5 reasons to be plant-strong
Just like most things in life, dedicating ourselves to something – whether for spiritual, ethical or health reasons, takes discipline and motivation. It’s easy to fall off the wagon, and we all know it’s a slippery slope into couch-potato complacency. Here’s a quick 5 reasons to be plant-strong, to refocus in order to stay on track, and to remember why we are doing this to begin with!
I usually refer to my favorite books as reminders that cutting out meat and dairy is beneficial to us, the animals and environment, and that there are far better benefits from eating lots of plants, legumes, beans and whole grains.
One of the best things about a plant-based diet is that it is naturally designed to help you lose weight. This is because a plant-based diet is naturally low in saturated fat and processed sugar, while being high in fiber. Fiber keeps your digestive system moving, and it can help you feel full, keeping you from eating more.
It is extremely hard to overeat when your diet revolves around plants, and while some foods are very nutrient dense, such as beans and legumes, the calorie count can’t even come close to junk food full of empty calories.
Good for the Heart
There are many heart-healthy benefits to a plant-based diet. You get more minerals that can lower blood pressure such as potassium, plants contain no cholesterol, and studies have shown that people who eat a lot of fruits and vegetables have way lower chance of heart attacks or strokes. (1)
Plus, whole grains, such as rice, wheat, and oats are heart-healthy, as are nuts and seeds, which contain alpha-linolenic fatty acids which reduce blood clots and therefore reduce the risk of heart attacks.
An Abundance of Vitamins (and Their Benefits)
Animal products come with their own vitamins and minerals (for animals), but nothing compares to the quantity and quality of vitamins found in plant foods. A good rule of [green] thumb is to eat the rainbow, because different colored plants contain different nutrients.
If you make sure each of your fruits and vegetables are a different color, you can get a full spectrum of vitamins in high amounts, as well as things such as antioxidants. (2)
A diet high in saturated fat may cause clogged pores, and no one wants that. Instead, a plant-based diet is full of healthy vitamins that help the skin in several different ways. Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that helps protect the skin from the effects of aging, while vitamin C stimulates the production of collagen, keeping your skin firm and unwrinkled.
Vitamin A contains retinol, which is a popular ingredient in skincare products. Why shell out extra money if you can get it from your diet?
Lower Your Risk of Cancer
It seems like every day animal products are linked to cancer. Plants on the other hand contain many antioxidants that stop cancer in its tracks. Antioxidants prevent free radical cells from becoming unstable and causing all sorts of damage to the healthy cells in the body.
Many studies have shown that vegetarians and vegans have a much lower risk of developing cancer than people on regular diets. (3)
Regardless of your reason for being plant-strong, there are really only benefits to doing so. Time and time again, evidence shows that people who choose a diet heavier in fruits and vegetables are healthier in the long run. So get back on that wagon filled with green goodness!