If you are transitioning to a plant-based diet, you'll be happy to know that new studies confirm that foods high in fiber and low in fat are beneficial in many ways for your overall health.
If you're already enjoying the benefits of a plant-based diet, that's fantastic! You're several steps ahead of the game! But if not, you might want to reconsider.
Here's what's in it for you:
1. It can help to keep your weight down:
According to Canadian researchers, eating lentils and peas is part of a healthy vegan diet. Adding black beans to tacos, enjoying chic peas in hummus, and adding kidney beans to soup are a few ways to incorporate more of these plant-based foods into your diet.
2. It can help keep your blood pressure low:
Researchers from Japan, who reviewed over 250 studies, found that consuming a plant-based diet was associated with low blood pressure.
3. It can reduce the risk of heart disease:
According to the American Heart Association, when your diet is made up of plant-based foods compared to one that depends on animal-based foods, it can reduce your overall risk of dying from stroke and heart disease by about 20 percent.
4. It can reduce the risk of certain types of cancer:
According to the National Cancer Institute, colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer in the United States. Changing your diet to a plant-based diet reduces your risk by 22 percent according to the JAMA internal medicine journal. Teenage girls and young women who consume plant-based foods high in fiber also benefit by reducing their risk of breast cancer later in life, according to an analysis of more than 90,000 women from the Nurses' Health Study.
5. It can reduce the painful symptoms of arthritis:
A plant-based diet reduces inflammation and arthritis symptoms, according to Nathan Wei, MD, director of the Arthritis Treatment Center in Frederick, MD. In addition, other studies conducted by the Arthritis Foundation, The Mayo Clinic, and Arthritis Today conclude that a primarily plant-based diet decreases the production of proteins that cause or aggravate inflammation.
6. It reduces your risk of diabetes complications:
Choosing only plant-based foods can help reduce potential complications related to diabetes. According to the Mayo Clinic, eating a diet rich in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, and nuts can improve blood sugar control and make a diabetic's body more responsive to insulin.
7. Best of all, on average, you'll live longer:
A study by researchers at Loma Linda University in California, whereby they followed 73,000 Seventh-day Adventists between 2002 and 2007, found that those on a veg diet suffered a lower mortality rate - from all causes - than all other diets.