The Plant-Based Diet: More than Just Another Health Trend
The Growing Need for a Plant-Based Diet
With so many health trends making headlines these days, it may be easy to overlook the value of a plant-based diet. So, let’s get to the root of why fruits and vegetables benefit your health.
What the Research Tells Us
According to Jennifer Chronis, MD, a family medicine physician at Scripps Coastal Medical Center, “A plant-based diet can lower cholesterol, decrease blood sugar, and reduce your risk of diabetes and certain cancers.” And additional research indicates you don’t have to completely overhaul your diet to have a positive impact.
Dr. Satija, who spearheaded a recent study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, explains this well. “A moderate change in your diet, such as lowering your animal food intake by one to two servings per day and replacing it with legumes or nuts as your protein source, can have a lasting positive impact on your health.”
In addition, a study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association shows that a plant-based diet may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease by 16 percent and death from this condition by about 31 percent.
5 Major Health Benefits of a Plant-Based Diet
- Immune System Support: Plants contain essential nutrients you can’t find in other food sources. They provide vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, and antioxidants that support healthy cells and balance your body for an optimal immune system.
- Reduced Inflammation: The phytochemicals and antioxidants in plants also counteract toxins from pollution, processed food, bacteria, and viruses. These elements fight free radicals that cause an imbalance in the body, reducing inflammation. This matters because sustained inflammation can harm cells and tissue. Inflammation is also associated with cancer and other harmful conditions like arthritis.
- Healthy Weight Maintenance. A predominantly plant-based diet eliminates numerous foods that cause people to put on pounds. Combine this with daily exercise, and you’re on your way to healthy weight loss and maintenance.
- High Fiber Content: Fiber is the primary element in all unprocessed plant food. As such, a plant-based diet enhances gut health because it makes it easier to digest nutrients that enhance the immune system and decrease inflammation. Fiber can also maintain healthy cholesterol and sugar levels while promoting a healthy bowel process.
- Healthy Blood Pressure Maintenance: Recent research shows that a plant-based diet can decrease blood pressure and the risk of related conditions. Results from 39 studies show that a vegetarian diet had a lower average blood pressure than omnivorous diets (plants and meat).
Plant-Based Doesn’t Necessarily Mean Healthy
A plant-based meal can also be unhealthy. It depends on what kind of meal you order at a restaurant or cook on your own. A good rule of thumb? Follow the same basic guidelines that apply to all food types. Avoid high sugar and fat, deep-fried veggies, and highly processed foods. Also, keep the high-sugar desserts and soft drinks to a minimum. One thing is sure. The latest and most reliable science shows a growing need for a plant-based diet. Adding more plants to your diet will help your body work at the highest level possible. Try Sta-Natural’s Plant-Based Protein Shake to start adding more plant-based foods to your diet.