As a result of the progression of our society, each of us is continuously put in a position where we must modify our routines and behaviors in order to improve both our physical well-being and the overall quality of our lives. We are currently dealing with issues related to climate change and food insecurity, as well as the fact that more than forty percent of our population is affected by chronic diseases.
A plant-based diet is one of the recent ideas that have been proposed to improve both the state of our world and our health. Despite the fact that diet plans are not currently recommended by medical professionals, research indicates that the foods we eat have a significant influence on our overall health. It is also an option that is less expensive for our society as a whole compared to prescribing medication.
The term “plant-based eating” can mean different things to different people, and our understanding of it can vary from person to person. However, in the field of nutrition, the term “plant-based eating” refers to consuming a diet that derives the majority of one’s calories and other nutrients from plant foods such as vegetables, fruits, herbs, nuts, and whole grains, as well as other plant foods such as legumes.
You have access to a wide variety and spectrum of choices in regards to plant-based nutrition. Those on one end of the spectrum are extremely stringent (vegan diet), those on the other end of the spectrum are still incorporating animal products like dairy (vegetarian diet), and those in the middle are those who eat meat, poultry, and fish on occasion.
We once thought that a sizable portion of the diet of early humans consisted of animal protein. Because of this idea, the paleo diet—which primarily consists of animal protein—became extremely well-liked in the 2000s among dieters and nutritionists. We now know that bipedal primates and Homo sapiens ate nuts, fruits, leaves, roots, seeds, and water, so the “original” paleo diet was plant-based eating.
There is a correlation between this and the fact that many of the most powerful animals on the planet are not carnivores but rather herbivores. For example, gorillas are the most powerful of all mammals, despite being herbivores. It is capable of lifting approximately 4409 pounds, which is approximately 10 times its body weight. It would be equivalent to a person weighing 200 pounds lifting 2,000 pounds.
If other mammals are able to maintain their health and vitality on a diet consisting solely of plants, there is a good chance that we can do the same.
It doesn’t matter if you want to help animals, improve your own health, or just generally have a better quality of life; consuming foods that come from plants is an excellent choice for anyone who wants to be a better and healthier person.
Making the decision to consume only plant-based foods does not have to involve a lot of difficult sacrifices. Do you still have some reservations? Here are five compelling arguments for making the switch to a plant-based diet right away:
Improve your health.
The addition of more vegetables, grains, and beans to your diet will also result in an increase in the amount of fiber that you take in. Daily fiber consumption should range from 25 grams for women to 38 grams for men, according to current recommendations. Unfortunately, our daily consumption averages out to 15 grams.
That is not enough for the majority of us, and it can have a negative impact on the bowels, which can lead to constipation or even hemorrhoids.
According to the findings of various studies, increasing one’s fiber consumption can also help prevent and reduce the risk of developing heart disease, diabetes, and colon cancer. In addition, fiber has been shown to bring cholesterol levels in the blood down.
The recommended amount of daily protein consumption for the majority of Americans is 46 grams for women and 56 grams for men. Comparatively, there is approximately 26 g of protein in one cup of shredded cheese, whereas there is approximately 38 g of protein in one cup of diced chicken. In other words, if you eat cottage cheese for breakfast with a glass of milk, an egg sandwich for lunch, and a ribeye steak for dinner, you are probably eating twice as much protein as is advised for a day.
You should now have a better understanding of why the typical American consumes somewhere around one hundred grams of protein on a daily basis. It appears that the average person in our society consumes an excessive amount of protein, which can lead to digestive or bowel issues. Although it is true that some people have a greater requirement for protein than others, in general, the protein-rich diets that we consume are an unnecessary indulgence. With the help of a diet that is primarily composed of plant foods, we might be able to achieve our health objectives while staying within the parameters of the recommended daily nutrition intake.
Once upon a time, people believed that in order to increase their muscle mass, they had to consume meals that contained protein from animals. Some research and athletes have shown that it is possible to increase muscle mass while adhering to a plant-based diet and maintaining a fit and healthy lifestyle. For instance, Scott Jurek, an American ultramarathoner and one of the greatest runners of all time, is known for his strict adherence to a plant-based diet.
