As a result of increasing medical conditions and an even higher obesity rate, 57% of Americans admit to making conscious choices when grocery shopping. Although it’s encouraging to know that more people are choosing plant-based diets, more needs to be done to help others see the immense benefits of this choice. Indeed, the objective is not to impose the idea of switching to wholly plant-based foods if you cannot. However, the goal is to have more of it while supporting your diet with healthy animal-based options. This article is a discussion of the many benefits of plant-based diets you will find exciting. If you want more enlightenment on this subject, please read to the end.
- It supports your immune system
According to the American Cancer Association, plants have essential nutrients and chemicals which fight radical cancer-causing cells. These phytochemicals and antioxidants ‘cleanse’ the human cells and, by doing so, positively impacts the immune system. Furthermore, the association asserts that a plant-based diet tones cells in the body and makes them extra sensitive in detecting an early-stage mutation.
This means the enzymes contained in a healthy plant diet quickly ‘see’ cell mutation in your body, making it possible to fight them before progressing into a full-blown disease. As you may already know, your immune system is the first line of defense against ailments. Without its immense role, it would be impossible to resist certain microorganisms and cell mutations that cause havoc to the body’s immune system.
Berries are mainly known to contain high doses of immune-boosting polyphenol content. It’s why strawberries, cranberries, and blackberries are notable for strengthening the immune system. There are other types of berries you may not readily have access to. Fortunately, it serves the same purpose when you opt for their supplement. That’s why taking black elderberry syrup or supplements can still give your immune system the much-needed boost.
- A plant-based diet helps you maintain a healthy weight
Being able to maintain a healthy weight has immense benefits for your health. Unfortunately, not many people in the country have the ideal body weight. According to the Healthline website, 36.5% of American adults are obese (one-third of the population). Meanwhile, 32.5% of the same group are considered overweight. Even more worrying is the continuous rise in child obesity cases in the country. In other words, America’s body weight issue is a national problem.
The question here is, how does unhealthy weight affect you? Excess weight gain puts a person at risk of hormonal imbalance (especially for females). It also increases your likelihood of contracting some chronic health conditions. Statistics indicate that Americans who consume high fat and sugar content, processed foods, etc., are more at risk of excessive weight gain and other lifestyle diseases. Thankfully, a high plant-based diet cuts your risk by more than 50%. Moreover, it helps to reduce abdominal fat, which is harmful to your general wellbeing.
- Improves kidney function and lowers the risk of Type 2 diabetes
Did you know that high poultry and red meat consumption puts you at an increased risk of developing Type 2 diabetes? In various studies published by the American Diabetes Association, it was revealed that the combination of a high diet in red meat and poultry, with an apparent lack of physical activity, takes a toll on insulin levels. The research revealed that the probability of developing diabetes rises to 23% for any person on a high red meat and poultry diet.
Automatically, this makes you more at risk for kidney problems because the numbers in America indicate that two out of three adults with diabetes have kidney issues. High blood pressure is another problematic condition that exacerbates diabetes and kidney health issues. Fortunately, plant-based foods contain enzymes that regulate blood sugar, enhance kidney function, and control blood pressure.
Their ability to keep these three chronic conditions under control is more than enough reason to see the immense significance of a plant-based diet. Did you know research has revealed that a strict plant-based diet can reverse Type 2 diabetes? As unbelievable as this may sound, it is excellent news for the world.
- Their high fiber content is excellent for gut health
Do you have a history of chronic constipation or Irritable Bowel Syndrome? In general, how would you describe your gut health? If it’s not in good shape, you should consider increasing your intake of plant-based foods. This is because they have a high fiber content which reduces gut inflammation and promotes healthy bowel movement. More importantly, fiber helps to lower high cholesterol in the body and enhances general gut metabolism.
Additionally, not many people know that 70% of the body’s immune system is contained in the gut. Therefore, by choosing to go with plant-based foods, you will directly cater to your immune system through your stomach. Remember that processed plant foods are not ideal. Instead, unprocessed ones (natural and organic) which contain the plant’s structure are recommended. Because colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer in America, a diet rich in healthy fiber reduces your risk too.
- Plant foods reduce tissue inflammation
Compounds like flavonoids, carotenoids, and antioxidants are present in high concentrations in organic plant-based foods. Regular consumption of these foods neutralizes toxins in the body, and by doing so, eliminates cell and tissue inflammation. Moreover, because oxidation frequently occurs in the body due to toxin accumulation, you have a better chance of fighting body inflammation of all types. Once again, berries feature very high on the list, followed by nuts, seeds, cruciferous vegetables, and turmeric. Although there are more, these examples have higher beneficial compounds relevant in the body.
- Provides higher energy levels in the body
Brown rice, berries, apples, beans, and oatmeal are examples from the long list of plant foods packed with energy. The notable reason for this is the complex carbohydrates these foods contain. However, science explains that combining water, high fiber, and complex carbohydrates provides the foundation for a notable energy boost. You’re probably surprised to see apples on that list. Indeed, it is a fruit very often underestimated for its energy-producing properties in the human body.
Years of medical research discovered that diets rich in animal products overload the body’s metabolism. In other words, your body uses twice the required amount of time to digest animal products. To do that, your body limits energy production to work on that excess animal protein you consumed. On the other hand, plant-based foods take less time to break down in your digestive system. Due to this, they release energy quicker into the bloodstream.
Between the two choices, which diet sounds healthier to you? Furthermore, it is not surprising that athletes are trained to consume more plant-based foods. That’s because such foods are low in saturated fats, improve arterial flexibility and enhance proper blood viscosity. These are vital for athletes.
- Improves your chances of living longer
A 2018 American Heart Association medical finding stated that persons who live solely (or 70% more) on plant-based foods have a reduced mortality risk of 25%. This means they get a 25% chance to live longer and healthier than the average Joe, whose diet is based more on animal products. The study also revealed that plant-based foods ‘agree’ more with the human body. Therefore, the association recommended that people have their diets geared more towards healthy plant foods with minimal animal products.
To conclude, there are significant benefits to derive from foods produced by plants. For some people, it requires a conscious and deliberate effort to make that healthy diet a routine. Indeed, others are already doing it, so why can’t you? Your body deserves more care at any age, and the sooner you start, the better it is.