3 ways a plant-based diet can improve your health

Plant-based diets are more than just a trend. There are many health benefits too to filling up on whole grains, fruits and vegetables.

Here are 3 ways a plant-based diet can improve your health:

1. A plant-based diet may help prevent, treat or reverse some of our leading causes of death, including heart disease, Type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure.

Harvard researchers found that people who averaged eight-plus servings of fruits and vegetables a day were 30 percent less likely to have a heart attack or stroke, compared to those who had less than 1.5 daily servings.

The main dietary staples of a plant-based diet include whole grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and legumes. These types of foods provide nutrient benefits because they are full of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and phytochemicals. A plant-based diet can help lower blood pressure too.

2. A plant-based diet helps fight cancer.

According to the Mao Clinic, cancer is the second-leading cause of death in the U.S. But estimates suggest that as many as a third of cases could be prevented with diet and nutrition alone. Decades of research suggests that the best diet for cancer prevention is all about plants. That means lots of fruits, vegetables and legumes, and little to no meat or other animal products.

In fact, vegans — those who don’t eat any animal products including fish, dairy or eggs — appeared to have the lowest rates of cancer of any diet.

3. A plant-based diet can lead to weight loss.

Research shows that meat is independently associated with obesity. The standard American diet is called SAD for a reason: It’s loaded with processed foods that drive many of the standard American diseases, including obesity.

Veggies such as kale, cabbage, spinach, and lettuce are especially beneficial. A compound in dark green leafies called thylakoid can actually turn off your hunger switch and help fight cravings for unhealthy foods, while a pound of nonstarchy veggies has fewer calories than a tablespoon of olive oil.

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