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Benefits Of Plant Based Diets

You’ll Support A Healthier Planet

Health benefits of a plant-based diet

Plant-based diets are not only good for your body they can also provide benefits to the environment. In fact, a team of 37 world-renowned scientists recently published a report that determined a plant-based diet is the healthiest for both people and the planet.

The more plant foods you eat, the lower your greenhouse gas emissions are, because animal foods require much more water and energy to produce. For example, vegans and vegetarians generate 30% fewer GHG emissions than meat-eaters, according to a study by Loma Linda University researchers.

Finding more ways to add plant foods to your dietand plant-based protein, in particularcan help lower your environmental footprint. For example, start your day with a plant-based egg omelet with spinach, peppers, and mushrooms. When you choose JUST Egg, you’re nourishing your body with ingredients that use 98% less water, 86% less land, and have a 93% smaller carbon footprint than traditional animal products. Who knew you could help save the world before lunchtime?

Is Meat Essential To Our Diets

Humankinds relationship with meat is complicated. We evolved the ability to eat meat, and it changed us. Yet meat is not essential to the human diet, Hultin says.

The only vitamin in the human diet that must come from animal sources is B12 the result of an evolutionary glitch. But this requirement can be met with a supplement. And in case youre wondering, protein deficiencies are uncommon in America, even among vegetarians, Hultin added.

These are not diets where you just eat salad, for example. If a person is hungry or unsatisfied, or low energy on a plant-based diet, theyre missing something, said Hultin. Its important to know how to meet your needs on a plant-based diet, just like you would on an omnivorous diet.

Undeniably, many people simply like the taste and texture of meat and cannot imagine a Thanksgiving without turkey or a barbecue without burgers. And a healthy diet can certainly include animal protein. But surveys show were leaving little room on our plates for much else these days.

Annual red meat and poultry consumption in America has reached 222 pounds per person on average an amount that has doubled since the 1960s. Only 1 in 10 American adults gets enough fruits and vegetables in their daily diets, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has found. The recommendation is 1.5 to 2 cups of fruit and 2 to 3 cups of vegetables per day.

It’s Better For The Planet

Choosing a vegan or whole-food, plant-based diet is one of the best things you can do for the environment.

The main reason is that raising animals for food is an incredibly inefficient use of resources. Growing crops to feed animals introduces a major extra step of waste relative to the efficiency of us just eating the plant foods directly, explains David L. Katz, MD, MPH, FACPM, FACP, FACLM. If you just eat the plants, you cut out the middleman. A 2018 analysis found that livestock provides just 18 percent of calories consumed globally but takes up 83 percent of farmland. Vegan and plant-based, whole-food diets are also associated with fewer climate-altering greenhouse gas emissions.

Learn more about your diets impact on the environment here.

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It Benefits Your Brain

A healthy plant-based diet is linked to a lower risk of stroke, according to a March 2021 study in âNeurologyâ.

And researchers found that the Mediterranean-Dash Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay diet is linked to a lower risk of Alzheimer’s Disease by up to 53 percent in those who adhere to the diet rigorously and by 35 percent in those who stick to it moderately well, per a February 2015 study in âAlzheimer’s & Dementiaââ.â

The MIND diet emphasizes brain-healthy food groups, which are largely plant-based. It also outlines five unhealthy groups to limit, including red meats, butter and cheese.

“Plant-based diets are linked to better brain health, especially as we age,” Jones says. “The MIND diet is very rich in plants with a very small inclusion of animal products, and is well-researched to have an association with improved neurological function and reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease.”

A plant-based diet may also be able to influence brain function â though the exact mechanisms are still unclear and more research is needed, per a September 2019 review in âTranslational Psychiatryââ.â

“One of the most fascinating areas of nutrition to me is how it impacts mental health, and studies have shown vegetarian and vegan diets to reduce psychological distress and reports of anxiety, depression and fatigue,” Jones says.

Lower Levels Of ‘bad’ Cholesterol

5 benefits of a plant

Numerous studies have shown the positive effects of plant-based diets particularly a vegetarian or vegan diet combined with nuts, soy, and fiber on cholesterol levels.

Plant-based diets have been associated with reduced levels of LDL cholesterol, otherwise known as our bad cholesterol, says Denby. LDL cholesterol promotes atherosclerosis, which is the buildup of fatty plaques in our blood vessels. As a result, LDL cholesterol increases the risk of cardiovascular disease. Therefore, reduced LDL cholesterol helps reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease.

But Medlin warns that not all plant-based diets are created equal. She says: Plant-based diets tend to be lower in saturated fats, though this isn’t always the case particularly as people increasingly rely on processed plant-based food.

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Improves Brain Power And Mental Health

As mentioned earlier, the benefits of a plant-based diet stretch beyond just physical health. The WFPB diet is excellent for brain activities too.

The phytochemicals-rich food reduces oxidative stress and inflammation in the brain cells. Studies indicate people consuming plant-based diets see a lower risk of cognitive decline diseases, such as Alzheimers and dementia.

Many different types of plant nutrients are found to enhance the activities in the brain cells leading to improved memory, focus, information processing, etc. Further, eating plant-based can improve your mental health too.

