People all know the benefits of green vegetables for the human health. A recent report shows that fruits and vegetables can help stop millions of deaths each year, as long as you eat the right amount of vegetables. Choosing a diet heavy in fruits and vegetables might help ward off chronic diseases while keeping your svelte. Today, many people like plant-based diet because it makes them healthier day by day. Moreover, a plant-based diet is more economical, particularly if you eat local, in-season produce. Reading this article will help you have more reasons to eat more plants because here we reveal to you 5 unexpected health benefits of a plant-based diet. Check out below!
What Is A Plant-Based Diet?
A plant-based diet is a diet based on foods which derive from plants, such as vegetables, fruits, legumes, seeds, nuts and grains. It means that this diet contains little or no food from animal sources. Nutritionists have divided the plant-based diet into six major food groups, which are:
- Group 1 includes fruits, such as pineapple, grape, berry, tomato, banana, apple, pear, orange, and grapefruit.
- Group 2 includes vegetables, such as cauliflower, sweet potato, mushroom, squash, asparagus, cucumber, corn, carrot, celery, and bell peppers.
- Group 3 contains grains, such as oatmeal, brown rice, pasta, whole bran tortilla, and barley.
- Group 4 includes legumes, such as black beans, chicken legumes, soy beans, chia seeds, sunflower seeds, and lentils.
- Group 5 includes green leafy vegetables, such as broccoli, spinach, kale, and lettuce.
- Group 6 includes oils and fats, such as cashew nuts, peanuts, avocados, and olive oil.
They’re not plants, but mushrooms are widely considered as vegetarian food, which makes them perfect for a plant-based diet. Mushrooms belong to the fungus kingdom, and you can grow them sustainably using easy-setup grow kits. Mushrooms are packed with vitamins and minerals and have a delicious flavor and texture that can elevate your plant-based recipes.
Now, it is time to know unexpected health benefits of eating more plants, so you will have more reasons to fill your plate up with good stuff.
Top 5 Unexpected Health Benefits Of A Plant-Based Diet
1. Lower Cholesterol Level Naturally
One of major benefits of embracing a plant-based diet is lowering cholesterol. Cholesterol level is the amount of fat your body needs to function normally. It is absorbed in the liver and is found in animal foods, such as meat, eggs, dairy products, butter, and lard. Our body can produce an adequate amount of essential cholesterol by itself, so all the cholesterol that the body absorbs from the foods is excess. High cholesterol levels make you susceptible to diabetes, obesity and heart disease. Therefore, to naturally reduce your cholesterol level, you should go for a plant-based diet.
The majority of people do not know that plants do not have cholesterol, even the saturated sources such as cacao or coconut. It is said that the simplest way to lower cholesterol is having a plant-based diet. Nutrition experts advise that patients with high cholesterol levels should regularly eat green leafy vegetables, such as almond, spinach and kale, to improve their condition.
Recent research has shown that the levels of inulin and fiber in these vegetables are very high. Besides, they are also rich in antioxidants, so they can increase the amount of good cholesterol and decrease the amount of bad cholesterol in our body.
2. Improve Vision
Our eyes are among things we all often take for granted. Visual acuity is an important part of visual function. Basically, vision helps us to recognize light and space. It allows us to see the beauty in this world, read books, and execute daily tasks. With the rapid development of information technology, nowadays, more and more people are suffering from visual impairment. Thus, it is important to step back and take care of our eyes carefully now and for the future.
Nutrition experts recommend using a plant-based diet to improve our vision and get clear eyes. Many studies have concluded that all green leafy vegetables have nutrients essential for healthy eyes and good vision.
Vegetables contain high levels of lutein and zeaxanthin, which help protect the macula and reduce the effect of blue light on the eyes. They also help prevent eye diseases such as cataracts and macular degeneration due to aging. In addition, our body can convert beta-carotene in green leafy vegetables into vitamin A, which reduces the risk of night blindness and dry eyes.
3. Prevent Nutrient Deficiency
Nutrients are essential substances or compounds found in food and water. They create energy to sustain life. Nutritionists have divided nutrients into three main groups: energy-producing nutrients (including protein, fat, and carbohydrates); vitamins and minerals; and water. Nutrients play a vital role in maintaining a healthy body, including boosting the immune system, controlling weight, and restoring the health. If you are deficient in nutrients, you are more likely to get sick. To prevent this, you should apply a plant-based diet.
Foods that derive from plants can provide you with all the nutrients your body needs. There are some vitamins stored in the body for future use, but some are not. B group vitamins (such as vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, and B12), biotin, choline, folic acid and vitamin C are water-soluble vitamins, so they cannot be stored in the body. It is necessary for us to supplement these nutrients to our body. Fortunately, green leafy vegetables are a good source of a complete mixture of water-soluble vitamins.
4. Strengthen Bone Health
Bone is the substance that makes up the skeleton. It is made up of calcium phosphate and calcium carbonate and helps store calcium and balance calcium levels in the blood. In addition, our bones also carry a number of important functions, such as protecting the internal organs and helping the body move. However, due to many factors such as aging, nutrition deficiencies, or job characteristics, bone is susceptible to being weakened. Applying a plant-based diet can naturally strengthen bone health.
Foods that derive from plants contain high levels of calcium and vitamin K, so they have the potential to improve bone density, making bones stronger. Foods like collards, turnip greens, broccoli, kale, and whole sesame seeds or legumes are good sources of calcium. In addition, these nutrients also slow the aging process, repelling the risk of osteoporosis.
5. Prevent Cancer
A whole foods plant-based, low fat diet is the leading way to improve your chances of avoiding risks of cancers. Cancer is the name for a group of diseases that are involved in the cell division in an unstructured way. We all know that cancer is very dangerous because it can be life-threatening.
Cancer can start anywhere in the body. To prevent it, you had better take advantage of a plant-based diet because greens contain lots of antioxidants, carotenoids and flavonoids that help fight stomach cancer, colon cancer, skin cancer and breast cancer. Animal foods have been associated with cancer, particularly breast and colon cancer.
Frequent consumption of broccoli, Brussels sprouts and cabbage stimulates your body to produce anti-cancer compounds such as indoles, sulforaphane, and isothiocyanates.
There, you have found out the unexpected benefits of a plant-based diet. To get the best results from this diet, you should eat 2-3 cups of vegetables a day. Surely you will be surprised at what you will get. Thank you for reading this article. Wish you all the best!
About the author
Victoria Tan is an enthusiastic Health and Beauty expert with more than 10 years of experience in Health Care industry. For more health care tips on healthy living, visit her at the website TrueRemedies.com. There, you will find posts on natural treatments, recipes, healthy foods, and so much more.