Most people would rather prevent a disease than be cured of one. The most effective way to take control of your health is through your diet. A plant-based diet is made up of plant-derived foods and few animal products, and there is evidence a plant-based diet could be the key to preventing disease and improving health. If you currently follow the Standard American Diet (SAD) characterized by lots of processed foods, refined sugars and grains, large amounts of pre-packaged rather than fresh foods, and few vegetables, consider the benefits of a plant-based diet.
The Philosophy Behind the Diet
Plant-based foods include fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, grains, and legumes. Unlike a vegetarian or vegan diet, the plant-based philosophy is a diet based on scientific evidence and not moral, ethical, or philosophical concerns.
Foods You Can Eat
Those who eat plant-based meals aren’t necessarily vegetarians or vegans. The diet can include eating meat; however, meat is kept at a minimum. The foods you eat are considered natural foods and are not heavily processed. The following explains the food groups that are part of the diet.
Vegetables are rich in antioxidants, phytonutrients, protein, vitamins, and minerals, which are vital to a strong immune system.
Fruits are the “candy” of the plant-based diet. They can help minimize your craving for sugary sweets like candy and cake. A diet rich in fruits promotes protection from diseases and a healthy digestive system.
Whole-grain foods are the primary source of complex carbohydrates that are responsible for giving you energy. They also provide proteins, vitamins, and minerals.
Legumes are an essential source of protein. They are also filling and provide fiber and minerals.
Your body needs dietary fats. They help energize your body, support cell growth, assist in body temperature regulation, protect your organs, and help with hormone production. Include fats such as the following in your diet:
- Avocado (and oil)
- Seeds & nuts (and butters but not most oils)
- Olives (and oil)
- Coconut oil
Health Benefits of Eating a Plant-Based Diet
1. It’s Great for Weight Loss
You can forgo calorie counting on a plant-based food plan. People on this diet are more likely to maintain a healthy weight, which helps combat inflammation and hormonal imbalance.
2. It’s High in Fiber
The plant-based foods are high in fiber and introduce multiple benefits to your overall health. High-fiber diets come with the following benefits:
- Increased gut health
- Better nutrient absorption
- Lower cholesterol levels
- Stabilized blood sugar levels
- Reduced risk of colon cancers
- More regulated bowel movements
3. It Reduces the Risk of Various Diseases
The reduction (or elimination) of processed food products in the diet reduces your risk of:
- High cholesterol
- Heart disease
- Type 2 diabetes
- Certain cancers
Get Started On Better Health Today
Plant-based foods have all the ingredients needed to make delicious and nutritious meals. You can gradually implement the diet by increasing your vegetable intake and then add more whole foods as you eliminate processed foods. Try it! Your health will thank you for it!