Health benefits of a plant-based diet
Updated: May 7, 2022
Hi everyone ♡
Today I wanted to talk to you about the benefits of a plant-based diet. A plant-based has several kinds of benefits. Besides from being beneficial to the environment and animal welfare, there are also many health benefits of eating a (whole-foods) plant-based diet. Here below is a list of reasons why cutting out meat, fish and other animal-derived products is good for your health:
A plant-based diet typically contains more nutrients
Several studies have shown that a plant-based diet will provide more fiber, antioxidants and other beneficial plant compounds. Meat, fish and other animal-derived products are usually replaced by whole grains, fruits, vegetables, beans, peas, nuts and seeds, which leads to a higher consumption of beneficial nutrients. However, a poorly planned diet could lead to nutrient deficiencies, but to be fair that also counts for a typical Western diet. People eating a plant-based diet do however usually benefit from taking a vitamin B12 supplement since that's hard to replace with non animal-derived products.
A plant-based diet can help with weight loss
People following a (whole-foods) plant-based diet tend to be skinnier and have lower BMI's compared to people following a typical Western diet. Studies show that people following a plant-based diet lost more weight compared to people following calorie-restricted diets even though they were allowed to eat until they felt full. (Of course this depends on what kind of plant-based food you eat.)
A plant-based diet could help protect you from several kinds of cancers
By eating more fruits, legumes and vegetables a person could lower their risk of developing or dying from cancer. Not only by having a higher intake of beneficial nutrients, but also by avoiding certain cancer promoting foods such as smoked or processed meats. More studies still need to be done in order to confirm the link between a lower risk of cancer and a plant-based diet, but it seems wise to increment your fruits/legumes/vegetables intake and to decrease and/or avoid the consumption of known carcinogens.
A plant-based diet could help protect you against heart disease
Studies show that eating more fruits, vegetables, legumes and fiber is associated with a reduced risk of heart disease. People following a vegan diet can have up to a 75% lower risk of dying from heart disease. Plant-based diets are also very efficient at lowering blood sugar, LDL cholesterol and overall cholesterol levels, which is especially beneficial to your heart health.
A plant-based diet is good for your mental health
Eating certain foods and nutrients can have a positive impact on mental health. Nuts and seeds for example contain tryptophan, an amino acid, which boosts serotonin. Serotonin helps regulate your mood and makes you feel happier. Eating a nutritious vegan diet can also help protect your brain from oxidative stress and free radicals, which is beneficial to your mental health as well.
Do you already eat (mostly) plant-based?
If you do, what kind of benefits have you noticed?