Even though thousands of studies have shown that eating vegetables is beneficial to one’s health and can help prevent illness, many people still choose not to alter their diet in order to improve their quality of life.
A disproportionately high number of people believe that physical activity, medication, and dietary supplements are all that are necessary to preserve their health. Nevertheless, according to experts in the field of health and wellness, the most important factor in weight management is nutrition (75–80%), followed by exercise (20–25%).
Also, some studies found that people who ate a plant-based diet had lower rates of depression and other mental illnesses compared to people who ate omnivorously. In spite of the fact that a great deal more research needs to be conducted and certain factors, such as the amount of sugar consumed, need to be taken into account, the findings of this investigation are very encouraging. The best way to find out is to give it a shot and see how it affects you emotionally and physically.
Weight loss and weight management
Consuming a diet that is predominantly composed of plant-based foods is what is meant when we talk about plant-based eating. That being said, when we think of nutrition derived from plants, the first things that typically come to our minds are things like fruits and vegetables.
Some studies have shown that only 15% of the population is able to meet the minimum requirement of the daily recommendation for fruits, and even fewer (10%) are able to meet the minimum requirement for vegetables.
Nutritionists from all over the world concur that the obesity epidemic and chronic diseases linked to poor nutrition, particularly in our country, are exacerbated by people not eating enough fruits and vegetables. Although exercise is important, nutrition is probably the main factor contributing to the high rate of obesity in our country.
People who follow a plant-based diet typically consume fewer calories than people who eat animal protein. This is because the majority of the calories they consume come from more nutritious options, and they burn fewer calories per pound than meat-eaters do. Plant-based eaters typically consume less processed food and steer clear of meat-focused restaurants such as fast-food chains that offer unhealthy meal options.
In addition, research indicates that people who consumed a plant-based diet with a lower sodium intake (2300–1500 mg per day) experienced a decrease in their blood pressure as well as an increase in their rate of weight loss. Having said that, one must realize that eating foods derived from plants does not necessarily equate to eating healthy foods. Sugar is a plant-based food that should be avoided whenever possible.
Manage or prevent a chronic disease.
As you will see in the following section, research demonstrates that individuals who consume diets that are primarily composed of plant foods can reduce their risk of developing chronic diseases, decrease their likelihood of becoming obese, and generally encourage a healthy quality of life.
According to a World Health Organization report, consuming 400 g of fruits and vegetables daily can help prevent chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and obesity. For comparison, one tomato weighs about 75 g, while a medium-sized potato weighs about 150 g. A medium apple weighs approximately 150 g, while a small kiwi weighs approximately 75 g.
Stop spending on supplements.
You might be surprised to learn that Americans spend more than $30 billion annually on dietary supplements. What if spending that money wasn’t necessary? If you eat a diet consisting primarily of plant foods, such as legumes, vegetables, and fruits, you have a much better chance of getting all the nutrients you require from natural sources.
This will not only save you money, but it will also free you from the hassle of having to keep track of when you need to buy and take your supplements.
Many people continue to be resistant to making changes to their diet in order to improve their quality of life, despite the fact that thousands of studies have shown that eating vegetables can help prevent illness and improve overall health.
Save our planet.
On average across the world, agriculture consumes approximately 70 percent of our freshwater resources. However, the production of meat requires approximately one thousand times more water (one kilogram requires between five thousand (5,000) and twenty thousand (20,000) liters of water) than the production of certain grains like wheat (one kilogram of wheat requires between five hundred (500) and four thousand (4,000) liters of water).
In addition, a significant portion of the grain is grown specifically for the purpose of providing food for the animals that we consume. If we began to consume this grain and reduced our consumption of meat, the amount of water and other resources used in the production of food for animals would decrease.
In conclusion, everyone can benefit from a plant-based diet. The primary goal here is not to go on a “diet” or cut out certain foods from your diet; rather, you should focus on increasing the amount of vegetables, fruits, nuts, whole grains, and legumes in your diet.
It is now time for you to put what you have learned into practice. Determine the day on which you will begin consuming plant-based foods, decide which meals you will eat (find recipes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner), create a grocery list, shop for the necessary ingredients, and then put your new diet into practice!