One of the trends that has consistently been on an incline for the past few years is health and fitness. Which shouldn’t come as a surprise, because after all, as worn out as it may sound, it really is for your own good! And it really is for the best, because if your body is functioning properly, you end up happier, more productive, more confident, and the list goes on. But it really isn’t all just about exercise and physical endurance, the other half of it (and may also be the most important part) is diet.
So many diet programs have come and gone, because most, if not all of these, only focus on losing weight. Which can be effective at times, but isn’t exactly healthy in the long run. Fortunately for us, modern research has started showing more studies that there may be a nutritional lifestyle that may give us our weight loss goals, and at the same time, maintain a healthy lifestyle—a plant-based diet. Often times overlooked, but with these benefits, maybe it’s time we give our greens a chance.
1. Avoiding Overnutrition
As contradictory as it may sound, overnutrition is a form of malnutrition where there is an excessive consumption of nutrients than what the body should normally be taking in. This often results in various ailments such as obesity and heart disease. A prime example of this is taking in too much protein—a nutrient that was popularly believed to be the end-all be-all of nutrition, but now, studies show otherwise. By following a plant-based diet, we regulate our body’s intake of nutrients, and limit any instances of overnutrition.
2. Strong Cardiovascular Health
Those that follow a plant-based lifestyle tend to have lower blood pressure due to a higher intake of potassium-heavy foods such as most vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and legumes. Animal products such as meat and dairy, on the other hand, actually raise blood pressure. Also, animal products are high in cholesterol and saturated fat, so by eliminating this, it significantly lowers the body’s cholesterol levels, leading to lower chances of developing heart disease.
3. Prevention of Diabetes
Plant-Based praciticioners tend to show signs of lower blood sugar levels and higher insulin sensitivity, lowering the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by over 50-70%. In fact there have even been recorded cases of people with diabetes who, by acquiring a plant-based lifestyle, not only lowered their blood sugar levels, but also completely cured them of their diabetes!
4. Weight Loss
Studies have observed that the people who follow a plant-based diet, often have lower body mass indexes (BMIs) as compared to those who consume animal products. This is mainly due to a reduced intake of calories, as well as in the consumption of an adequate amount of nutrients. More importantly, consuming unnecessary cholesterol and saturated fat through meat and dairy, leave room for a healthier caloric intake.
5. Healthy Skin
How we look on the outside is usually an indicator of how the insides are doing. So, the healthier the body is on the inside, the better it would look on the outside! Going plant-based does wonders for the skin. For one, most all fruits and vegetables contain healthy amounts of antioxidants that rejuvenate the skin, slows aging, reduces wrinkles, and improves collagen among other things. Animal products also cause inflammation, which is the culprit for numerous skin conditions such as acne. Ultimately, by cutting meat and dairy out, and by consuming anti-inflammatory foods such as spinach and beans, the worry of puffy and bumpy skin is thrown out the window!
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