Plant-based Diets Provide Abundant Health Benefits

Plant-based Diets Provide Abundant Health Benefits

Plant-based Diets Provide Abundant Health Benefits

Plant-based Diets Provide Abundant Health Benefits
Plant-based Diets Provide Abundant Health Benefits
Plant-based Diets Provide Abundant Health BenefitsPlant-based Diets Provide Abundant Health Benefits

Plant-based Diets Provide Abundant Health Benefits

Plant-based Diets Provide Abundant Health Benefits

Plant-based Diets Provide Abundant Health Benefits

Plant-based Diets Provide Abundant Health Benefits

According to the 2003 Cornell University study, “Sustainability of Meat-Based and Plant-Based Diets…,” two-thirds of the world’s population eat a plant-based diet. People who live in poorer countries incorporate more plants into their diets while the residents of more affluent countries such as the United States and England, eat more meat.

Chronic disease is more prevalent among people who consume the most meat and dairy products, while people who eat a primarily plant-based diet live longer and suffer less from diseases associated with meat consumption, such as colon cancer. The “American Journal of Clinical Nutrition” reports vegetables and fruits pack the most vitamins and minerals of all food sources.

Plants, including fruits, vegetables, legumes, tubers and grains, provide antioxidants that are essential weapons against cell damage that can lead to cancer. Dieticians recommend eating plenty of raw vegetables and fruits because heat damages some antioxidants, such as vitamin C. The phytochemicals that give plants their color provide protective benefits as well.

Clinical studies at the National Institute of Health report consumption of phytochemicals protect against cancer, stroke and heart disease. Phytochemicals are even used in cancer treatment. One of the most commonly used cancer drugs, Taxol, is produced from phytochemicals extracted from the Pacific yew tree.

Although antioxidants and phytochemicals are marketed in supplemental forms as pills and tinctures, plants contain many compounds and substances that work together to allow for better absorption and assimilation of nutrients. Forgoing supplements for the plant source also ensures more good sources of fiber , a necessary component in a healthy diet. Adequate fiber consumption contributes to efficient sugar metabolism and a healthy gut. Sufficient fiber in the diet also plays a key role in the prevention of diabetes and obesity.

Registered dietician, Jack Norris, recommends charting intakes of certain foods when first starting a plant-based diet to avoid vitamin and nutrient deficiencies. It’s important to compensate for certain nutrients that may be eliminated with less consumption of meat and dairy products. Vitamin D and calcium, which can be found in dark green leafy vegetables such as kale, should be consumed together for better absorption. Calcium requirements depend on many factors but 700 mg, combined with 25 mcg of vitamin D is recommended for good bone health.

Omega-3s, abundant in olive oil, should be included in the diet two to three times per week. Norris adds that vitamin B12 should be supplemented if all meats and dairy products are eliminated from the diet since plant sources are rare or provide insufficient amounts of the nutrient. Historically, meat has been the foundation of the Western diet, but as more scientific evidence substantiates healthful benefit claims made by proponents of plant-based diets, increasing numbers of people are giving up or cutting back on meats and dairy products.

Consuming a diet with substantially more plant food sources than meat and dairy sources, provides superior nutrition, disease-prevention, and an optimal healing environment that can rejuvenate and fortify the body’s immune system.

It’ a guest blog post by Enrico F. He’s a diet pro and blogger. He writes about how the Mediterranean diet pyramid may benefit your health at Mediterranean Book. If you want him to express his finds on what are the best foods to reduce cholesterol with you, become a Facebook fan.

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