Plant-based eating may seem like a trendy new diet plan right now, but did you know there are actually scientifically-supported benefits for following a more plant based diet?
What exactly is a plant based diet? A plant based diet focuses on whole, unprocessed foods made from plants. Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and plant based proteins such as beans and lentils, tofu or tempeh are placed at the forefront. Meat and seafood intake is not necessarily avoided, but is greatly reduced from what is typical in our culture - someone who is plant based might enjoy meat products only once or twice per week. Foods like cheese, dairy, and yogurt are enjoyed in moderation and foods that are fried or otherwise processed are also limited. This way of eating has been extensively studied over the years, and there is evidence to support switching to a more plant based lifestyle - let’s dive into the benefits of plant based eating!
1. May help reduce cancer risk
Many studies have addressed the question of whether plant based diets are protective against cancer. An analysis looking at these different studies found that vegetarian and plant based diets can be a useful strategy to preventing cancer, due to the antioxidants, fiber, phytochemicals, and other nutrients found in fruits and vegetables. Reduced red and processed meat intake was also found to have a significant effect on cancer prevention.
2. Boosts your immune system
Plants contain different vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, and antioxidants that are not offered in animal foods. These nutrients help protect your immune system and keep it functioning at its optimal performance. A strong immune system can also help protect you against different illnesses and diseases.
3. Promotes heart health
The Western world loves red meat, but red and processed meats are high in saturated fats, which can be detrimental to heart health. A study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association reported that plant based diets are associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease and cardiovascular disease mortality. In fact, risk of heart disease was reduced 13% and risk of dying from cardiovascular disease was reduced by 31% when individuals followed a plant based diet. Eating more fruits and vegetables, whole grains, beans, legumes, nuts, and healthy oils such as vegetable and olive oil may help lower your risk for heart disease.
4. Reduces risk for type 2 diabetes
It is well known that there is a link between diet and developing type 2 diabetes. Research suggests a plant based diet rich in healthy foods and low in sugary beverages, red meat, and excess sodium can be protective against type 2 diabetes.
5. Could help you lose weight
Maintaining a healthy weight for your age, sex, and height plays a major role in disease prevention, whether it’s diabetes, cancer, or heart disease. Evidence also suggests a plant based diet rich in vegetables, fruit, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and legumes can help you reach and maintain a healthy weight. Plant based diets help with weight loss and management by reducing your intake of high calorie foods that are low in nutrients that keep you feeling full and replacing them with lower calorie, nutrient dense foods. These foods help you lose weight or stay at a healthy weight, and help you feel more full and satisfied with healthier foods. Meal delivery services, like Pure Plates, offer meal plans that you can choose plant-based options from to manage weight.
6. High in fiber
Over 90% of Americans do not eat enough fiber. This is concerning, because fiber is important for disease prevention, gut health, and keeping your digestive system running smoothly. Animal foods are very low in fiber, because fiber is found only in plant foods as the material our bodies cannot digest. Eating more plant foods, including nuts, seeds, fruits, and vegetables can help you meet your fiber goals (at least 21 grams per day for women and 30 grams per day for men) and prevent constipation, heart disease, and diabetes. The nut bars at Pure Plates are high in fiber and make a great snack!
Ready to try eating a more plant based diet and improve your overall health? Eating a plant based diet sounds simple on paper, but it can be difficult for those who are accustomed to eating a lot of meat and dairy to transition into preparing filling, nutritious meals built on plants. Pure Plates can help you kickstart your plant based lifestyle by offering plant based and vegetarian meals on our menu. Our meal prep delivery service takes the planning and preparation stress out of a new plant based lifestyle. And because plant based isn’t strictly vegetarian or vegan, you can still add some of our healthy, antibiotic and hormone-free meat and seafood dishes into your meal delivery plan! Eating a more plant based diet can help you reach your weight loss goals, reduce your risk for cancer, diabetes, and heart disease, and leaves you feeling energized and ready to take on the day. Use Pure Plates’ meal delivery service to craft your individual and healthy plant based meal plan, and experience the benefits of plant based eating for yourself!