Those already eating a plant-based diet know the benefits of this lifestyle. Those who are thinking about changing from a standard american diet to one that is entirely or almost entirely plant-based might not yet be sure if this is the right option for their lives. If you are thinking about switching to a plant-based diet, here are ten of the biggest benefits you could reap by making the change.
Helps Prevents diabetes
Type 2 diabetes is becoming an epidemic, but a plant-based diet can be a great way to stave off any hereditary tendencies you might have and to reverse any lifestyle choice that might be sending you in that direction. Type 2 diabetes is actually completely preventable, but it requires the right lifestyle and the right mindset about food. In some instances, a plant-based diet can actually help to reverse this disease.
Helps control hypertension
There is perhaps no diet better for fighting hypertension than a plant-based one. Doctors have long been recommending diets high in fruit and vegetables to their patients with hypertension, as these foods have been shown to actually help lower your blood pressure. Hypertension, when not properly controlled, can have a number of long-term, serious negative side effects, many of which can also be prevented by controlling hypertension with a plant-based diet.
Better for the heart
In a study that followed over a hundred thousand people for more than ten years, it was discovered that individual who ate higher levels of vegetables and fruit had a much lower incidence of heart disease than those that did not. The study found people who ate at least eight services of vegetables and fruit had a 30% lower chance of having a stroke or a heart attack than those that ate less than two servings a day.
Helps you lose weight
If you are trying to lose weight, making the switch to a plant-based diet may be the best way to do that. People who eat mainly plant-based foods almost always eat fewer calories than those who are omnivorous. Lower caloric, nutrient dense food intake may lead to a lower body weight and a lower BMI. If weight loss is your goal, a plant-based diet can definitely help you achieve it. Added bonus; foods from plant sources are more likely to make you feel full, therefore you probably won’t feel like you are being deprived. Be sure to take a look at our Ulitmate Guide to Clean Eating!
Higher intake of fiber
If you are trying to find a way to boost your fiber intake, it’s time to switch to a plant-based diet. Those who eat this type of diet have a much higher fiber intake than those who do not. This means that their digestive track works better, they have fewer instances of constipation, their body is better at processing dietary cholesterol, and they have more stable blood sugar levels.
Maintains your vision
You probably already know that if you want to maintain your vision, adding plenty of carrots to your diet may help. But carrots are not the only vegetable that contains betacarotene (an antioxidant and precursor to vitamin A) and vitamin A (the vitamin that promotes eye health). In fact, there are lots of plants that contain high levels of vitamin A. If you incorporate more kale, kiwi, grapes, squash, and corn into your life, you will be getting not just vitamin A, but lutein and zeaxanthin, which are both equally important to eye health.
Takes care of your skin
A large portion of how we look on the outside is dictated by what we put inside our bodies. Plant-based diets are much more likely to provide your body with the nutrients it needs in order to stay looking healthy and beautiful. Tomatoes will provide you with lycopene (which protects your skin from sun damage), while sweet potatoes will give you plenty of vitamin C (which actually encourages the production of collagen).
If you have a disease or chronic condition that is linked to inflammation, like arthritis, you may find some relief by eating a plant-based diet. The foods that you are allowed in these diets are less inflammatory to your body than in most normal diets.
Lower your cholesterol levels
Do you have high cholesterol that needs to be brought under control? Look no further than a plant-based diet. You are simply not going to be taking in as much cholesterol if you wean yourself off or stop eating meat and eggs entirely. The vast majority of plants contain absolutely no cholesterol at all.
Get better nourishment
Most people do not get their nourishment that their body needs in order to really be optimally healthy, energized, and productive in everyday life. A plant-based diet encourages you to eat the kinds of food that really nourish your body, so you feel better and can do more!