into four ramekins and decorate with a little orange zest, if wished.

3. This can be frozen for up to 1 month or will keep in the fridge for 3–4 days.