If you are exploring ways to improve your health, switching over to a plant-based diet can be one of the best options for you. A plant-based diet can also boost your energy levels and prevent chronic diseases apart from taking your health to the next level.
What Is a Plant-Based Diet?
Before finding out why to eat a plant-based diet, let us know what the diet is all about. A plant-based diet comprises food that comes from plants. It includes fruits, vegetables, beans, oils, nuts, seeds, whole grains, legumes, etc.—anything with food value that you get from plants.
Compared to non-vegetarian foods, plant-based foods are more nutritious. Meaning, they contain more vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients to keep your body healthy. Foods that come from plants are lower in calories and are the best natural sources of fiber.
6 Health Benefits of a Plant-Based Diet
Before you make a transition to a plant-based diet, you need to know the benefits of the diet. You can reap many benefits, established by scientific research, by moving to the diet. The main plant-based diet benefits include:
1. Can Lower Your Blood Pressure
High blood pressure, also called hypertension, poses the risk of heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes. So, you need to make efforts to keep high blood pressure at bay.
You can minimize the risk for these unwanted health conditions by switching over to a plant-based diet. Many studies have established that a plant-based diet helps reduce blood pressure. Therefore, the diet can guard you against those risky health conditions.
People who eat plant-based foods are likely to have a lower blood pressure than people who consume non-vegetarian foods, according to several studies.
2. Helps to Keep Your Heart Healthy
Eating plant-based foods, and avoiding meat intake, is the best way to keep your heart healthy. If you eat meat excessively, it can contribute to heart issues due to the presence of saturated fat in the meat.
According to a study, eating plant-based foods can help reduce the chances of having cardiovascular disease, like heart attack, stroke, and heart failure, by 16 percent. The study also shows that such foods can lower the risk of dying due to cardiovascular disease by 32 percent.
But, not all types of plant-based foods can keep your heart healthy. You need to avoid certain plant-based foods, like refined grains and sugary beverages, which can increase the risk of heart trouble.
3. Helps Prevent Type 2 Diabetes
It is no secret that there is an interrelation between diet and type 2 diabetes. And when it comes to the type of diabetes, bodyweight poses a major risk as body cells become more resistant to insulin due to the presence of more fatty tissues.
An effective way to lower the risk for type 2 diabetes is switching over to a plant-based diet, which can increase insulin sensitivity and reduce insulin resistance in body cells.
As plant-based foods contain lower saturated fats than animal foods, they reduce cholesterol levels in your body, and that lowers the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
A study shows that intake of high-quality plant-based foods can lower the risk of developing diabetes by 34 percent. You can, therefore, lower the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by eating plant-based foods.
4. Can Decrease Body Weight
Eating plant-based foods is an effective way to decrease obesity. According to a study, such foods can help people lower body mass index (BMI), obesity rates, diabetes risk, and the likelihood of heart diseases.
Plant-based diets aid in absorbing food nutrients inside your stomach, so your health will improve. The foods also strengthen your immune system, reduce inflammation, lower cholesterol levels and stabilize blood sugar. The presence of fiber in the foods helps you to feel full, so your craving for food intake will become less, resulting in weight loss.
5. May Decrease Cancer Risk
It might sound strange, but plant-based foods can indeed help reduce the risk for cancer. According to the American Institute for Cancer Research, eating vegetables, fruit, grains, beans, nuts, and seeds is the best way to source cancer-protective nutrients, such as fiber, vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals, which guard your body against cancer. Besides, fiber can reduce cancer risk, especially the third most common cancer--colorectal cancer.
6. Can Prolong Your Life Span
Intake of plant-based foods can help you to live longer. A study by the Journal of the American Heart Association shows that plant-based foods can reduce the risk of all causes of mortality by 25 percent.
Eating such foods can help you to strengthen your immune system as they contain essential nutrients, such as vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, and antioxidants, which keep your body cells healthy. As such, your immune system can function in the best possible manner to guard your body against diseases.
The foods also help you to fight off infection apart from protecting your body against germs and microorganisms. Besides, some studies show that a whole-food, plant-based diet can not only prevent but also reverse chronic diseases.
Eating a plant-based diet entails a slew of health benefits. But, you should avoid certain things, such as sugar, fat, and deep-fried vegetables, and ensure that you use healthy cooking methods to get the best out of a plant-based diet.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
© 2022 Indu Bhusan Nath