Thinking of Adopting a Plant-Based Diet? Here Are Some of the Top Benefits
More and more healthy-savvy individuals are making the transition to a plant-based diet. Everyone has a different reason for adopting this dietary lifestyle. However, one reason that everyone has in common points to the immense health benefits of this type of nutritional plan. Here is what you need to know about this plan along with a few of the most significant health advantages of focusing on a plant-based diet.
Defining a Plant-Based Diet
It is important to understand that adopting a plant-based diet does not necessarily mean that you are a vegetarian or vegan. It simply means that you are choosing to focus the bulk of your food intake on plants. This includes eating an abundance of fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes, oils, whole grains, and beans. While you can certainly indulge in the occasional meat or dairy product, the bulk of your food should be coming from plant sources.
Support Healthy Blood Pressure Levels
Implementing a plant-based diet is one of the best things that you can do for your health if you struggle with high blood pressure. Foods derived from plant sources are exceptionally high in a variety of vitamins and minerals that have proven to be helpful in lowering blood pressure. By limiting animal-based foods, you will naturally mitigate the risks of hypertension. Plant-based foods are full of dietary fiber, unsaturated fatty acids, and calcium, all vital nutrients in the fight against high blood pressure.
Boost Brain Health
Recent research has demonstrated that a plant-based diet is also useful when looking to lower your risk of developing dementia and other brain-related issues associated with the aging process. A diet based on fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can improve cognitive health and reduce the threat of mental decline as you get older. Because these foods lower inflammation levels in the body, you will potentially stave off the onset of dementia and Alzheimer's.
Prevent Onset of Diabetes
Foods from plant sources are also naturally high in fiber. This fiber can be instrumental in keeping blood sugar levels under control. In addition, plant-based foods work to reduce the levels of serum cholesterol and triglycerides. As a result, the risk of developing type 2 diabetes is also reduced. If you already have diabetes, a diet rich in plant sources can help you to manage your blood sugar levels, keeping the symptoms of the disease better under control.
It is no surprise to learn that those who are purposeful about consuming a plant-based diet also have an easier time managing their weight. Not only are these foods naturally lower in calories and fat, but they also deliver advantages that help you to avoid a variety of chronic conditions. By keeping your weight in a healthy range, your entire health profile will improve.
Improve Digestive Health
Consuming more plants translates to a higher fiber intake. In turn, this fiber provides the ingredients needed for a more optimal gut microbiome. The microbes in your digestive system get their fuel from plants through the use of fiber. It is this fiber that delivers the prebiotic foods that the gut needs to protect the intestinal lining from harmful pathogens. A healthier gut microbiome means that you will be less likely to suffer from digestive issues such as diarrhea, gas, and more.
Lower Cancer Risk
A plant-based diet is full of the fruits and vegetables needed to lower your risk of cancer both now and in the future. Focusing on whole foods such as fresh produce will reduce the risk of developing nearly any type of cancer. In addition to fruit and vegetables, legumes and whole grains that are full of fiber have also been demonstrated to cut the risk of cancer.
Slow Down Progression of Kidney Disease
Those individuals suffering from kidney disease have likely been advised to follow a plant-based diet. This type of nutritional plan is highly advantageous to those dealing with chronic kidney disease, particularly if they are on dialysis. This is primarily because animal proteins will speed up the progression of kidney disease.
It is clear that there are numerous health advantages to adopting a plant-based diet. Remember that you do not have to give up meat completely to enjoy all of these health benefits.