So, you’ve heard a lot about the trend involving plant-based diets, but are still not convinced that you should give it a go, and change your eating and drinking habits. Let’s take a moment to look for the answer to why you should try a plant-based diet.
1. Understanding the plant-based diet right
A plant-based diet or plant-forwarding eating patterns focus on foods primarily made or derived from plants. This is not only limited to fruits and vegetables. A plant-based diet also includes nuts, seeds, vegetable oils, whole grains, legumes (lentils) and beans.
Not ready to give up on meat or animal food? Not a problem! Being on a plant-based diet is not the same as being vegan or vegetarian. A plant-based diet is about making the conscious effort to choose and eat foods that are plant-based, but it is okay to consume meat, fish or eggs once in a while! As long as the majority of what you are eating is plant-based, you are on a plant-based diet.
Don’t worry about not getting all the nutrients you need, because plant-based diets offer all the necessary proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals for optimal health. Plant-based diets are also often higher in fibre and phytonutrients.
2. Five benefits of a plant-based diet
1 - It supports your immune system. Plants have essential nutrients that you cannot get from other foods. The vitamins and minerals, phytochemicals and antioxidants in plants help keep your cells healthy and your body in balance so that your immune system can function at its best.
2 - Plant foods reduce inflammation. Plants’ essential nutrients work to resolve inflammation in your body. The same tiny phytochemicals and antioxidants that boost your immune system also go around your body neutralizing toxins from pollution, processed food, bacteria, viruses and more.
Prolonged inflammation can damage your body’s cells and tissue and has been linked to cancer and other inflammatory diseases like arthritis. A plant-based diet may protect you because it removes some of the triggers to these diseases.
3 - A plant-based diet helps maintain a healthy weight. People who eat a vegetarian or vegan diet lose more weight than those who eat meat, according to a study in the Journal of General Internal Medicine. They found that those who followed a plant-based diet shed roughly four pounds more on average than those whose meals allowed meat.
4 - Plants are high in fibre. Fibre is present in all unprocessed plant foods. It is what makes up the structure of the plant, and if you eat more of it you access a whole host of benefits.
Eating a plant-based diet improves the health of your gut so you are able to absorb the nutrients from food that support your immune system and reduce inflammation better. Fiber can lower cholesterol and stabilize blood sugar and it’s also great for good bowel management.
5 - A plant-based diet reduces your risk for other diseases too. The benefits of eating mostly plants include but are not limited to reducing cancer risk. A plant-based diet also has been shown to reduce risk for heart disease, stroke, diabetes and some mental health illnesses, such as depression and anxiety.
All in all, a plant-based diets are healthy diets that help enhance and protect your health against many different diseases. Don’t procrastinate; create your own plant-based meal plan and follow it right away!