Plant based diets are becoming more and more popular because people are more health conscious now than they used to be. Some people choose to eat a vegetarian or vegan diet so they can lose weight. Others do it for moral reasons when if they feel it is wrong to kill animals for food. Some choose to eliminate animal foods to improve their health. So what are the health benefits of a plant based diet?
Plants are packed with many nutrients. Some are even considered super foods because they contain an abundance of health giving compounds. They contain all the elements essential to a healthy diet such as protein, carbohydrates, and fat. Plants are also an important source of fiber that is needed for a healthy colon. A diet high in fiber also helps keep cholesterol levels within the normal range.
A plant based diet supplies the vital nutrition necessary to promote good cardiovascular health. Such a diet may also reduce the risk for developing cancer and diabetes. It also helps prevent and reverse obesity which is a major contributing factor in many chronic diseases. A healthy plant based diet may also prevent birth defects, prevent the development of cataracts, and lower high blood pressure.
A plant based diet could be considered a form of preventative medicine. By feeding your body the proper type and amount of nutrients, you may be able to ward off the development of many of the lifestyle diseases, such as cancer, that are rampant in society today.
While many people choose a vegan or vegetarian diet, you don’t have to totally give up animal foods in order to reap the health benefits of a plant based diet. Just make the majority of your meals from legumes, vegetables and fruits and restrict the animal protein to around one-third or less of your meal. It is also recommended to eat a wide variety of vegetables and fruits so you consume a vast assortment of nutrients.
Eating a plant based diet doesn’t mean you have to live on raw carrots and celery. You can disguise vegetables by adding them to pasta sauce or using them as toppings for pizza. Keep in mind the guideline to fill your plate with two-thirds plant foods and one-third animal foods such as chicken or fish. This will help you create a healthier meal plan. Eliminating animal protein in your meals is fine too since some plants such as beans are very high in protein.
By eating a diet that is comprised mostly of plant foods, you will automatically avoid many overly processed foods which can harm your health. Packaged foods are filled with chemical additives, salt, sugar, and trans fat. Animal protein such as beef or milk contains saturated fat. By reducing the amount of unhealthy food choices and increasing the amount of good choices, you will be well on your way to reaping the health benefits a plant based diet can offer.
This is a guest article by E. Fortie. He is a diet professional and blogger. He writes about the Mediterranean diet right here. If you want him to discuss his discoveries on how to lower cholesterol high naturally with you, follow him on Twitter.