Food and Wellness: the Benefits of Plant-based Diets

Plant-based Diet

Plant-based diets have always been a healthy way to get in better shape and improve your health. The advantages have been researched and there are several ways to adopt a plant-based diet. One of the biggest barriers to adopting this type of diet is the difficulty in finding a variety of plants. It can be difficult to find affordable fresh produce in the cities.

This has led to a very narrow view of what vegetables and fruits are and limited knowledge on ways to prepare these foods. This means that people from more affluent areas can adopt plant-based diets more easily.

Inner-city folk who would benefit from plant-based diets would be even more inclined to avoid learning about them because they will assume the foods are too expensive for their budgets. But there are ways to get both variety and a reasonable price if you are willing to find them.

Farmer’s markets and farm-to-table organizations can help to get you the plants you need to change your diet. Supporting these organizations is double beneficial as they tend to donate unsold produce to outreach programs that serve nutritious meals to disenfranchised peoples.

By adopting a plant-based diet, you will benefit your health, benefit the environment, and can even give back to the community.

Flexitarian Diet

Flexitarians do not fully forego meat. They reduce their meat intake and try to eat more fresh produce on a regular basis. As the name suggests it is the most flexible of plant-based diets. Flexitarians seek to reduce meat and meat-based products and choose vegetarian alternates where possible. They also prefer to get their meat and meat products from locally sourced and organic sources.

This diet would be much easier to adopt if you have practiced a meat-based diet. It can help to reduce reliance on meat and adopt less processed foods with more ease. Flexitarians limit added sugar in their diets as well. Combined with their focus on eating more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, there are many health benefits to be gained.


Vegetarian Diet

Vegetarians do not eat meat and replace it in their diet with plant-based proteins. They can eat cheese, eggs, and milk, depending on their reason for vegetarianism. Religion-based vegetarianism might restrict them from consuming dairy. Outside of religion, there are different forms of the vegetarian diet as well.

Finding the specific balance that works for you depends on the individual and your reasons for choosing to adopt this diet. Vegetarian diets are effective for weight loss and allow people to do so without restricting their food intake. Vegetarianism has also been linked to reduced cancer risk and improved heart health. For people with diabetes in the family, vegetarian diets are recommended as they can improve blood sugar control and maintain healthy levels.

Vegan Diet

This is the diet that has received the most criticism without much evaluation. It can be annoying to meet someone who bases their personality on their diet, but this should not turn you off from a beneficial diet. Vegans forgo all animal products. They do not consume milk, cheese, or honey. Their diet is exclusively based on plants and plant-based protein.

Many people embrace vegan diets for ethical and environmental reasons as well as the many health benefits. As with vegetarianism, there are different forms of vegan diets.

Whole food vegan diets are based on consuming a variety of whole plant foods as possible They base their meals around incorporating fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds. Raw food vegan diets sound hardcore, but they do allow for cooking. It has to be within specific temperature restrictions. Other than that, these vegans prefer to eat raw vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds.

The low-fat vegan diet or the fruitarian diet follows the principle of limiting fat-rich plants such as nuts and avocado. They focus on raw fruits and soft greens and only eat plant-based proteins occasionally. Another version of this is more starch-based. It remains low-fat but is high in carbohydrates. The focus is on cooked starches such as potatoes and corn rather than on fruit.

These types of plant-based diets tend to be high in certain nutrients. Nutrient-rich whole plants and fortified foods provide more fiber, antioxidants, potassium, magnesium, and folate than most meat-based low vegetable diets. Nutritionists do recommend using supplements to ensure that you still receive the nutrients that come from meat.

Plant-based diets have been shown to revive declining kidney function. They are not a full solution, but they can aid in improving the quality of life. Diabetics who adopt plant-based diets can reduce the chances of kidney issues as well. Eliminating processed meats and foods has the benefits of lowering the risk of certain cancers. It can even reduce the overall risk of cancer for people with genetic reasons to be concerned about their health.

Vegan diets focused on probiotic-rich whole foods can also significantly decrease symptoms of arthritis. Going on this diet early can slow the onset of these issues to a great degree. There are few disadvantages and many advantages to a plant-based diet. Try a weekly challenge every month to help make the transition easier. Your body will thank you for it.


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