Plant-Based Diet Info & Advice
How It Works
Plant-based diets emphasize primarily eating fruits, seeds, vegetables, legumes, nuts, and grains. It focuses on obtaining all your nutritional needs by eating natural, minimally processed foods and reaping the benefits that come along with it. If you’re interested in adopting a plant-based diet, here you will find answers to some of your questions.
The Health Benefits
Plants provide many of the essential vitamins and nutrients our bodies need. Scientific evidence shows that adopting a plant-based diet will boost your energy, prevent chronic diseases, strengthen your immune system, lower your risk for heart disease and diabetes, and reduce inflammation. Many have found that a plant-based diet can also help reverse the effects of diseases and chronic illnesses. Additionally, it will naturally result in weight loss and weight management without you having to count your calories or watch what you eat.
The Environmental Benefits
A plant-based diet is not only good for your health, but it’s also good for the environment. If every person reduced the amount of meat consumed one or more days a week then there would be reductions in carbon emissions and water usage. The whole process of growing, processing, transporting, and retailing foods impacts the environment as a whole. Eating plant-based food cuts out much of the processes that require manufacturing and hauling. In fact, you could take it one step further and grow many of your own fruits and veggies, cutting out the need for processed foods and transportation.
Engaging in Meatless Monday is another way to mitigate the effects on the environment. Plus, you get to support a campaign that promotes the fight against cancer, heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. On Meatless Monday, you would basically eat what the name implies: anything the follows your plant-based diet guidelines except for meat. One thing to look out for if you choose to do Meatless Mondays, however, is that you get enough protein. Meats are heavy in protein, but they’re not the only option for getting the protein you need; an adequate combination of beans, lentils, peas, and whole grains should do the trick.
Plant-Based Diet Coupled with Exercise
Eating a plant-based diet along with maintaining adequate exercise will rejuvenate your body. Try to get at least 30 minutes of exercise a day. Seniors who have a Medicare Advantage plan may be eligible for the SilverSneakers program, which gives its participants access to 13,000
fitness facilities nationwide. A plant-based diet will help you to have the energy to get moving, the exercise will give you endorphins and strength, the plant-based diet will then improve performance and recovery in exercise and can transform you into a happier, healthier you.
What to Eat
Nutritionists and scientists agree that a diet that focuses on eating fresh, whole foods that are minimally processed will result in holistic benefits. A plant-based diet does not mean you have to give up everything you enjoy and only eat tree leaves. However, it does mean that you emphasize plant-based foods such as:
- Whole grains
You can either eliminate or limit meats and other animal products. Nutritionists recommend eliminating refined sugars, but a sweet treat here and there may do the soul some good. In moderation, you can also enjoy bread, plant-based milks and tofu.
The benefits of personal health and the environment speak for themselves. A plant-based diet doesn’t mean you have to become a vegetarian or vegan, nor does it mean you need to give up foods that you love. To abide by a plant-based diet simply means that you choose to eat more plant-based foods and moderately eat whatever else you choose to include. This lifestyle, coupled with exercise, can do wonders for your overall health and well-being.
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