One of the growing trends in nutrition is the plant-based diet. Although this type of diet can be very beneficial, some people hesitate to make the switch to plant-based foods. If you’re debating whether or not you should try a plant-based diet, consider the many benefits. It might be enough to convince you to make the switch.
1. Prevent Diabetes
Over 100 million Americans have diabetes or prediabetes1. In addition to causing many health problems, diabetes can be fatal. Treatment of the disease costs Americans millions of dollars every year.
The cause of Type 1 diabetes is still not certain. However, there are many factors that contribute to the prevalence of Type 2 diabetes. It can be genetic, but there are several other contributing factors.
For example, being overweight or obese can cause diabetes. You are also more likely to develop it if you live a sedentary lifestyle. Typically, the disease starts with resistance to insulin. YYour body must make more insulin to help glucose to get into cells. First, your pancreas can make enough insulin to keep you going strong. But then, your pancreas can’t continue to get the job done. The disease takes over.
Preventing diabetes isn’t easy. In fact, the International Diabetes Federation expects more than 600 million people to have diabetes in 20352. But there could be a solution. Some evidence shows that a plant-based diet can prevent diabetes.
There are several reasons for this. However, one theory is that plant-based diets result in weight loss. This takes away one of the leading causes of the disease – obesity.
2. Lose Weight
As a general rule, vegetarians eat fewer calories than those who eat meat. For that reason, vegetarians tend to have lower body mass indexes than others.
You don’t need to completely get rid of meat to be on a plant-based diet. However, even eliminating a little meat from your diet can help you lose weight. The same is true of processed sugary foods. Although you don’t need to completely exclude them from your diet, you can limit them. This makes it much easier to lose weight.
A plant-based diet also tends to make people feel fuller quickly. Instead of needing to go for second and third helpings, you can stick to one. It’s a great, natural way to suppress your appetite.
If you want to lose weight, you don’t need to try crazy diets or be the first to try a new stimulant. With this diet, you can lose weight in a tried and tested method.
3. Prevent Heart Disease
Much like diabetes, heart disease is a serious problem in the US. Approximately one in every three adult Americans has high blood pressure, making them likely to develop heart trouble or stroke. Either way, the result could be fatal.
According to the Harvard School of Public Health, eating more fruits and vegetables can lower your blood pressure. Researchers looked into the habits of thousands of people for over a decade. After analyzing their health habits, researchers found that those who ate more fruits and vegetables were less at risk for heart disease.
People who ate more than eight servings of fruits and vegetables each day had a 30% decreased risk of having a stroke or heart attack3. Therefore, it seems as if eating a plant-based diet can prevent heart disease.
4. Get More Fiber
By eating fiber, you can keep yourself regular. Fiber assists in the digestion process, which can improve your comfort and bowel movements. Additionally, fiber can prevent constipation.
There’s another benefit to getting more fiber. Some studies show that fiber can lower blood sugar levels and cholesterol.
If you want to experience a high-fiber diet, you need to eat more fruits and vegetables. Plant-based diets give bodies plenty of access to fiber. For example, green peas have more than eight grams of fiber4. With a plant-based diet, you don’t need to worry about trying to incorporate more fiber into your diet. It’s likely that you’ll get enough fiber throughout the day.
5. Better Skin
Animal products contain saturated fats. Unfortunately, those saturated fats tend to clog pores. The result could be blemished or oily skin. By sticking to a plant-based diet, you can limit the amount of saturated fats that you eat. This gives you a chance at clearer skin.
In addition to containing no saturated fats, fruits and vegetables are beneficial to your skin for another reason. They contain vitamins and phytochemicals that promote healthy skin. Consider tomatoes, which contain lycopene. Known to protect the skin from sun damage, lycopene can keep your skin looking great. Another example is vitamin C, which you can find in sweet potatoes and oranges. The vitamin stimulates your body to produce collagen, which smooths out wrinkles.
6. Better Vision
As you age, your eyes are more likely to fail you. However, you may be able to prevent your eyes from suffering as you get older. Certain foods contain lutein and zeaxanthin, both of which prevent eye disease like macular degeneration.
Foods like spinach, squash, and grapes are high in lutein and zeaxanthin. By eating a plant-based diet, you could be doing your eyes a favor. It’s only one of the many benefits of a plant-based diet.
Should You Experience The Benefits Of A Plant-Based Diet?
Are you still considering a plant-based diet? If so, there are a few things you should know. First, you should realize that it doesn’t need to be a strict diet. When you decide to switch to plant-based foods, you don’t need to give up anything. Rather than completely giving up meat or processed food, you can limit it.
The flexibility of the diet makes it easy to try it. It’s not extreme or shocking to your system. As you ease into it, you can slowly start to experience the benefits of it.
Another reason to try the plant-based diet is the fact that it can improve your overall health. By fighting off macular degeneration, heart disease, and more. At the very least, it’s worth considering.
To make sure you are getting all the proper vitamins and nutrients on a plant-based diet, we recommend trying one of our many whole food, plant-based supplements.
1. https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2017/p0718-diabetes-report.html, New CDC report: More than 100 million Americans have diabetes or prediabetes, July 18, 2017
2. http://www.diabetesatlas.org/component/attachments/?task=download&id=180, Estimated Number Of People With Diabetes Worldwide
3. https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/what-should-you-eat/vegetables-and-fruits/, Vegetables and Fruits
4. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/high-fiber-foods/art-20050948, Chart of high-fiber foods