Eating a plant-based diet is an excellent way to promote good health. These meals typically consist of various whole foods like fruits, vegetables, legumes, grains and nuts – all packed with nutritional value.
A plant-based diet may reduce your risk for various diseases, such as cancer and diabetes. One study even discovered that consuming more plant foods than usual can decrease heart disease risk by 16 percent!
1. Reduces Inflammation
Inflammation is the body’s natural defense mechanism, helping protect you against infections, injuries and assaults. Unfortunately, chronic inflammation can have serious repercussions for your health; it could even lead to major diseases or health issues.
Eating a plant-based diet is one way to reduce inflammation and support healthy organs. This kind of food includes fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes as well as an assortment of anti-inflammatory herbs and spices.
2. Lowers Cholesterol
A plant-based diet can significantly lower your cholesterol, which is a major risk factor for heart disease. Meat, dairy products and eggs tend to contain high amounts of saturated fat which increases LDL levels.
A plant-based diet can help lower your cholesterol by substituting unhealthy foods with healthier options and increasing soluble fiber intake – which has been known to decrease levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol.
3. Boosts Immune System
Eating more plants will not only strengthen your immune system, but it also keeps your body healthy. Plants contain essential nutrients that can help fight off viruses and infections in the body.
Eating a plant-based, balanced diet may reduce your risk for diabetes. This is because such meals tend to be high in fiber which helps regulate blood sugar levels.
4. Reduces Risk of Cancer
Plants contain anti-cancer compounds that boost your immunity and defend against harmful toxins. Furthermore, they reduce inflammation and keep cells in optimal health.
Studies have demonstrated that a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts and seeds can significantly lower cancer risk. This holds true for various cancer types such as breast, prostate, colorectal and pancreatic.
5. Lowers Risk of Diabetes
According to observational studies, a plant-based diet has been linked with a lower risk of diabetes than other eating patterns. People who follow mostly plants for their meals tend to be healthier at managing their condition than those who don’t follow this way of eating.
It may be due to the fact that following a plant-based diet can reduce inflammation associated with advanced glycation end-products (AGEs). This effect is especially notable among those suffering from type 2 diabetes.
6. Lowers Risk of Heart Disease
A plant-based diet can help lower the risk of heart disease. Eating foods high in cholesterol and saturated fat, such as meat, can cause plaque buildup in your arteries, increasing your likelihood for heart attack or stroke.
Eating a nutritious plant-based diet can be an effective way to promote heart health and overall wellness.
7. Lowers Risk of High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is a widely-recognized risk factor for cardiovascular disease and other health conditions. Eating more plant-based meals combined with limited meat consumption and dairy consumption can help reduce your risk for these ailments.
Studies have demonstrated that plant-based diets such as the DASH, lacto-ovo vegetarian and healthy Nordic recipes can reduce both systolic and diastolic blood pressure levels. However, results were not quite so impressive for vegan diets which completely exclude animal products from a person’s intake.
8. Lowers Risk of Type 2 Diabetes
Adopting a plant-based diet can significantly reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. This diet may be beneficial for those already diagnosed with the condition as well as those at greater risk of developing it.
Additionally, a plant-based diet can improve beta cell function in the pancreas. This reduces insulin resistance and helps prevent diabetes from arising in the first place.
9. Lowers Risk of Osteoporosis
Osteoporosis is a condition that causes bones to become less dense, increasing the likelihood of fractures. This condition affects both men and women equally and should be taken seriously as it has serious implications for both.
A plant-based diet is packed with vital nutrients that can strengthen bones. These include protein, calcium, phosphorus, zinc and folate.
10. Lowers Risk of Mental Health Issues
Many who follow a plant-based diet report higher levels of happiness, energy and overall well-being. Many also claim their vegetarian or vegan lifestyle has helped to heal any mental health issues they had previously.
Though many of the benefits of a plant-based diet are well known, a recent study suggests that low quality plant-based food may increase depression risk. Therefore, it’s essential to keep your vegan or vegetarian diet healthy by avoiding processed foods and replacing them with nutrient dense whole plant foods.