It’s More Sustainable For You

We all want what we can’t have, right? That’s one of the reasons why losing weight and keeping it off can be so hard. Most diets require you to cut out large food groups or make other compromises that are unsustainable long-term. That’s where plant-based eating differs. A plant-based diet is inclusive, and also more of an ethos than a “diet.” It doesn’t require you to focus on the foods you can’t eat or cause you to worry about what you have to “give up.” It only acts as a reminder of what you should eat, so there’s no such thing as slip-ups.

To make it even easier to incorporate plants into your meals, start by buying some prepared veggies , easy-to-eat fruits , and some convenient sources of plant protein. We’re big fans of foods like JUST Egg Folded: a plant-based egg that’s already pre-baked, folded, and frozen. All you have to do is pop it in one side of the toaster, toss a slice of bread in the other slot, halve an avocado, grab an apple, andboomyou just got some fruit, veggies, and whole grains in one easy, convenient meal!

Read Also: 1500 Calorie Diet Weight Loss

Your Body Will Be Better Able To Regulate Your Weight

Whether you’re looking to stay at a healthy weight or lose weight, plants will help you get there. When overweight men and women were asked to eat five servings of fruit and vegetables per day, they lost nearly 7 pounds over the course of 16 weeks, according to a British Journal of Nutrition study. After a year, those fruit and veggie eaters didn’t gain as much weight as participants who were not instructed to increase their produce consumption. Other studies have found similar results.

Plus, regularly eating staples of a plant-based diet, such as legumes, can also help with weight loss. In one study from The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers found eating legume pulses like chickpeas, white beans, and lentils daily can lead to a weight loss of close to a pound in about six weeks.

Incredible Benefits Of A Plant

Spectrum Health explains benefits of plant-based diet

Animals, Cancer, Diabetes Type 2, Environment, Food, Heart Disease, High Blood Pressure and Hypertension, Immune System, Obesity

Could we possibly be more thankful for plants? From oxygen to food plants play an indispensable role in our survival, which we often overlook. In an era where humanity is struggling with diseases, the benefits of plant-based diets are gaining greater attention.

Unless you live in extreme weather conditions such as the Arctic, your daily diet must have many ingredients coming from plants. How does a plant-based diet differ from what you might already be eating?

A plant-based diet essentially means a diet entirely dependent on plant products. This diet is devoid of animal-based products such as meat, dairy, seafood, cheese, etc.

The most popular term for such a dietary habit is veganism. As opposed to a vegetarian diet where you dont eat animals, a vegan diet shuns all kinds of animal products. However, a plant-based diet is much more than that.

The primary purpose of a plant-based diet is to achieve maximum health benefits through the whole, unprocessed nutrition what is also known as the Whole Food Plant-Based or WFPB diet.

Many variations of the WFPB diet exist, such as a Whole Food Plant-Based No Oil diet and a High Carb, Low-Fat diet. But the essence remains the same nutrition in the purest form.

Lets dive in!

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You’ll Have More Energy

Plant-based foods are beneficial for your digestive system in several ways, which may help you feel more energized and satiated throughout the day.

“An increase in nourishing carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants â as well as the decrease in saturated fat and heavy animal proteins â can leave people feeling lighter, more energetic and with an improved mood,” Jones says.

What’s more, although many fad diets emphasize excluding carbs, it’s the type of fuel your body prefers.

“In meat-heavy American diets, fat and protein tend to be ingested in higher amounts than needed, so smaller percentages of energy come from carbs,” Jones says. “While this may sound in line with some trendy diets, carbs are the most efficient and preferred source of energy for the muscles and the central nervous system. Shifting to a more plant-based diet increases intake of the usable energy that our bodies thrive off.”

“We also think of antioxidants as beneficial for long-term health, but in the short term, they work synergistically with each other as well as with our macronutrients, vitamins and minerals to support our metabolism, reduce inflammation and play a role in immune function. This can in turn improve energy levels and mental clarity,” Jones adds.

Plant Foods Are Believed To Lead To A Reduced Risk Of Cognitive Impairment And Dementia

A 2017 study published in Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience identified a direct link between increased fruit and vegetable intake and a significantly lower risk of dementia and cognitive decline. The main elements, which are plentiful in plant-based diets and have been linked to significant cognitive advantages, are antioxidants, vitamins, and folate.

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Lean Mean And Green Protein

Whichever diet you choose, just remember that removing meat doesnt have to mean removing protein. There are plenty of foods that can fill the bill, like tofu, quinoa, mushrooms, lentils, chickpeas and most beans and legumes. And did you know there are many good vegetable sources of protein? Thats right, artichokes, asparagus, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, collards, corn, potatoes, peppers, spinach, sweet potatoes and turnip greens all provide a good amount of protein. In fact, every plant we eat has some protein in it. So you may be getting enough protein without meat.

