Ten Science-Backed Benefits Of Plant-Based Diet
Did you know animal agriculture is responsible for almost one-tenth of environmental emissions? And beef production is responsible for 41% of it. No other food production is as resource intensive as the animal. It is no secret that to meet the growing demand for beef, some part of the Brazilian forest is being burnt down at this very minute to make space for cattle farming. Considering all that, you might be thinking of jumping to a plant-based diet. However, a plant-based diet is not only environmentally sustainable; it has other health benefits that can improve your overall well-being.
A plant-based diet includes foods that come entirely from the plant- fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds, oils, whole grains, and so on. Read on to find out how you can be benefitted from following a plant-based diet.
Types of Vegetarian Diets
There are different degrees of a vegetarian diet; some eliminate animal products and such food groups from their diet while some depend on milk or eggs. Regardless, the majority of their diet consists of plant-sourced foods.
Semi-vegetarian or flexitarian– semi-vegetarian eats eggs, dairy products, poultry, seafood, and occasional meats, but mostly their diet consists of vegetarian products. As a beginner in a plant-based diet, you can follow a beginner’s guide to a plant-based diet by being a flexitarian.
Pescatarian– pescatarian diets include fish, eggs, and dairy but no meat or poultry.
Vegetarian– vegetarians eat eggs and dairy products but no poultry meat or fish.
Vegan– vegans are the ultimate plant-based dieter. They don’t consume any food product that comes from animal sources, including eggs and milk.
Benefits of Plant-Based Diet According to Science
A plant-based diet is just not the new health trend that promises weight loss. It has several health benefits, and it is an effective prevention method against various diseases. These are some proven health benefits of a plant-based diet.
Plant-Based Diet Can Reduce Inflammation
While inflammation can be a necessary immune reflex, acute inflammation is harmful to your health. Plants are full of antioxidants, which are vital for neutralizing free radicals and toxins from various pollutions. Plants that are rich in antioxidants such as beets, broccoli, flaxseeds, spinach, garlic, and ginger can reduce inflammation.
Antioxidant-rich foods also affect the production of T cells, our natural immune reflex. By following a plant-based diet you can also boost your immune system through T cell production.
It Can Protect Against Cancer
According to physicians, you can reduce the risk of cancer by 30-50% just by altering your diet. Some meats if cooked at a high temperature or burnt can factor in developing cancer. Many cancer survivors are advised to follow a plant-based diet. A vegan diet rich in legumes and seeds is effective against bowel cancer.
Regular intake of different fresh fruits can lower the risk of cancer by 15%. Besides, cancer cells thwart the nourishment in our body; by eating plant-based nutrition, you can ensure that your body is receiving the necessary nourishment to fight off cancer.
It Might Lower the Risk of Heart Disease
High blood pressure, cholesterol, and high blood sugar are responsible for developing any type of heart condition. While red meats and processed meats are responsible for various heart diseases, plants are entirely the opposite. Seeds, nuts, and other fibrous foods are beneficial for heart health. As per studies, people with a vegan diet are 75% less susceptible to being end up with high blood pressure. A plant-based diet can also lower the risk of high cholesterol.
Plant-Based Diet Can Control Arthritis Pain
Arthritis pain can stem out from inflammation. While there is little to no solution for curing arthritis pain, you can certainly control the symptoms with your diet. Plant-based foods that are a good source of antioxidants is the potent solution for inflammation. Different studies have suggested improvement of arthritis symptoms within patients suffering from pain, joint swelling, and joint stiffness.
Plant-Based Diet Can Lower Your Blood sugar
A vegan diet can be linked to a low risk of type two diabetes and low blood sugar. As per studies, a plant-based diet can reduce insulin resistance. The minerals present in plants, magnesium, antioxidants improve the insulin sensitivity in the human body. Natural herbs like cinnamon, aloe Vera are proven natural supplements for lowering blood sugar levels.
It Helps You to Maintain a Healthy Weight
Losing excess weight or maintaining a healthy weight might be the primary reason you are opting for a plant-based diet. Weight loss is the byproduct of eating healthy and removing animal fats from the diet. According to studies, people adopting a plant-based diet tend to have a lower BMI than nonvegetarians. Even if you restrict your calorie intake to a minimum, you can’t achieve a similar weight loss outcome that a plant-based diet provides.
Plant-Based Diet May Lower the Risk of Alzheimer
What we eat is responsible for both our brain and heart health. While researchers are yet to find out the exact cause of Alzheimer’s and similar brain condition with memory loss, Animal products are linked to developing dementia or Alzheimer’s. These diseases appear when our brain proteins malfunction. Various studies suggested that regular intake of fruits and vegetables can lower the risk of cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s.
Plant-Based Diet Improves Your Gut Health
Tiny microscopic microbes are found in our gut, that helps with the digestion of different foods. However, you need a healthy balance of different gut microbes to get proper bowel movements and a healthy digestive system. Processed or starchy foods do little to nothing to diversify your gut bacteria. As a result, we might face irregular bowel movements and a weakened immune system.
According to research, by following a sixteen-week plant-based diet you can significantly improve your gut microbes. Include high prebiotic foods such as cabbage, garlic, onions, asparagus, and legumes to improve your gut health.
The Bottom Line
If the array of health benefits of a plant-based diet has got you intrigued to try it, you need to learn more about it. Adopting a plant-based diet requires careful diet planning. As you are cutting out the animal source of protein and other healthy fats, you need to make up for them from plant-based sources. A plant-based diet doesn’t reduce your food variety; rather it opens up new sources of nutrients that were previously absent from your diet.