The best diet is the one you can stick to without major effort, that you can enjoy and that keeps you or makes you healthy. There is only one diet that can do that: A whole-food plant-based diet. So I wanted to share with you the amazing health benefits of a plant-based diet.
A plant-based diet comprises the consumption of vegetables, fruits, herbs, seeds (including legumes), nuts, grains, and spices. It avoids the consumption of animal products and minimizes the consumption of processed foods, and drinks.
This diet is often confused with a vegan or vegetarian diet. A vegan diet excludes all animal products and animal-derived ingredients such as honey) and does not necessarily focus on healthy choices (yes, it is possible to it an unhealthy vegan diet and become sick). A vegetarian diet may include the consumption of dairy and eggs.
When it comes to practicality, and if well followed a whole food plant-based diet is:
- enjoyable for adults and children
- the most effective
- the most sustainable
- the cleanest
- not restrictive when it comes to quantity and taste
- easy to follow
- easy and fun to cook
- on average, cheaper than other diets
- satisfy the hunger for a while
- relieve stress and anxiety
- easy to stick to
- improve energy levels
- improve the quality of hair and skin
- promotes longevity
- Loaded with nutrients
- and last but not least, the most effective when it comes to loose weight and keep it off.
Plant foods are loaded with rich vitamins and nutrients to help our bodies and overall well-being. And there are numerous health benefits of a plant-based diet.
Plant-based diets naturally contain what our bodies need.
This diet includes vegetables, fruits, nuts, grains, and beans.
These foods are generally:
- Are low in saturated fat
- Have a high in fiber content
- Have in cancer-protective phytochemicals
- Contain in anti-inflammatory properties
- Are high in antioxidant properties
Plant-based eaters have a health advantage
Compared to meat-eaters, vegetarians have a lower risk of blood pressure, heart disease, and chronic diseases, according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. You might also find you have a smaller body mass index too! There may also be:
- Lower risk of death from ischemic heart disease
- Lower low-density lipoprotein cholesterol level
- Reduced rates of hypertension
- Lower risk to develop type 2 diabetes
- Reduced overall cancer rates
- Higher metabolic rates
Geographical implications on plant-based diets
England and German research show that vegetarians are about 40% less likely to develop cancer compared to meat-eaters.
In the United States, studies of Seventh-Day Adventists (known for promoting plant-based diets) show significant reductions in cancer risk among those who avoided meat.
Many people follow plant-based diets in China. Breast cancer rates are much lower in this country than in western nations. Contrarily, the Japanese tend to follow meat-based diets. Studies show that women are eight times more likely to develop breast cancer than women who follow a more traditional plant-based diet.
Individuals with asthma found less need for medications after practicing a pant-based diet for an entire year. Results from the Swedish study in 1985 also informed that the asthma attacks also became less frequent and less severe.
Vegetarians might also live longer than meat-eaters according to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).
Plant-based diets can reverse some diseases
Atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) can be reversed by a low-fat, high-fiber, vegetarian or vegan diet, according to research.
Adult-onset diabetes can be better controlled and could even be eliminated with a low-fat, vegetarian diet accompanied by regular exercise.
When people adopt a plant-based diet they actually eat more food on average compared to other diets, and they lose more weight, and faster. On the long term they even eat less calories without even realizing it and without feeling restricted. Also what they eat is better absorbed, even protein, which is a plus for athletes, who became stronger and preformed better when following a plant-based diet.
On the country side of China, and before the diet was westernized, people got 90 of their protein from plants. What is amazing is that the least active workers ate 30 more calories than Americans but was 25% leaner.
It is in part because calories are better burned during sleep when a plant-based diet is followed.
How to start a plant-based diet?
It might be tempting to add more plant-based food to a diet, and consume some animal products such as lean meat or fish, and it is an individual choice that no one should judge. But I need to mention that it is more effective to go straight to a whole food plant-based diet and to let go of the other stuff, or to at least decrease the animal products little by little while setting a goal to only eat a plan-tbased diet at a certain moment in time. But it will be easier to stick to a plant-based diet once and for all. The reason for this is because weight will be lost and health will be improved faster. There will also be less temptation to go back to your previous diet, especially if you clear up your house from all the food that you know you should not eat anymore. For example, if someone struggles with alcohol addiction, it is more effective to avoid alcohol and cut it off once and for all, than to have a little drink here and there that might open the person to the temptation of consuming more of it.
The Most enjoyable diet
When it comes to the enjoyment of a plant-based diet, studies have shown a great majority of participants didn’t have a problem enjoying and stick to such a diet compared to other kinds of diets.
In a crossover study, women were told to eat a plant-based diet to see if it would affect their menstrual cycles, then they were to switch back to their previous diet to see if there was changes in their cycles. But the women felt so good, so healthy, losing weight without portion or calorie restriction, they slept better and had a better digestion, and did not want to go back to their previous diet. The data of the study had to be thrown out because the plant-based diet worked better than expected.
As you can see, there are countless benefits to a plant-based diet. Learn how you can get the same amount of nutrients in a plant-based diet here!