Health Benefits of Plant-Based Diets

Plant Based Healthy Diets

We want the best for our health and our family’s. The United States has an epidemic of illnesses such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s.  There are substantial benefits from plant-based diets for sustaining our health and living healthier lives. A plant-based diet means eating more whole foods and plants; This includes; fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and nuts and seeds. One of the best parts about eating a plant-based diet is that you can define your strictness. It doesn't necessarily mean plants only. For some, a plant-based diet does exclude all animal products (a vegan diet). For others, it's just about proportion, choosing more of your foods from plant sources than from animal sources. It's a nice way to make plants the main part of your diet without needing to eliminate dairy, eggs, meat, and fish.

 

The Health Benefits of Plant-Based Diets

Cancer: Research suggests that following a plant-based diet may reduce your risk of certain types of cancer. A study in over 69,000 people found that vegetarian diets were associated with a significantly lower risk of gastrointestinal cancer, especially for those who followed a lacto-ovo vegetarian diet (vegetarians who eat eggs and dairy). Another large study in more than 77,000 people demonstrated that those who followed vegetarian diets had a 22% lower risk of developing colorectal cancer than non-vegetarians.

Cognitive Decline: Plant-based diets have a higher number of plant compounds and antioxidants, which have been shown to slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease and reverse cognitive deficits. In many studies, higher intakes of fruits and vegetables have been strongly associated with a reduction in cognitive decline.

Diabetes: Adopting a Plant-based diet may be an effective tool in managing and reducing your risk of developing diabetes. A study in more than 200,000 people found that those who adhered to a healthy plant-based eating pattern had a 34% lower risk of developing diabetes than those who followed unhealthy, non-plant-based diets. Another study demonstrated that plant-based diets (vegan and lacto-ovo vegetarian) were associated with nearly a 50% reduction in the risk of type 2 diabetes compared to non- vegetarian diets. Plus, plant-based diets have been shown to improve blood sugar control in people with diabetes.

     

    Healthy Plant Diets

     

    • Fruits: Berries, citrus fruits, pears, peaches, pineapple, bananas, etc.
    • Vegetables: Kale, spinach, tomatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, asparagus, peppers, etc.
    • Starchy vegetables: Potatoes, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, etc.
    • Whole grains: Brown rice, rolled oats, farro, quinoa, brown rice pasta, barley, etc.
    • Healthy fats: Avocados, olive oil, coconut oil, unsweetened coconut, etc.
    • Legumes: Peas, chickpeas, lentils, peanuts, black beans, etc.
    • Seeds, nuts and nut butters: Almonds, cashews, macadamia nuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, natural peanut butter, tahini, etc.
    • Une unsweetened plant-based milks: Coconut milk, almond milk, cashew milk, etc.
    • Spices, herbs, and seasonings: Basil, rosemary, turmeric, curry, black pepper, salt, etc.
    • Condiments: Salsa, mustard, nutritional yeast, soy sauce, vinegar, lemon juice, etc.
    • Plant-based protein: Tofu, tempeh, plant-based protein sources or powders with no added sugar or artificial ingredients.
    • Beverages: Coffee, tea, sparkling water, etc.

     

    If supplementing your plant-based diet with animal products choose quality products from grocery stores or, better yet, purchase them from local farms.

     

    • Eggs: Pasture-raised when possible.
    • Poultry: Free-range, organic when possible.
    • Beef and pork: Pastured or grass-fed when possible.
    • Seafood: Wild-caught from sustainable fisheries when possible.
    • Dairy: Organic dairy products from pasture-raised animals whenever possible.

     

     Moving Forward

    The plant-based diet is a way of eating that celebrates plant foods and cuts out unhealthy items like added sugars and refined grains. Plant-based diets have been linked to a number of health benefits, including reducing your risk of heart disease, certain cancers, obesity, diabetes, and cognitive decline. Plus, transitioning to a more plant-based diet is an excellent choice for the planet.  At Xtrema we focus on health from our cookware to ensuring awareness for healthy choices.

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