3 Surprising Benefits of a Plant-Based Diet
A plant-based diet derived from whole foods including vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes, wholegrains and fruits is becoming more popular every day. This is mostly due to its well-known health benefits, including weight loss, lower blood pressure, reduced cancer risk, balanced blood sugar and so much more. Society is also becoming increasingly aware of the huge positive impact a plant-based diet has on the environment.
There’s no doubt that eliminating animal products from your diet has many incredible benefits. Here are 3 of those benefits which you may not have heard about (just in case you need more reasons to make the switch if you haven’t already). If you have, these will make you feel even better about living this beautiful lifestyle!
SAVE ONE ANIMAL’S LIFE EVERY DAY
Did you know that every day you choose to eat only plants, you save one animal’s life? That means if you make this way of eating a lifestyle, you save 365 animal lives per year. That adds up to 1825 over 5 years, and 3650 over 10 years. Wow! Let that sink in for a minute…
I believe every action we take represents an expression of who we are and what we believe. This includes the sacred act of eating, which we practice daily. I value life, and do not want to support an industry based on the pain and suffering of living things, be they human or not. I value kindness, love, oneness, compassion, respect, non-violence, connection, and equality. Therefore I align the way I eat with my values by choosing to consume living plant foods full of nutrition and colour.
I don’t know about you, but personally, just knowing that I am saving an innocent animal’s life is enough of a reason for me to eat a plant-based diet.
NATURALLY SUPPORT THE BODY’S DETOXIFICATION PATHWAYS
The body has natural detoxification pathways which process and eliminate toxins to help maintain a state of cellular homeostasis. The function of these pathways has been linked to a person’s state of disease and gene expression. Foods have been shown to have the potential to support and modulate detoxification functions in the body.
Flavonoids in plant foods activate phase II detoxifying enzymes which results in the detoxification of carcinogens. This property represents a key factor in their anticarcinogenic effects. Foods that positively effect metabolic pathways and assist with the elimination of toxins in the body include berries, apiaceous vegetables (including carrots, parsnips, celery, parsley, purple sweet potato, garlic), cruciferous vegetables, oranges, watercress, chlorophyll-rich foods like greens, and spices like turmeric.
Consuming a fresh plant-based diet will ensure you are obtaining a wide variety of vitamins, minerals, flavonoids and antioxidants from foods which will help maintain a clean, effective and healthy body.
CREATE A HEALTHY GUT MICROBIOME
Results have demonstrated that the gut microbiome isn’t resistant to change and can rapidly respond to an altered diet. Bacteria related to diseases have been shown to increase on an animal-based diet. It has also been suggested that animal products help to create inflammation in the intestinal tract which can lead to systemic inflammation, insulin resistance and endotoxemia development.
On the other hand, plant-based diets have been shown to cultivate a healthier gut microbiome. One of the main reasons for this is that plants are high in fibre and prebiotics which feed the good bacteria in your gut and provide them with the energy they need to survive. A gut profile of someone who eats a plant-based diet has more of the protective species and a reduced amount of harmful species. They also have lower levels of inflammation in the body which lays a strong foundation for many protective health benefits.
With all this said, it is safe to say that eating a plant-based diet encourages the growth of good bacteria, helps the body naturally flush out toxins, and assists in creating peace of mind on a spiritual and emotional level.