5 Reasons Why You Should Be Eating A Plant-Based Diet
It is imperative for us to change our habits and behaviors in order to improve our health and quality of life as our society evolves. Today, we face climate change, food insecurity, and over 40% of people suffer from chronic diseases.
In recent years, plant-based nutrition has been proposed as a way to improve our health and the world. Although food regimens are not something our doctors prescribe, research has shown that food has a lot to do with our health. It is also less expensive for our society than prescribing medication.
The meaning of plant-based eating varies from person to person. In nutrition, it refers to eating vegetables, fruits, herbs, nuts, whole grains, legumes and other plants for a large part of one's nutrition.
In terms of plant-based nutrition there are a wide variety of options. Some are very strict (vegan diet), others still add animal products like dairy (vegetarian), and at the other end of the spectrum are those that occasionally consume meat, poultry, and fish.
It was once believed that early humans ate a large amount of animal protein in their diets. It is from that belief that, in the 2000s, the Paleo diet (largely comprised of animal protein ) became incredibly popular.
However, we now know that the "original" Paleo Diet was in fact a plant-based diet, as it was mostly made up of nuts, fruits, leaves, roots and water.
Moreover, some of the strongest animals on Earth are not carnivorous. Despite being predominantly herbivores, the gorilla is the strongest mammal. A 200 lb individual could lift 2000 lb, which is 10 times its body weight. It has the ability to lift 4409 lbs, or 10 times its body weight.
Plant-based nutrition is healthy and strong for other mammals, so we probably can too.
Whether you want to save animals, feel healthier or simply feel better, plant-based nutrition is an excellent option for those of us who wish to be healthier and happier.
You don't have to make a complicated choice to eat plant-based nutrition. Not convinced?
Here’s the 5 reasons to start eating plant-based nutrition now:
1: Improve your health
Furthermore, increasing the amount of vegetables, grains, and beans in your diet will lead to a higher fiber intake. It is recommended to consume 25 g to 38 g of fiber daily. Unfortunately, most people consume 15 g.
The average person cannot consume that amount and may suffer from constipation or hemorrhoids as a result.
It has been shown that fiber intake can also help prevent heart disease, diabetes, and colon cancer. It is also known that fiber helps to lower blood cholesterol levels. The recommended daily protein intake for most Americans is 46 grams (women) and 56 grams (men). A cup of shredded cheese has 26 grams of protein and a cup of diced chicken has 38 grams.
You'd probably eat double the recommended daily amount of protein if you ate cottage cheese for breakfast and milk for lunch, egg sandwiches for dinner, and ribeye steak for dinner.
In light of this, you can now understand why the average American consumes approximately 100 grams of protein per day. Many people consume too much protein, which may cause digestive or bowel problems. Our protein-rich nutrition is overindulged in general, although some people need more protein than others. Plant-based nutrition can help us achieve our health goals without exceeding the recommended daily intake.
Until recently, it was believed that you needed animal protein to build muscle mass. However, some studies and athletes have shown that a plant-based diet can lead to muscle growth and fitness. Scott Jurek, one of the best runners of all time and an American ultramarathoner, eats plant-based food!
The health benefits of vegetables have been demonstrated in thousands of studies, but many still refuse to change their diet to enhance their quality of life.
There are far too many people who believe that exercise, medication, and supplements are sufficient to keep them healthy. On the other hand, experts in the field of health and wellness advise that 75–80% of weight management is about nutrition and 20–25% is about exercise.
There is some evidence that plant-based eaters are less likely to suffer from depression or mental illness than omnivores, according to some research. Although more research needs to be done and certain aspects need to be taken into consideration (like sugar intake), these studies are very promising. The best way to find out is to try it out for yourself.
2: Weight loss and weight management
Plant-based nutrition means eating a high proportion of plant-based food in your diet. However, fruits and vegetables are often the first things that come to mind when we think of a plant-based diet.
Studies have shown that only 15% of the population is able to meet the daily fruit and vegetable recommendation.
Several nutrition experts around the world agree that inadequate fruit and vegetable consumption contributes to obesity epidemics and chronic diseases related to poor nutrition, especially in our country. It's true that exercise is important, but nutrition plays a major role in why we're so obese.
It is generally the case that people who follow a plant-based diet consume fewer calories than those who follow a meat-based diet. A plant-based diet tends to provide healthier options and fewer calories per weight, and plant-based eaters tend to consume less processed food and avoid fast-food restaurants that offer unhealthy meals.
Researchers have also found that individuals with a plant-based diet with low sodium consumption (2300-1500 mg per day) lost weight and had lower blood pressure. It is important to understand, however, that plant-based food does not always mean healthy food. Sugar is another plant-based food to watch out for.
3: Prevent or manage a chronic disease
Several studies have shown that individuals who consume plant-based foods can reduce obesity, prevent chronic diseases, and have a better quality of life overall.
Approximately 400 grams of fruits and vegetables consumed daily would help prevent chronic diseases like diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and obesity, according to a report published by the World Health Organization. Putting this in perspective, one tomato is about 75g, a medium potato is 150g, and a medium apple weighs 150g and a small kiwi weighs 75g.
4: Stop spending on supplements
Approximately $30 billion is spent on supplements each year by the nation's population. Imagine if you didn't have to waste that money? The nutrients you need are more likely to be obtained from natural sources like legumes, vegetables, and fruits with plant-based nutrition.
This not only saves you money, but also relieves you of the hassle of remembering to purchase and consume supplements.
The benefits of consuming vegetables as a way to prevent illness are documented in thousands of studies, yet many still refuse to change their nutrition to improve health.
In contrast, experts in the field of health and wellness believe that weight management involves 75–80% nutrition and 20–25% exercise.
5: Save The Environment
Approximately 70% of our freshwater is used by agriculture (globally on average). In spite of this, meat production requires around 1000% more water (1 kg requires between 5000 and 20,000 liters) than some grains like wheat (1 kg of wheat requires 500 to 4000 liters).
Furthermore, much of the grain we eat is grown to feed the animals we eat, so if we consumed that grain instead of meat, less water and resources would be used to grow livestock.
Finally, plant-based eating can be enjoyed by everyone, as it doesn't mean you have to "diet" or remove something from your diet. Instead, it emphasizes adding more vegetables, fruits, nuts, whole grains, and legumes to your diet.
Put your learning into action now. Pick a day when you will begin your plant-based nutrition, choose your meals (find recipes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner), make a grocery list, get your groceries and make the change! Plant-based eating isn't a diet, it's more of a way of life, so make it easy and fun.