By Molly Golski
A plant-based diet is one of the best things you can do for your body, the planet, and animals. A plant-based diet is technically defined as a diet “based on foods derived from plants, including vegetables, whole grains, legumes and fruits, but with few or no animal products.” This is good news for all of those who are concerned about these issues, but who may not ready to give up all animal products! While the greatest degree of benefit comes from consuming no animal products, simply minimizing your intake will help your health and the planet in many ways! Listed below are some fun facts about trying a more plant-based diet.
- By consuming a plant-based diet you can decrease your chances of heart disease by reducing your cholesterol and blood pressure. It can also decrease your risk of type 2 diabetes.
- Because plant-based foods are alkalizing (they balance out acid in your body with alkaline minerals, like calcium) they keep your bones strong and healthy!
- Plant-based diets are high in fiber, a necessary nutrient for proper digestion that also aids in weight loss by keeping you fuller for longer periods of time.
- Plant-based diets are high in very necessary vitamins in minerals, including iron (to help metabolize proteins), magnesium (to help reduce muscle tension and improve sleep), phosphorous (for stronger bones and teeth), potassium (for your heart, kidneys, and other organs), and many others.
- Plant-based diets contain over 64 times the amount of anti-aging, anti-cancer antioxidants a diet heavy in animal products. They also contain phytochemicals, which in some cases can help repair DNA damage that ages us and puts us at risk for disease.
- A plant-based diet is generally lower in calories than animal foods, also aiding in weight loss (which often means you get to eat more of the good stuff you love!).
- Eating plants is better for the environment and for animals! Did you know that animal agriculture is responsible for 18 percent of greenhouse gas emissions, more than the combined exhaust from all transportation? Or that animal agriculture uses 34-76 TRILLION gallons of water annually? Or that livestock occupies over one third of ice-free land? There are so many harmful environmental impacts that stem from animal agriculture, so eating a more plant based diet can help reduce your carbon footprint!
Transitioning to a plant based diet does not have to be difficult. Merely cut out a meat meal once a week and replace it with one of the cool recipes we have on our blog! There will be more plant-based recipes coming your way so stay tuned. The benefits of a plant-based diet are undeniable – so why not give it a try?