Benefits of eating a plant-based diet

Benefits of eating a plant-based diet

There’s a large amount of research supporting the fact that adopting a plant-based diet can result in improved health. To begin with, as the average American diet has evolved over the years, there’s been a general trend away from whole foods and toward more convenient, processed options.

Fruits and vegetables contain a number of important nutrients which are often lost when food is processed. In addition, pre-packaged, processed foods can contain unwanted additives like preservatives and other chemicals. Eating a plant-based diet can help make sure you get enough of the key vitamins found mainly in fruits and veggies.

Improve your heart health

Vegetarians and vegans tend to have lower blood pressure and cholesterol, making their dietary choice heart healthy. “An impressive amount of studies, dating back to the early 1920’s, show that vegetarians have lower blood pressure than nonvegetarians (sic)”. (Vegetarian Foods: Powerful for Health,” Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. Www.pcrm.org.)

The majority of whole grains, fruits and veggies, beans, nuts, and seeds contain high amounts of Vitamin B6 and potassium, both of which contribute to lower blood pressure. In addition, plants have zero cholesterol — even those that contain saturated fats.

Consuming too much cholesterol can lead to a dangerous condition called atherosclerosis. “When there is too much cholesterol in your blood, it builds up in the walls of your arteries. Over time, this buildup narrows the arteries and restricts blood flow to the heart.” (The Truth About Cholesterol and Heart Disease,” www.thefhfoundation.org.) When the blood supply to a particular area of your heart is cut off due to this blockage, a heart attack occurs.

Lose weight

When you replace meat with foods like vegetables, whole grains, and beans, you’re naturally increasing fiber and decreasing sugar and fat intake, all of which help with weight management. An article published by the National Institute of Health reported that simply eschewing animal products often leads to weight loss, regardless of whether you put in more time at the gym. “In 2006, after reviewing data from 87 published studies, Berkow and Barnard reported in Nutrition Reviews that a vegan or vegetarian diet is highly effective for weight loss. In addition, their review suggests that weight loss in vegetarians is not dependent on exercise and occurs at a rate of approximately 1 pound per week.” (Nutritional Update for Physicians: Plant- Based Diet,” www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov.)

These are just some of the welcome benefits you may notice with a plant-based diet. Removing meat from your diet can result in feeling, looking, and even sleeping better. As to the few nutrients, such as Vitamins D3 and B12, that you may need to supplement, Vegan Life Nutrition offers organic, plant-sourced products to help you get all the nutrients you need without the animal byproducts you don’t want.