Plant Based Diets
Research has shown that eating a plant-based diet is favorable for overall health by enhancing nutrient bioavailability, while limiting exposure to pesticides, industrial toxins, and heavy metals. A person’s nutritional status and diet contributes to the internal environment of the body and whether or not it is in a pro-inflammatory state. The state of inflammation influences epigenetics, which is the switching “on” or “off” of certain genes, making the probability of developing a disease more or less likely. Various studies have indicated the role inflammation plays in many chronic diseases including but not limited to cardiovascular disease, lipid dysregulation, hypertension, metabolic syndrome, Type 2 Diabetes, and obesity. If diet can affect the probability of developing disease, think then of the health benefits you could gain simply by changing dietary habits!
Eating a plant-based diet does not imply that you have to become a vegan or vegetarian; it simply means that you try to select most of your foods from plant sources (preferably local, seasonal, and organic) while minimizing consumption of processed foods, red meat, and refined sugar. The ideal dietary ratio is 80% vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds to 20% fish, lean meats, eggs and dairy.
There are a variety of benefits to eating a plant based diet besides improvement in overall health and wellness. Increasing vegetable consumption over meat consumption curtails greenhouse gases (especially methane) that are a waste product of factory farms and correlated to increasing global temperatures. Purchasing locally grown produce enables you to support local farms and farmers, boost local economy and reduce carbon emissions related to food transport. You don’t have to spend a lot of “green” to eat green. Contrary to popular belief, plant based diets are comparable in cost to diets higher in processed food and red meat.
As you can see, there are plenty of reasons to try a plant based diet. Do something beneficial for yourself and the greater good, you have nothing to loose!