4 Reasons to Consider a Plant-Based Diet

4 Reasons to Consider a Plant-Based Diet

Adopting a plant-based diet doesn’t require you to give up meat entirely, although you certainly can. As long as your diet consists primarily of fruits and vegetables, your health will benefit. Besides all the delicious vegetarian recipes available now, a plant-based diet can improve your quality of life as a whole.

Plants Are Good for Your Blood

Image via Flickr by Sole Treadmill

Studies show that people who consume a vegetarian or vegan diet lower their risk for high blood pressure and Type 2 diabetes. Because Type 2 diabetes continues to rise in proportion with the country’s obesity epidemic, anything that reduces the risk of developing the disease is essential. Even adopting a mostly plant-based diet that just cuts down on meat and dairy has a positive effect on blood sugar.

As for hypertension, half of everyone in America is likely to have high blood pressure by the time they hit their 60s, based on recent guidelines put in place by the American College of Cardiology. Folks who eat an entirely or mostly vegetarian diet show almost no blood pressure increase as they age. Again, that doesn’t even mean that you have to stop eating meat entirely. Reducing your intake will lower your cholesterol, further cutting the chance of high blood pressure.

. . . And Your Heart

Diets that consist mainly of meat lead to an increased risk of heart disease. Reducing your consumption of red meat and eating more fruits and vegetables can reverse existing heart disease. Rather than worrying about your heart health, take proactive steps to heal yourself from the inside out with the food you eat. It’s also worth noting

that diets high in red meat pose a higher cancer risk, which is another reason to switch to plants for your overall health.

Plants Help You Shed Pounds

Most of the plants you eat are between 10 and 15 calories. They’re practically calorie-free. Vegetables are better in this regard because fruits have more natural sugars, but even that’s better than what’s found in processed foods. The point is, you can eat as many vegetables as you want without overeating. Heap your plate full of salads, plant-based proteins, and fresh fruits without guilt. You’ll feel fuller and more satisfied, but you’ll still lose weight. It’s not a matter of eat less eat more.

Plant Food Is Fuel

Image via Flickr by Jeremy Bronson

All those plants fuel you. Switching to a diet that consists of all or mainly vegetables, fruit, and healthy protein results in energy for days. In addition to having more get-up-and-go in general, you’ll also feel more energized when you exercise. In fact, you may even want to work out more often.

Even better, in spite of the misconception that plant-based diets cause you to lose muscle mass or prevent you from building muscle, there are plant foods that help build lean muscles. Focus on colors and eat as many brightly hued vegetables as possible, along with leafy greens. Get your starch and carbs from tubers; your protein from beans, lentils, and other legumes; and your healthy fats from avocado and coconut.

Why not challenge yourself to introduce more plants into your diet this week?

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