Plant based diets are diets focused on getting the majority of your foods from vegetation rather than animals. This type of diet benefits can greatly benefit you; however, in order to protect your health, there are certain things that much be considered. Let's take a look at what this type of diet involves, the health benefits it offers, and how it can impact your health and nutrition.
What is a plant based diet?
This type of diet involves eating mostly foods that are derived from flora, including vegetables, fruits, legumes, whole grains, and nuts. However, eating this type of diet does not mean that you cannot eat meat, dairy products, or fish; it just means they are not the main focus of the diet. Furthermore, whole foods are chosen instead of processed foods.
What are the benefits of eating this way?
One of the best things you can do to improve your health is to change how you eat. More and more people are realizing that incorporating more plants into their diets and limiting the number of animal products in their diets can have a profound impact on their health. Let's take a look at the top benefits eating this way.
Did you know that the foods you eat can impact your cognitive health? Studies have shown that consuming high levels of healthy foods can reduce the risk of developing dementia and cognitive impairment. Researchers believe that the nutrients like antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals found in plants help to detoxify the body, reduce inflammation, and provide your brain with the nutrition it needs for optimal cognitive function.
The phytochemicals found in whole grains, vegetables, fruits, and other vegetation based foods act as antioxidants to protect against cellular damage and provide anti-inflammatory protection. Studies have shown exchanging your processed foods for whole foods can reduce your risk of cancer by approximately one third. When choosing foods, opt for whole grains, fresh or frozen fruits and veggies, and other whole foods to help improve your health and protect against cancer.
Chronic pain relief
Do you suffer from chronic pain? Are you looking for a natural method to reduce both pain and inflammation? Look no further than a plant based diet. These whole foods provide anti-inflammatory relief, relieve arthritis pain, and help improve mobility.
Everyone knows that eating a diet filled with whole grains, vegetables, and fruits can improve your overall health. However, many people are surprised to learn that the heme iron found in animal products like meat and poultry has been shown to increase the risk of developing diabetes. Additionally, large volumes of heme iron can make it difficult to regulate glucose levels.
Your digestive tract, referred to as your gut, contains trillions of bacteria that are used for digestion, metabolism, and immunity. Plants contain beneficial bacteria that promote gut health, increase your metabolism, helps with bowel movements, strengthen the immune system, and help with hormone production.
Did you know what you eat can impact the environment? Switching to a plant based diet can help improve the environment exponentially. Raising livestock and other animals requires approximately 100 times as much water as grains and other vegetation need. Additionally, producing nondairy milk requires 60 percent less energy than producing cow's milk.
Athletes around the world are realizing the importance of a plant based, whole food diet. Tia Blanco, Colin Kaepernick, Diana Taurasi, and Venus Williams are just a few athletes that embrace Vegan eating. Beans, legumes, plant based proteins, and nuts provide the body with the omega 3 fatty acids needed to create and maintain muscles. These foods also provide anti-inflammatory protection and pain relief to help manage the effects of exercise on the body.
Plants contain large amounts of fiber, low levels of saturated fat, and no cholesterol. When you eat fiber rich foods, they can naturally lower your cholesterol. As the fiber travels to the small intestine, it will attach itself to cholesterol in your digestive tract. When this occurs, the cholesterol will be unable to enter your bloodstream. Instead, the fiber and cholesterol will travel through the GI tract and be eliminated, thus improving your heart health.
Obesity plagues millions of people each year. Filling your diet with nutritious plant based foods can help decrease your BMI, reduce your weight, and protect against a number of diseases. These foods contain fiber, water, and complex carbs that help you stay fuller longer and boost metabolism. Additionally, plant based diets help to increase weight loss efforts, improve insulin sensitivity, and reduce abdominal inflammation.
Foods to include in your diet
Transitioning to a plant based diet can be difficult in the beginning; however, if you focus on the following food groups, you will be able to transition quickly while ensuring you are getting the nutrients your body needs.
Fat is an important part of your diet. There is many healthy nonanimal fats, including walnuts, avocados, canola oil, and olive oil.
Incorporate fruits like berries, avocadoes, citrus fruits, and melons into your diet to provide anti-inflammatory and antioxidant protection.
Legumes provide you with both fiber and protein. Choose healthy legumes like lentils, chickpeas, beans, and peas to provide your body with omega 3 fatty acids and body boosting proteins.
If you are trying to reduce or eliminate dairy products, there are a range of milks made from plants, including almond milk, soy milk, cashew milk, and oat milk.
Nuts provide you with essential minerals like selenium, vitamin E, and protein. Macadamia nuts, pistachios, Brazil, and pecans are great sources of nutrients.
Seeds are rich in calcium and vitamin E, which help with strong bones, increased immunity, and reduced aging. Some of the top seeds to include in your diet are chia seeds, flax seeds, and sunflower seeds.
You will need to eat colorful veggies like peppers, green leafy vegetables, potatoes, squash, and carrots to maximize your vitamin and mineral absorption.
Whole grains provide you with the fiber needed to maintain glucose levels. Additionally, the following grains contain essential minerals like copper, selenium, and magnesium – oats, rye, brown rice, and wholegrain breads.
Are you ready to take control of your health and transition to a plant based diet? Nutrition Counseling provides you with the information needed to maintain your health, get the nutrients your body needs, and choose healthy alternative foods. Within weeks of transitioning to a diet filled with healthy plant based foods, you will begin to experience reduced inflammation, improved thinking, and better digestion. Eating a diet filled with vegetables, whole grains, fruits, legumes, seeds, and nuts will help you lose weight and reduce the risk of diseases like cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and kidney disease.