Why Plant Based Diets? Having plant based diet has been a trend, be it in weight loss or to boost immunity. A plant based does not mean that you do not eat meat, but that a higher percentage of your diet consists of plant based foods.
Plant based foods contain numerous essential nutrients that are not present in other foods, including minerals, vitamins, antioxidants, and phytochemicals. They help keep body cells healthy and balances the body such that the immune system is always working at its best.
Besides weight loss, increasing your plant based diet intake has numerous other benefits.
1. Reduces Cancer Risk
Due to plant-based foods’ ability to boost immunity, vegetarians, or people who eat many plant-based foods, have an 18% lower chance of getting cancers. A research indicated that processed and red meats are significant carcinogens.
They also said that fruits, fiber, and vegetables have protective effects on cancer. Reduced animal protein intake reduces factor 1 (IGF-1), which is an insulin-like growth, causing suppression.
IGF-1 is a crucial hormone in cell growth, and the higher it is, the higher the risks of tumor cells growing in the body.
Research done to test the effect of a plant-based diet on tumor cells’ growth shows that two weeks after participants ate a plant-based diet, there was a considerable suppression of the cells. Also, 20-30% of malignant cells had died.
Heterocyclic amines (HCAs) are other tumor causing chemicals found in animal products cooked under high temperatures. HCAs are chemicals present when meat (pork, beef, poultry, and fish) are prepared in high temperatures.
The higher the temperatures and the longer the time of preparation, the higher the HCA levels. HCA’s high levels are associated with colon, breast, pancreas, esophagus, stomach, and prostate cancers.
Soy, dairy products, choline, and eggs are some of the plant-based foods that are important in reducing cancer growing cells.
2. Reduces Auto Immune Diseases
Auto Immune diseases are conditions when the immune systems mistakenly attack your body cells. Usually, the immune system sends fighter cells to protect your body from viruses and other bacteria.
In auto immune diseases, the immune system mistakes the body cells as some foreign cells and sends the fighter cells to attack the healthy cells. Some of these diseases include diabetes, systemic lupus, and inflammatory bowel disease.
A study done indicates that vegetarians had a 74% less risk of developing diabetes than people who ate meat once a week. Plant based diets are also crucial in managing existing diabetes.
That is due to the high plant components and fiber with antioxidant properties, which helps regulate blood sugar. Also, inflammation can be tamed by the massive intake of vegetables and fruits.
By strengthening the immune system, vegetable and fruit rich diets help fight inflammation, linked to several health problems like chronic inflammatory disease and heart diseases. Plant based foods also have flavonoids-phytonutrients and carotenoids.
Those plant chemicals reduce free radicals, which may damage DNA, prompting an inflammatory response.
3. Helps Maintain Healthy Weight
If you are looking to cut off so e weight or maintain your weight without all the hard work, the first helpful step is to cut off your meat intake. Increasing your intake of plant based foods rich in fiber leaves you feeling satisfied for longer and improves your digestion.
That satisfaction feeling reduces your food intake. The fiber also increases the nutrient absorption from your food. A study in the US indicated the people who changed their diets to less meat and more plant-based foods gained less weight than those who ate meat more often.
Lowers Cholesterol and Prevents Heart Disease
High amounts of cholesterol increase your chances of getting cardiovascular diseases and other lifestyle diseases like obesity. Plant based foods reduce the levels of LDL, the bad cholesterol. They also minimize HDL, good cholesterol but in smaller proportions, which lowers the LDL to HDL ratio.
Reduced cholesterol means that there are less clogged arteries in the body, which reverses coronary heart diseases. A 2018 study revealed that vegetarians have a lower risk of hypertension, a heart disease risk factor.
Some of the essential foods in cholesterol reduction include oats, barley, beans, soy, wheat grams, nuts, almonds, wheat bran, and Brussels sprouts.
4. Keeps You Young
Plant-based foods rich in vegetables, fruits, and whole grains and low on processed meat sugar and salt promote healthy cell aging. That reduces the appearance of wrinkles and helps reduce chronic diseases caused by old age.
5. Protects The Brain
Mental health is critical for maintaining physical health. A recent study shows that increased consumption of vegetables and fruits has a 20% reduction in cognitive impairment and dementia risks.
That is because of the antioxidants found in plants that clean-up cellular waste, free radicals and protect the cells from damage.
A high intake of plant-based foods provides the body with many nutrients responsible for fighting other many diseases and helps in the recovery and healing of wounds. Sometimes, depending on your location, it may be hard to access plant based foods.
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