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Health and fitness are the prerequisites for keeping up with the fast-paced lifestyle and one of the key factors that help to maintain optimal health is your diet. There are numerous reasons to switch to a plant-based diet.
A plant-based diet can reduce blood pressure and lower the risk of heart diseases.
The reason being fruits and vegetables are rich in potassium, which is known to lower blood pressure. Plant-based foods are also low in fat and sodium and are cholesterol-free.
Treating high blood pressure often involves taking medication. Eating plant-based food can lower your blood pressure and reduce the need for medication.
According to the International Diabetes Federation, roughly 387 million people are living with diabetes and this number is expected to increase to approximately 600 million.
Studies show that people who ate a plant-based diet reduced the risk of diabetes by 23%. The association was even stronger for people suffering from type 2 diabetes – 30% to be accurate.
Vegetables, fruits, nuts, legumes and whole grains have been known to contain fiber, minerals, vitamins, antioxidants and other beneficial nutrients that are healthy for the body.
Another reason to switch to a plant-based diet is, plant-based foods are rich in fiber, minerals and vitamins that lower blood pressure and reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol which is good for the heart.
A diet rich in whole grains, fruits, vegetable nuts, legumes and healthy oils not only lower the risk of heart diseases but also keeps one lean and active.
A 2017 study conducted by the journal of American College of Cardiology, found that those who consumed a healthy plant-based breakfast had a lower risk of developing atherosclerosis, the hardening and narrowing of the arteries than those who skipped breakfast.
There’s plenty of evidence suggesting that vegetarian diets contain fewer calories and therefore help in weight reduction.
Maximum credit can be given to the fiber content present in plant-based foods. Fiber fills you up, without adding any extra calorie.
A good 40 grams of fiber a day is enough to help you maintain your weight. Make sure to include more vegetables, fruits, beans, whole grains to your plate.
Most of the saturated fats that you get from animal sources are notorious for clogging your pores. This reassuringly gets eliminated from your plate once you switch to plant-based eating.
Also, fruits and vegetables contain essential phytochemicals, vitamins and pigments that work towards getting back that healthy glow of your skin.
For example, lycopene in tomatoes helps protect your skin from sun damage and Vitamin-C in sweet potatoes smoothed wrinkles by activating collagen production.
A Plant-based diet offers you essential nutrients- like vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E and antioxidants, all of which is great for healthy skin.
Adding more fruits and veggies in your diet adds to the water content reaching your body which helps in reducing irritation and keeps your skin clean.
Inflammation is your body’s natural defence response in the face of any kind of injury or assault.
A Plant-based diet can significantly lower chronic inflammation in the body which is usually caused by eating more dairy or animal-based foods.
Animal-based products are known to increase C-reactive protein (CRP), which is a blood marker for inflammation in the body. Plant-based diets have been associated with lower CRO levels.
Studies have found that plant-based diets low in fat and high in fiber reduces swelling and inflammation and decreases pain in patients suffering from joint pain.
If removing processed food entirely is getting too overwhelming, you can start by adding more whole foods in your meals.
This is a good way to ensure you get a healthy amount of nutrients in your body. Whole foods are absorbed slowly by the body which keeps you full for longer hours and also maintains your blood sugar levels.
Processed foods like bread or other refined items spike up your glucose level at once. These results in increased blood sugar and insulin levels, which make your body, crave for more carbs a few hours later when the blood sugar levels go down again.
Processed or junk foods can become addictive as well. The ‘hyper-rewarding’ nature of processed foods is the culprit. Studies have shown that sugar is known to activate the same areas in the brain as of a drug abuser addicted to cocaine.
Once you get in the habit of consuming three proper meals a day which includes a healthy serving of whole foods, it will get easier to curb down your processed food intake.
Starting with a plant-based food will probe you to dig further into the subject of food and nutrition. It will help you be more conscientious while putting food in your mouth.
You will be better equipped to make well-informed food choices, figure out the ingredients and tweak some of your favourite dishes and make them healthier.