A plant-based diet mainly focusses on the consumption of foods that are sourced from plants. Many people interpret a plant-based diet as a vegan diet, which involves avoiding the consumption of all forms of animal products. However, following a plant-based diet means eating more fruits, vegetables, legumes, seeds, nuts, whole grains, etc. and occasionally some meat, or dairy products.
Most people follow a plant-based diet because of health benefits. But some people also have ethical and environmental reasons for following a plant-based diet. Reducing the consumption of processed foods and including more healthful whole foods offer a lot of benefits.
Let’s take a look at some of the health benefits offered by a plant-based diet.
Helps To Lower Blood Pressure
According to the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, high blood pressure will lead to several heart diseases and type 2 diabetes. The food that you eat has a great impact on increasing your blood pressure. That means you can control your blood pressure if you change your food habits.
Several studies have proven that eating more plant-based food will lower the risk of developing high blood pressure. A review of 39 studies has concluded that following a plant-based diet lowered the blood pressure. A study conducted in the year 2016 has proved that the risk of developing high blood pressure in vegetarians is 34 % lower than non-vegetarians.
Prevents Type 2 Diabetes
It is well known that there is a link between what you eat and the levels of blood sugar in your body. more fat tissues will make your cells more resistant to insulin. Following a plant-based diet will help you to prevent type 2 diabetes by lowering the blood sugar levels.
In 2016, a study looked found that eating plant-based foods regularly will reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 34 %. This is mainly because the amount of saturated fat is lower in plants than animal foods. The saturated fat will increase the cholesterol levels are raises the risk of type 2 diabetes.
Improves Your Heart Health
The saturated fat in meat products will increase the risk of many heart problems. Therefore, you should reduce the consumption of meat and other animal products an increase in the consumption of plant-based food to maintain a healthy heart. Many studies prove plant-based meals are good for your heart.
A study conducted last year showed that there will be a 16 % reduction in the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases if you follow a plant-based diet. You need to eat a lot more legumes, fruits, vegetables, grains, and healthy oils to improve your heart health. You should reduce the consumption of sugary beverages to reduce the risk of heart diseases.
Helps In Weight Loss
If you are overweight, you can easily lose weight by following a controlled diet. By swapping a meat-based diet to a plant-based diet, you will significantly reduce the risk of obesity. According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, vegans have a lower body mass index (BMI) than non-vegans.
Eating more plant-based foods will help you to lose weight. A study in 2017 looked at 65 overweight adults. They followed a plant-based diet for one year. At the end of the study, all the participants lost an average of 9.25 pounds. The antioxidants and fiber, which are rich in plant-based diet prolong fullness.
Reduces The Risk Of Cancer
Recent studies are showing that following a plant-based diet could reduce the risk of certain forms of cancer in humans. According to the American Institute of Cancer Research eating plant-based food rich in vitamins, minerals, fiber, and phytochemicals helps in lowering the risk of developing cancer.
You should include more vegetables, fruits, nuts, beans, seeds, and some animal foods in your diet for getting the nutrients that are essential for reducing the cancer risk. A review published in 2011 showed that the risk of developing cancer will be 10 % lower if you follow a plant-based diet.
Protects Your Brain
A plant-based diet offers a lot of physiological benefits. But it offers some psychological benefits too. Some studies are showing that plant-based diets could slow down the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.
A study in 2017 found that eating an extra 100 g of vegetables and fruits daily could reduce the risk of developing dementia and cognitive impairment by 13 %. One of the main reasons for this is the high amounts of polyphenols in fruits and vegetables, which may help in reversing cognitive decline and slowing down the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.
Lowers The Cholesterol Levels
When the cholesterol levels are higher in your body, it may lead to the deposition of fat in your blood. This will restrict the flow of blood and increases the risk of stroke or heart attack. If you need to maintain a healthy cholesterol level in your body, you need to follow a plant-based diet.
Eating more plant-based food can lower the LDL cholesterol aka bad cholesterol levels in your body by 10-15 %. On the other hand, a vegan diet could lower LDL cholesterol by 25 %.