The Benefits of a Plant-Based Diet

People often want a quick fix for being healthy. If only there was one food or a small pill that we could take to protect ourselves against any and all disease.

But the reality is, adopting a well-rounded diet that is mostly free of processed foods, is one of the best ways to keep your body healthy.

Plant-based diets have made headlines in recent years for the personal health benefits, but a it can also have a positive impact on the planet.

Our planet faces an urgent global warming problem and substituting processed foods for raw, whole foods can have a substantial impact on our environment.

1. It’s cheap.

A common misconception about adopting a plant-based diet is that it is expensive. This comes from the idea that people that adopt this diet are buying processed products labeled “plant-based.”

For example, plant-based packaged foods such as Amy’s Non-Dairy Bean & Rice Burrito, may appear appealing with the “plant-based” label, but are actually expensive, highly processed and defeat the purpose of a well-rounded diet.

This diet actually consists of predominantly vegetables, whole grains and fruits that are cheap and readily available.

2. You don’t need to cut out all meat.

Another common misconception about eating a plant-based diet is that it is the same as veganism, meaning you can’t consume any animal products.

Although the diets are similar in many ways, a plant-based diet focuses on eating mostly plants, whereas vegans cut out all animal products from their diet. With this diet, you can still enjoy beef, chicken, and etc. on occasion while mainly consuming whole foods.

3. It supports your immune system.

Plant foods are full of nutrients that either can’t be found in other foods or are removed when a food is highly processed. These nutrients give your body what it needs to be able to fight off infection. Plant foods also help to decrease inflammation. Prolonged inflammation can damage your cells and has been linked to many types of cancer and other inflammatory diseases.

4. It’s great for your heart.

Meat, especially red meat, is often high in saturated fat. Too much saturated fat can contribute to heart issues and cutting back on meat and replacing it with healthy fats such as olive oil can have a positive impact on your heart.

Research published by the Journal of the American Heart Association found that eating plant-based foods may reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular disease by 16 percent.

5. It’s good for the planet.

Climate change continues to have a detrimental impact on our planet, including worsening of natural disasters and habitat degradation.

Scientists project that greenhouse gas emissions will be up 80 percent by 2050 if something isn’t done about it immediately. One small way that people can help save the planet is by eating less meat, specifically red meat.

For every one gram of beef produced, 221 grams of carbon dioxide are emitted. Participating in something as simple as “Meatless Mondays” can have substantial benefits for the planet.

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Eating a plant-based diet may seem overwhelming at first, but taking small steps to include more raw, whole foods into your diet while getting rid of processed foods will have considerable benefits on your personal health and the planet.

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