Plant-based diet – sources, health benefits at NaturalPedia.com

Friday, December 15, 2017 by

A person on a “plant-based diet” will eat only plant foods or mostly plant foods. For this diet, you must avoid animal-based foods or products such as meat, bone, eggs, milk, butter, gelatin, etc.

Some individuals on a plant-based diet will also avoid plant fragments and eat the whole plant or a minimally processed version of it. In the context of diet/dietary choices and/or cuisine, “plant foods” refers to any edible food that isn’t from an animal in any way.

Plant fragments (refined foods) like as all-purpose flour, sugar, oil, and junk foods like pretzels and chips, are also not considered “plant foods” even though they technically come from plants and do not contain animal products.

When people use the term “plant foods” and/or “plant-based” they mean the whole food or some minimally processed version of it, or a meal prepared from those foods. For example, applesauce is considered a “plant food” or “plant-based,” like an actual apple. However, apple pie isn’t considered a plant food or plant-based even if it was prepared without milk and eggs.

Benefits of a plant-based diet

A plant-based diet has several benefits. For example, it is more economical, especially if your meals are made with in-season plants and you eat local produce. Here are the other benefits of this diet:

  • It lowers blood pressure – People on a plant-based diet often have lower blood pressure because of a higher intake of potassium-rich foods.
  • Lowers cholesterol – A plant-based diet is one of the simplest ways to lower your cholesterol because plants contain no cholesterol.
  • Improves blood sugar – Consuming more fiber is the best way to fight high blood sugar.
  • Lowers cancer risks – Aside from quitting smoking and avoiding alcohol, this diet is your best chance of avoiding cancer risks.
  • Promotes weight loss – A diet of raw, clean whole foods may improve your chances of losing weight more weight, even though cooked foods can improve nutrient absorption.
  • Reduces the risk for diabetes – According to observational studies, plant-based diets and components of plant-based diets can significantly reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. Large cohort studies showed that the cases of type 2 diabetes are significantly lower among those on a plant-based diet compared to omnivores and even semi-vegetarians. Those on plant-based diets often have lower body mass indices, which can protect against type 2 diabetes. However, differences in diabetes risk persist despite adjustments for adiposity.

Food items typically found in a plant-based diet

A plant-based will often include the following food items:

  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Tubers (e.g. potatoes)
  • Leafy Greens
  • Nuts (e.g. cashews)
  • Seeds (e.g. sesame seeds)
  • Sea Vegetables (e.g. seaweed)
  • Legumes (e.g. beans, peanuts)
  • Grains
  • Mushrooms
  • Yeast

Body systems supported by a plant-based diet

Going on a plant-based diet can help individuals prevent chronic diseases like diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. In countries and cultures where the majority of the people follow a plant-based diet, the rates of chronic disease such as diabetes, cancer, obesity and heart disease are remarkably low.

If you have already been diagnosed with diabetes or heart disease or are obese, switching to a whole-foods, plant-based diet can help you reverse or even cure these diseases.

Where to learn more:

Summary

A person on a plant-based diet eats only plant foods or mostly plant foods. For this diet, you must avoid animal-based foods or products such as meat, bone, eggs, milk, butter, gelatin, etc.

A plant-based diet has several benefits. It is more economical and it lowers blood pressure and cholesterol.

Going on a plant-based diet can help individuals prevent chronic diseases like diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.

 

Sources include:

HappyHerbivore.com

OneGreenPlanet.org

NCBI.NLM.NIH.gov

Self.com

 



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