There is a lot of evidence that proves a plant-based diet is beneficial. Having a plant-based diet means focusing on consuming foods primarily derived from plants. This diet includes vegetables and fruits as well as whole grains, beans, nuts, and seeds.
However, a plant-based diet doesn’t mean you have to become a vegetarian and never eat any meat and dairy again. It only means you consume more plant-based food and fewer dishes that include animal products. One example of a plant-based eating regimen is the Mediterranean diet. The core of the Mediterranean diet is eating plant-based food with poultry, cheese, fish, and yogurt. This diet also includes occasional consumption of meat and sweets per week.
A plant-based diet can still provide your body with much-needed vitamins, proteins, carbohydrates, and minerals. It also provides a high amount of dietary fibers, which can aid digestion. Aside from being delicious, a plant-based diet can bring many health benefits.
1. Reduce Inflammation
Inflammation usually happens as a reaction of your body when it detects a foreign agent like invading bacteria, viruses, chemicals, or pollen. Your body tries to defend itself and, as a consequence, sends an army of white blood cells to fight the invaders or protect an injured area.
However, sometimes people suffer from chronic inflammations that become dangerous to overall health. Diseases such as arthritis, diabetes, heart disease, and cancer can have significant health consequences if not appropriately managed. You don’t necessarily need pharmaceutical medicine to control inflammation, and you can help reduce it through a proper diet.
Avoid or limit food that can cause inflammation in your body. These foods may include red meats, refined carbohydrates like white bread, french fries, sodas, margarine, or other sweetened beverages. These foods can increase your risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and excess inflammation.
Many studies reveal that various foods and beverages have anti-inflammatory effects. These foods include green leafy vegetables, walnuts, almonds, tomatoes, olive oil, fatty fishes such as mackerel, tuna, salmon, and sardines. In addition, fruits like oranges, cherries, strawberries, and blueberries also have anti-inflammatory properties.
2. Consume More Vitamin A
Vitamin A, retinol, and retinoic acid help maintain good vision, growth, cell division reproduction, and immunity. They also can protect your body from the effects of free radicals produced when you break down food and are exposed to tobacco products or radiation. Unfortunately, free radicals can increase the risk of cancer and heart diseases. That is why it is essential to take the recommended dose of vitamin A to protect your body from these free radicals.
Vitamin A can be found in your regular diet when you consume spinach and other vegetables rich in vitamin A. However, sometimes your diet might not be providing you with all the vitamin A you need.
So if you aren’t consuming the proper vitamin A amount each day, consider a vitamin A gummy. It is very convenient and easy to imbibe and comes in different attractive colors.
3. Discover New Recipes
Plant-based food can be very yummy. Mix different vegetables such as broccoli, asparagus, or zucchini and saute them in a pan. Make sure you don’t overcook so they do not become mushy and soggy. You can also blanch other vegetables to maintain their freshness and natural crispiness.
A plant-based diet is not only for your main dishes. You can also have non-meat dishes as appetizers and serve them with a dip. For example, mix lettuce, carrots, onions, and tomatoes and prepare a dip of guacamole, hummus, yogurt, or tahini. You will surely enjoy your meal of fresh vegetables with the right condiments.
4. Can Help Weight Loss
Eating plant-based foods can help people lose weight. They are rich in dietary fibers that can aid digestion and make you feel full while providing the necessary nutrients. A plant-based diet can ensure you are getting enough nutrients and calories even while trying to lose weight. It can provide you with healthier options than a diet of processed meat and fast food. In addition, plant-based food can help you fight infections.
5. Can Help Your Brain
Many green leafy vegetables like spinach, broccoli, kale, and spinach are rich in folate, vitamin K, lutein, and beta carotene, recognized as brain-healthy nutrients. Many researchers also suggest that a plant-based diet can slow down and reduce cognitive decline. In addition, consuming walnuts, a good source of omega-three fatty acids, can also improve memory.
6. Possible Cancer Prevention
Consuming plant-based food may help prevent cancer. For example, cruciferous vegetables, which are dark-green vegetables, are a rich source of beta-carotene, vitamins C, E, and K, folate, and fiber. In addition, they help form indoles and isothiocyanates that may have some anticancer effects. Examples of cruciferous vegetables are arugula, kale, radishes, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, and bok choy.
Get Healthy with Plants
You don’t have to change your current diet right away. Instead, start including half portions of vegetables in your meals and slowly increase intake as you adjust to the diet. You can also include guacamole, nuts, and fruits in your diet. Once a week, try a bowl of salad with fresh greens like spinach, romaine, collards, and kale and mix with olive oil or vinaigrette.