Overall, a plant-based diet can offer a number of benefits for wellness, including weight management, improved heart health, better diabetes management, cancer prevention, and improved gut health. It just makes you feel good! It can also be more environmentally sustainable and ethical, making it a choice that can benefit both your own health and the health of the planet.
Note that a plant-based diet is usually healthy and nutritious, but does need to be well-planned and include a variety of foods to ensure that you are getting all of the nutrients your body needs. It may be helpful to work with a registered dietitian or other healthcare professional to ensure that you are meeting your nutritional needs on a plant-based diet. The information on this page does not constitute medical advice.
A plant-based diet is one that focuses on whole, minimally processed plant foods such as vegetables, fruits, legumes, whole grains, nuts, and seeds. While there are many variations of plant-based diets, most exclude or significantly limit the consumption of animal products such as meat, dairy, and eggs.
So, what are the benefits of following a plant-based diet for overall wellness? Here are a few:
- Weight management: Plant-based diets are often associated with a healthy body weight. This is likely due to the fact that plant-based foods are generally lower in calories and fat than animal-based foods, and are also high in fiber, which can help you feel full and satisfied. In addition, plant-based diets may help to reduce the risk of obesity and other weight-related health problems.
- Heart health: Plant-based diets have been shown to improve heart health by reducing the risk of heart disease. This is likely due to the fact that plant-based diets are typically low in saturated fat and cholesterol, and are high in nutrients that are good for the heart such as fiber, antioxidants, and healthy fats. In addition, plant-based diets may help to lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of other cardiovascular problems.
- Diabetes management: Plant-based diets may also be beneficial for people with diabetes, as they can help improve blood sugar control. This is likely due to the fact that plant-based foods are generally low in added sugars and are high in fiber, which can help regulate blood sugar levels. In addition, plant-based diets may help to reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
- Cancer prevention: Some research suggests that plant-based diets may be protective against certain types of cancer. This may be due to the fact that plant-based diets are high in antioxidants and other nutrients that can help to protect cells from damage. Plant-based diets may also be lower in certain compounds that are associated with an increased risk of cancer, such as saturated fat and cholesterol.
- Gut health: Plant-based diets are high in fiber, which is important for maintaining a healthy gut microbiome. A healthy gut microbiome is associated with a number of benefits, including a stronger immune system and better overall health. In addition, plant-based diets may help to reduce the risk of certain digestive problems such as constipation and inflammatory bowel disease.
- Environmental sustainability: Plant-based diets are generally more environmentally sustainable than diets that rely heavily on animal products. This is because plant-based foods typically require fewer resources to produce, such as land, water, and energy. In addition, plant-based diets may contribute to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, which can help to mitigate the impact of climate change.
- Animal welfare: For those who are concerned about animal welfare, a plant-based diet can be a more ethical choice. Plant-based diets do not involve the exploitation or use of animals for food, clothing, or other purposes.
If you’ve not tried going vegan before, I highly encourage you to give it a go – you might be surprised!
Lauren Gamble is an author, mompreneur, co-founder of Naturally Made Essentials. She is on a mission to help thousands of women across the world achieve a healthy, happy lifestyle through teaching natural health practices.