Why Do Vegans Look Younger?

Is there something about a plant based diet which improves your skin? A lot of vegans have a ‘glow’ about them and don’t look as old as they really are. So why do vegans look younger? Why are people genuinely shocked when I tell them I’m in my 50’s?

Why Do Vegans Look Younger?

 Vegans look younger because a whole foods, plant based diet promotes skin health and eliminates the toxins associated with meat and dairy consumption. A vegan diet has been shown to actually reverse some aspects of the ageing process! 


Watch: The 70-Year-Old Vegan Chef that Looks 40!

(Vegan Chef Babette just blows me away! Youthfully amazing.)


Maybe I’ve had an easy life. Although it hasn’t felt like it’s been all that easy, to be honest!

Panda bear living her best 'easy' life.

But when I’m talking to people and we get on to the subject of age, they often comment that I look a lot younger than I am. They seem genuinely surprised.

This is almost always before they learn that I’m vegan too.

Now I know one anecdote does not a conclusion make but my wife gets the same thing – although she doesn’t agree with them!

At university, before I knew that veganism was even a thing, I stayed with a couple in their 50’s who had been vegan for 20+ years. They were early adopters!

These two were like spring chickens. Cycling everywhere; growing their own veg at the allotment, bounding with energy and they definitely looked younger than 50.

More anecdotes, sure … but a lot of vegans I meet have this innate, youthful glow about them.


Does Plant Based Eating Slow Down Ageing?

Let’s talk about collagen. There are around 20,000 different proteins in the human body and of these, collagen is the most abundant [1].

Bowl of brightly coloured, delicious looking vegetables.

When we’re young the body produces plenty of collagen and this keeps our skin looking smooth and vibrant. As we age, collagen production slows down.

This is partly why the skin becomes wrinkled and saggy over time. It’s been shown that certain dietary choices can slow down this effect.

By default, a healthy whole foods, plant based (WFPB) diet will be high in the nutrients which promote the production of collagen.

Legumes like kidney beans and lentils, lots of different vegetables and fruit along with nuts and seeds are all high in the amino acids which make up collagen.

Soy is a particularly good source of all the amino acids needed to synthesise collagen. Vitamin C and zinc is important and also abundant in many fruits and vegetables.

Basically, if you make sure you mix it up on a daily basis and eat a well balanced WFPB diet, you can’t go far wrong. It’s worth supplementing with B12 and omega 3 as well.


Protecting Every Cell in The Human Body

Have you heard of telomeres?

Strand of double helix dna.

They are distinct DNA proteins located at the ends of every chromosome in every cell in our body. They serve to stop degradation of the cell [2].

As we age there is a shortening of these telomeres until eventually they cannot protect the cell any more and the cell dies.

This is so fundamental to the ageing process that scientists can now establish your biological age through determination of telomere length!

So if you can minimise this reduction in telomere length you will age less quickly. Mind blowing!

Guess which diet has been shown to not only protect telomeres but actually lengthen them?

Yep … a whole foods, plant based diet. This study in The Lancet concluded that lifestyle intervention was positively associated with telomere length. A major part of the intervention was a WFPB diet.

So it seems a well balanced vegan diet can actually reverse ageing and this ties in nicely with all the anecdotal evidence available.


Switch The Dairy For Plant Based

Your skin will thank you for it.

Dairy cow staring directly at the camera.

It’s well known that dairy can have profound effects on the skin. Many teenagers who are diagnosed with lactose intolerance suffer from terrible acne.

As if by magic, when they give up the cow juice their acne clears up. This is very common.

If you go looking you will find endless studies showing a link between dairy intake and acne occurrence. It’s not really that surprising, when you think about it.

Milk is ‘designed’ specifically for the offspring of the lactating mammal. The composition of cow’s milk is not matched to the needs of a human. It’s nowhere near.

Furthermore, 95% of Asians are lactose intolerant and there is significant lactose intolerance in other ethnic groups too. We’ve had to evolve to stomach milk.

This is why cutting out the dairy can help improve your skin health and give you a more youthful glow. This is not opinion, it’s just statistics!

Related: Why Are Vegans Against Milk?


Veganism, Compassion, Optimism!

Black vest with the word hope printed on the front.

I went vegan because I couldn’t allow my hard earned cash to fund the horror of animal agriculture. Health was not the motivator for me.

But it has been a welcome side effect of this compassionate lifestyle we call veganism. I feel better than I ever have and I definitely noticed an improvement in my skin. So did my wife.

More energy, stamina, clarity of thought … I could go on.

In a world seemingly approaching a point of no return, a sea change even, I remain optimistic for our future. Just as I awoke to veganism, I feel there is a mass awakening coming. If not then I wouldn’t like to guess where we end up.


I hope this article has helped you answer your question today and if you’ve been considering going vegan, I can wholeheartedly recommend it. Let’s move forward …

Please leave your comments below and share this with your friends … it keeps me in oat milk!

Thanks for reading and have a compassionate day!


[1] – Wu M, Cronin K, Crane JS. Biochemistry, Collagen Synthesis. [Updated 2021 Sep 13]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2022 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

[2] – Shammas MA. Telomeres, lifestyle, cancer, and aging. Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 2011 Jan;14(1):28-34. doi: 10.1097/MCO.0b013e32834121b1. PMID: 21102320; PMCID: PMC3370421. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov



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