Choosing a plant-based diet helps you gain essential nutrients that you can’t get from any other foods. You don’t have to be vegan or even a vegetarian to enjoy a plant-based lifestyle. The goal is to cut down on meat intake, primarily processed meats, and fill your daily meals with vegetables, fruit, seeds, nuts, whole grains, and natural foods. We can all benefit from increasing our nutrient intake, so here are five health benefits of a plant-based diet.
- Decreased risk of heart disease. The natural fiber in plant-based foods helps flush out bad cholesterol. Vegetables have zero dietary cholesterol and low levels of saturated fats. The healthy fats in olive oil, avocado and nuts help promote HDL levels which improves your overall cholesterol level.
- Lower risk of type two diabetes. The main reason veggies, legumes, nuts, fruit and whole grains lower the risk of type 2 diabetes is that these foods help you maintain a healthy weight. Maintaining an appropriate weight is one of the best ways to ward off type 2 diabetes.
- Reduced inflammation. Prolonged inflammation in your body may lead to cancer and arthritis. However, a plant-based diet is loaded with antioxidants and phytochemicals that flush out all the toxins from the air and from the processed foods we consume. Having less inflammation also boosts your immune system.
- Better gut health. Plant-based foods are naturally high in fiber. Fiber lowers cholesterol and stabilizes blood sugar. A high fiber diet is the best way to maintain your gut health and maximize absorption of nutrients from your food.
- Improves brain functioning. The vitamins and folate in fruits and vegetables have shown a direct connection to a reduced risk of dementia and cognitive impairment. A healthy body and mind helps to provide a better quality of life.