Many people feel that switching to a plant-based diet means giving up the foods they love, like pizza and hamburgers, but this isn’t true at all! There are plenty of delicious ways to get protein, calcium, and all of the other nutrients you need without consuming animal products. In fact, those who follow a vegan diet tend to have more energy and live longer than meat eaters, so don’t hesitate to start shopping your local farmers market today! Here are seven reasons why you should make the switch to a plant-based diet.
High in nutrients
A plant-based diet provides greater amounts of fiber, vitamin C, calcium, iron and magnesium. Additionally, they are rich in disease-fighting phytochemicals. When you eat a plant-based diet, your body is less susceptible to diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and certain types of cancer. For example: According to a study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, people who eat more fruits and vegetables have lower cholesterol levels than those who eat fewer fruits and vegetables. In addition, eating plenty of fresh produce can help protect against lung cancer. Research shows that women who eat at least five servings of fruits and vegetables per day may reduce their risk for developing lung cancer by up to 20 percent compared with women who consume fewer servings.
If you’re going vegetarian or vegan, convenience is key. There are plenty of delicious and easy plant-based meals you can make from things like lentils, beans, rice, and quinoa. Not only that, but it also makes grocery shopping easier—there are plenty of meat alternatives for breakfast foods (e.g., veggie bacon), lunch options (e.g., veggie sausages), and dinner ideas (e.g., veggie burgers). You won’t even miss meat at all! We know—we were once skeptics too… until we tried it. Go ahead and try out some of these recipes—and you might just be surprised how much you enjoy eating healthier.
The reason most people choose a plant-based diet over other eating styles is because of taste. The food tastes better, so you eat more of it. Animal foods have no flavor except for salt and oil—and lots of salt isn’t good for you either. So, by choosing plants, you give your body more vitamins and minerals without consuming unnecessary calories. And don’t forget about fiber! Fiber helps with digestion and also slows down how quickly your stomach empties after meals, which helps you feel fuller longer. A plant-based diet can help you lose weight or maintain a healthy weight. It can also lower your risk of heart disease, diabetes, stroke, high blood pressure and certain types of cancer like breast cancer in women. Plus, they are inexpensive! With all these benefits combined into one plan that just makes sense!
According to studies, plant-based diets are up to 50% less expensive than meat-based diets. How is this even possible? When you cut meat out of your diet, you can buy less food overall; in fact, research show that people who consume plant-based diets eat smaller portion sizes. When we consume more vegetables, we naturally prefer selections that are less processed and closer to their original state – and hence cost less.
We’re not saying eating a plant-based diet will save you thousands of dollars each year, but it can certainly help keep your grocery bill in check! In addition, going vegan saves you money on other expenses like clothing, entertainment and travel — all things that cost way more when they include dining out or purchasing new clothes. So, while going vegan won’t guarantee wealth (that takes hard work), following a plant-based diet could mean never having to worry about how much something costs again!
Better for your health
If you’re not eating fruits and vegetables every day, chances are good that you’re at higher risk for heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. Studies show that it can lower your risk of heart disease by 34 percent, reduce your chances of getting cancer by 45 percent, and lower your likelihood of developing type 2 diabetes by 58 percent. When people adopt plant-based diets or even just add more plant foods to their diet, all sorts of health benefits emerge including: lowered blood pressure; better cholesterol numbers; reduced inflammation levels—all key components in preventing not only cardiovascular disease but many forms of cancer as well! says Julieanna Hever MS, RD author The Vegiterranean Diet.
Better for our planet
There are many reasons why plant-based diets benefit our planet. The number one reason is that they’re sustainable; it takes up to 16 pounds of grain and 2,400 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of beef. While these facts might seem dismal at first, we can encourage people all over the world not only how nutritious but also how great plant-based diet are for us and our environment through educating them on these facts. Not only will you be helping your body by making changes to your diet, you will be helping out our planet as well.
Boosts mood and mental health
Fruits and vegetables are mood boosters, thanks to their high levels of vitamin C, according to a 2012 study in PLOS One. People who consume foods with vitamin C on a regular basis have higher levels of feel-good neurotransmitters in their brain, which can help reduce stress and anxiety. The best way to get enough? Eat more fruit! Watermelon is also a great low-calorie summer treat (one cup contains just 52 calories). Bottom line: Plants fuel your body by providing you with vitamins that boost your mood. And they’re healthier for you than sugary sweets or caffeine. If these reasons aren’t enough, there’s always chocolate… it’s never a bad idea to indulge in some dark chocolate every now and then. This will satisfy any sweet tooth cravings while also boosting your antioxidant intake!