plant-based diet

If you’re looking to get in better shape and adopt a healthier lifestyle, the first place to start is your diet. While many people believe that health issues run in the family, science shows that only 10–20% of the risk is hereditary. The other 80% of the risk lies in what we eat!

Good nutrition plays a huge role in our physical, mental, and emotional well-being. This requires consuming more foods that carry water, vitamins, and minerals to our bodies. Fortunately, plant-based foods do all of the above.

To start, a plant-based diet consists of eating foods primarily from plants—whole grains, fruit, vegetables, legumes, seeds, and nuts. This doesn’t necessarily mean you’re strictly a vegan or vegetarian, but rather limit the intake of meats, dairy, and processed foods.

We’ll walk you through six amazing benefits of eating a plant-based diet, as well as how to incorporate more into your daily regime.

Reasons to Eat Plant-Based Foods

1. Lower Risk of Disease

By simply incorporating more plant-based meals into your diet, you can reduce your risk of life-threatening diseases. Foods rich in antioxidants, such as grapes, broccoli, and carrots, combat harmful free radicals like bacteria and viruses. These antioxidants act as a supportive army to your immune system, reducing the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and other illnesses.

2. Stress Relief

Plant-based foods also have positive physiological effects. Fruits and vegetables are full of vitamin E, vitamin C, and healthy carbohydrates, all of which improve the blood and oxygen circulation in your body. This process, known as tissue oxygenation, is what your body needs to replenish cells, produce energy, and build muscle.

3. Support Muscles and Mobility

As the largest organ of the body, your skin consists of layers that protect the organs. Carcinogens and other free radicals in the air can irritate and damage the skin, leading to inflammation and intrusion of toxins in the body. Since plant-based foods such as berries and leafy greens have high concentrations of vitamins and water, they reduce skin inflammation by hydrating the skin and healing the skin cells.

4. Promote Healthy Skin

Your gut relies on an adequate amount of microbes to properly digest food and eliminate toxins from the body. However, an imbalance of microbes can lead to gastrointestinal conditions, such as inflammatory bowel disease as well as other health conditions. Plant-based foods contribute to a diverse and stable ecosystem of microbes needed to regulate your bowels.

5. Improve Gut Health

Your gut relies on an adequate amount of microbes to properly digest food and eliminate toxins from the body. However, an imbalance of microbes can lead to gastrointestinal conditions, such as inflammatory bowel disease as well as other health conditions. Plant-based foods contribute to a diverse and stable ecosystem of microbes needed to regulate your bowels.

6. Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

Last but not least, eating a plant-based diet not only helps your body but also the environment. Factory farms, which maintain livestock, emit high levels of gas and pollution into the air. Consumption of more plant-based foods reduces the demand for animal-based products and usage of factories.

How to Eat More Plant-Based Meals

As we mentioned before, a plant-based diet doesn’t mean you have to cut meat and dairy entirely out of your meals. You can gradually increase vegetables, fruits, and whole foods into your day by making quick adjustments and substitutions to your plate. For example, consider having a smoothie for breakfast one or two days out of the week. You can also replace your white bread with whole wheat bread for sandwiches.

For more quick facts and helpful tips on plant-based diets, check out the following infographic:

Benefits of a Plant-Powered Diet

Image Credit: University of St. Augustine

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