Over the last couple of months, the plant-based diet has become a common topic in general discussions these days and for a good reason. Not only are plant-based diets becoming more common, but it’s also even converting over the most die-hard meat eaters out there, and plenty of food outlets are now offering plant-based dishes to accommodate.
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With plant-based diets becoming more popular amongst people and mainstream media, it does raise the question, is it better for your health? Let’s break down what a plant-based diet entails and whether it’s worth doing.
What is a Plant-based Diet?
A plant-based diet is one where you do not eat meat or animal products. Do not mistake it for a vegan diet as a vegan diet means you cannot eat any products that may contain animal derivatives. A plant-based diet is just like a vegetarian diet.
Plant-based diets have become extremely popular over recent months and for a good reason. Not only is this diet ethical towards animal lives and preservation, but it is gaining large traction due to its many health benefits and advantages compared to a diet rich in meat.
Benefits of a Plant-based Diet
1. Weight loss
Vegetables, fruits, and plant-based whole foods are most of the time low in calories but high in nutrients. This means that you can eat as much as you want without overdoing your calories. In turn, this will help you to feel full without exceeding your calorie intake, making it easier for making you feel satisfied and full while still being in a caloric deficit.
2. Improved digestion
Plant-based whole foods are easy for your body to digest. Consistent consumption of raw plant foods gives your digestive tract regularity and is easy for your body to digest the nutrients. Vegetables and fruits that are high in fibre can also prevent constipation.
3. Significant increase in energy
Multiple studies and test subjects have claimed that plant-based diets give them an energy boost unrivalled by any other supplement or diet. This is because plant-based and whole foods are easy for the body to digest, and its nutrients go straight into our bloodstream and provide us with instant and larger amounts of energy.
Heavy meals, processed and refined foods will make you feel sluggish, tired as well as making you feel bloated. This could also be a reason why you feel like you don’t have much energy in your day.
Moving to a plant-based diet will naturally save you money if you’re willing to do the work. Instead of going for pre-packed meals and pricier brands, go for the rawest, organic and natural food sources. Particularly if you’re choosing vegetables, grains, fruits and natural foods that are to be cooked, you’ll be saving a lot more money.
5. Better skin, hair, and nails
Plant-based diets don’t just improve your insides, but you’ll be able to see the benefits in your physical health too. The abundance and density of nutrients in plant-based meals will be sure to do your skin, hair, and nails favour.
Plants have a detoxifying effect that helps to eliminate toxins that cause acne and blemishes in the skin. Fruits and vegetables also contain an abundance of vitamins and minerals that boost hydration in skin cells. Vitamin C is also known to boost collagen production to counteract wrinkles.
6. Improved sleep quality
The diverse and beneficial nutrients in whole-foods and nutrient-dense plants are the recipes for better sleep. It’s important to reach your daily recommended intake of nutrients and stay away for heavily processed meals.
Getting a good amount of essential nutrients will help to replenish and generate cells and lower cortisol levels, enabling us to feel more relaxed and get a better night’s rest. The natural sugars and nutrients will also mean that digestive problems won’t keep you awake at night.
Foods You Can and Can’t Eat
Eat more of:
- Hemp seeds
- Chia seeds
- Dairy Products
- Highly processed foods
Keep in Mind
Although plant-based diets do have an array of health benefits you can take advantage of, it doesn’t necessarily mean that its the only diet you can try. If you have been a meat eater your whole life and transitioning into a diet as restricting as this one may be too difficult. There may be diets that are even better for your personal health goals and objectives.
You can start by going plant-based one day a week and see how you feel. Later on, you can add more days until you go completely plant-based. If you have an existing health condition where your diet is restricted or are unsure of how to start, speak with your doctor for the best advice on how you can approach it.
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