Why Eat A Plant

Benefits of a Plant Based Diet

There are SO many benefits to eating a plant-based diet, but the two main ones are:

  • It can reverse chronic lifestyle diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure , coronary artery disease, obesity and high cholesterol.
  • For those who do not live with a chronic lifestyle disease, it can help to maintain good health. This is because a plant-based diet removes the two main causes of lifestyle disease: high saturated fats and trans fats, which are commonly known as “bad fats.”
  • Recommended Reading: Anti Inflammatory Diet Mayo Clinic

    So How Do I Make The Switch

    In my coming articles, I will share ways to make the transition to plant-based eating. And no, you don’t have to do it all at once! This can be a gradual change.

    To start, you can begin thinking of ways to include more whole foods into your diet such as eating whole grains like brown rice instead of white rice, or eating more fresh vegetables in salads. I also like to recommend investing in a plant-based cookbook and checking out online resources:

    Niomi Smart: Why Progress Is So Much More Important Than Perfection

    The advice in this article is for information only and should not replace medical care. Please check with your GP or healthcare professional before trying any supplements, treatments or remedies. Food supplements must not be used as a substitute for a varied and balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle.

    13 June 2022

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    How Do You Start A Plant

    Getting started on a plant-based diet may seem overwhelming, but take it one day at a time. Eat a variety of fruits and/or vegetables with all meals. Incorporate whole grains, such as oatmeal, quinoa, farro, brown rice, or whole wheat bread. Healthy fatsavocado, nuts, olives, seedsare a great way to keep you satisfied.

    To start: Each meal or snack should be made up of 2/3 plants and no more than 1/3 animal product . As you get used to eating more plants, try limiting yourself to one animal product a day.

    A Vegan Diet Is Richer In Certain Nutrients

    Dr. Ian Smith talks benefits of eating plant-based diet l GMA

    Switching to a vegan diet from a typical Western diet means youll eliminate meat and animal products.

    This will lead you to rely more heavily on other foods. In the case of a whole food vegan diet, replacements take the form of:

    • whole grains

    4 ).

    Thats why its essential to choose whole plant foods and fortified foods. You may need to consider supplements for nutrients such as vitamins B12 and D, zinc, and calcium, since these may be lacking in a vegan diet.


    While whole food vegan diets are generally higher in certain nutrients, poorly planned vegan diets may lead to deficiencies of several key nutrients.

    Also Check: Mediterranean Diet Crock Pot Recipes

    Mediterranean And Vegetarian Diets

    What is the evidence that plant-based eating patterns are healthy? Much nutrition research has examined plant-based eating patterns such as the Mediterranean diet and a vegetarian diet. The Mediterranean diet has a foundation of plant-based foods it also includes fish, poultry, eggs, cheese, and yogurt a few times a week, with meats and sweets less often.

    The Mediterranean diet has been shown in both large population studies and randomized clinical trials to reduce risk of heart disease, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, certain cancers , depression, and in older adults, a decreased risk of frailty, along with better mental and physical function.

    Vegetarian diets have also been shown to support health, including a lower risk of developing coronary heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and increased longevity.

    Plant-based diets offer all the necessary protein, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals for optimal health, and are often higher in fiber and phytonutrients. However, some vegans may need to add a supplement to ensure they receive all the nutrients required.

    Ways To Get Started With A Plant

    Here are some tips to help you get started on a plant-based diet.

  • Eat lots of vegetables. Fill half your plate with vegetables at lunch and dinner. Make sure you include plenty of colors in choosing your vegetables. Enjoy vegetables as a snack with hummus, salsa, or guacamole.
  • Change the way you think about meat. Have smaller amounts. Use it as a garnish instead of a centerpiece.
  • Choose good fats. Fats in olive oil, olives, nuts and nut butters, seeds, and avocados are particularly healthy choices.
  • Cook a vegetarian meal at least one night a week. Build these meals around beans, whole grains, and vegetables.
  • Include whole grains for breakfast. Start with oatmeal, quinoa, buckwheat, or barley. Then add some nuts or seeds along with fresh fruit.
  • Go for greens. Try a variety of green leafy vegetables such as kale, collards, Swiss chard, spinach, and other greens each day. Steam, grill, braise, or stir-fry to preserve their flavor and nutrients.
  • Build a meal around a salad. Fill a bowl with salad greens such as romaine, spinach, Bibb, or red leafy greens. Add an assortment of other vegetables along with fresh herbs, beans, peas, or tofu.
  • Eat fruit for dessert. A ripe, juicy peach, a refreshing slice of watermelon, or a crisp apple will satisfy your craving for a sweet bite after a meal.
  • Ramping Up Your Plant Intake May Keep Your Brain Strong

    The physiological benefits of following a plant-based diet are many, but there are some possible mental ones, too. There is some compelling research examining plant-based diets and their role in slowing the progression of Alzheimers, Feller says. A review of nine studies, published in 2017 in Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, found that eating an extra 100 grams of fruits and vegetables per day led to a 13 percent reduction in the risk of cognitive impairment and dementia. The likely reason: Fruits and vegetables are rich in polyphenols, which an article published in August 2018 in Nutrients notes are in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains . Polyphenols may help slow the progression of Alzheimers disease and may help reverse cognitive decline, according to a review published in 2014 in Current Pharmaceutical Biotechnology.

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