Diet is obviously one of the most important aspects of overall wellness. As I mentioned in my About Me page, Hippocrates said “Let thy medicine be your food, and your food by thy medicine”, and he was right! If we are nourishing our bodies properly they are better able to fight disease and handle stress. Sadly this is one of the areas at which Americans (generally speaking) fail. As much as the general public hates to admit it there are many health benefits to a plant based diet.
WHAT IS A PLANT BASED DIET?
A plant based diet is defined as “A diet based on foods derived from plants, including vegetables, whole grains, legumes and fruits, but with few or no animal products” (Summerfield, Liane M. 2012, Nutrition, Exercise and Behavior: An Integrated Approach to Weight Management)
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS TO A PLANT BASED DIET?
The scientifically proven benefits include:
- decreased heart disease
- decreased death from stroke
- improved lipid levels
- decreased inflammatory disease
- decreased risk of type 2 diabetes
- reduced risk of cognitive decline
- lower risk of obesity
DO I HAVE TO BECOME VEGETARIAN?
Although those that are vegetarian/vegan see the most benefit, the answer is to this question is no. (I’ve been veg for 25 years so I do recommend it, but To Each Their Own!) One can still reap the benefits simply by significantly decreasing their animal product intake. So, if you are an individual who eats meat or fish at every meal, a good start would be decreasing to once a day. From there, you could decrease to a few times a week. Even if you’re 50 or older and begin to make the change you will see benefits!!
I’d love to hear your feedback on a plant based diet. Please comment below and let’s have a discussion!