According to Elle writer Rachael Combe, more and more people are going vegan. The reason? Well, animal rights and disease prevention are a huge part of it, but a plant-based diet can also allow you to feel super healthy while keeping extra pounds at bay.
An even lesser-known secret is that veganism comes with plenty of added beauty perks as well. Here are a few of the ways you can expect to attract double-takes when you go meat and dairy-free.
Bye bye blemishes?: A lot of people who go vegan report clearer skin, which makes sense if you think: less cheese and dairy, less hormones and pore-clogging saturated fats, less zits. The causes of acne vary and you're unlikely to find a consensus about why this does or does not happen, but the results tend to speak for themselves. Some people not only wind up with clearer skin, but other pesky skin problems have gone away for people who switched to vegan (like rosacea!).
Hair fit for a commercial?: Once your body eliminates toxins and soaks up enough whole foods that are rich in nutrients, you could very well have a head of thicker, shinier hair to show for it. Many plant-based foods contain high amounts of vitamin A, which promotes scalp health and boosts sebum production in your hair follicles (the stuff that keeps it shiny). Just make sure you're getting enough iron and zinc, and your tresses will thank you for it.
Sweeter breath?: Once your radiant looks have lured in a tall, dark stranger (or maybe just your husband), you can flaunt your nice-smelling breath, too. Bad breath (or halitosis) is caused by certain proteins breaking down and decaying on the tongue, so you'll be less likely to sport funky breath when your protein source is a can of chickpeas than, say, a hanger steak.
Of course, this in no way means that meat-loving ladies can't sport gorgeous, glowing skin or a head of shining locks. Many experts agree that what you eat within your diet matters way more than what kind of diet you choose – you could technically eat Oreos for breakfast, lunch and dinner and still be vegan (but clearly not very healthy!), and many gorgeous omnivores maintain excellent beauty-boosting nutrition in their balanced whole-food diets.