7 Truths of a Plant-Based Diet
Since I moved to a 100% plant-based diet, I’ve felt better than ever. I no longer have chronic fatigue, my bloods are all good and I have so much more energy.
I even ran my first 50km ultra-marathon in January 2015, proving anything is possible – even on plants! Furthermore to my own experience, research, studies and facts continue to demonstrate the benefits of plant-based nutrition on one’s overall health and longevity.
I also recently contributed 3 of my favourite plant-based soup recipes to feature exclusively in this Plant-Based Recipe eBook. So if you’re looking for (free) plant-based recipes, sign up and grab your copy today.
Anyhow – here the top 7 benefits of eating a plant-based diet plan:
1. More energy
Speaking from experience, eating plant-based will definitely increase your energy levels. I have not only seen it myself, but in clients that have made the switch to putting more plants on their plate. Plant-based meals take less energy to digest but give you more nutrients. Brendan Brazier, former Ironman Triathlete and two-time ultra-marathon champion said that turning to a plant-based diet boosted his energy levels, a sentiment echoed by many who have changed to this lifestyle.
2. Improved heart health
Plants contain no cholesterol and are also generally low in saturated fats. The Lifestyle Heart Trial conducted by Dr Dean Ornish showed that average cholesterol levels fell by about 25% (without cholesterol lowering drugs) on a plant based diet. This means less inflammation in the body which can lead to a multitude of different preventable diseases. Dr Esseltyn has produced numerous reports on how to manage and reverse heart disease on a plant based diet. Other research studies have also shown a 73% decrease in coronary events when introducing more plant based foods into the diet.
RELATED: (Plant-Based) Mac & Cheese Recipe
3. Lower blood pressure
High blood pressure is the most common issue managed by GPs. It is associated with increased rate of heart disease, stroke, cardiovascular diseases and death. Studies show that the lower the blood pressure, the lower the risk of stroke, chronic heart disease, heart failure, chronic kidney disease and death. A 2014 meta-analysis study published in JAMA Internal Medicine showed that a vegetarian diet lowered both systolic and diastolic blood pressure compared to an omnivorous diet (which includes both plants and animal foods).
4. Greater recovery times post exercise
More professional athletes are switching to a plant-based diet citing the reason that they are able to recover quicker from their workouts. Rich Roll, a 47 year old vegan ultra-endurance athlete said that when he switched to a vegan diet, his ‘strength and endurance levels increased quickly and he was able to train more.’ This was also said by Ultra-marathoner, Scott Jurek. He noted that this soreness after long runs was gone and that the resting times between hard workouts were shorter than ever. He said he ‘felt lighter, stronger, faster and as young as ever’. Brendan Brazier has also said that since switching to a plant-based diet his recovery was so much better. His flexibility improved and he became a better athlete’.
5. Weight loss
63% of adults and 25% of children in Australia are overweight or obese. Consuming a wholefoods, plant-based diet can help reduce excess weight. Research shows that vegetarians are generally slimmer than their meat eating counter parts. Wholesome vegetarian diets are nutrient dense and can be great for weight management. The benefits of weight loss and controlling your weight include: decreasing your chances of developing lifestyle diseases such as cancer, heart disease and diabetes. You will also have a lot more energy and who doesn’t want more energy!
6. Diabetes prevention and management
By 2031 it is estimated that 3.3 million Australians will have type 2 diabetes, which is a preventable disease. It is the fastest growing chronic condition in Australia with 280 people developing it every day. The Adventist health study showed that vegetarians have approximately half the risk of developing diabetes as non-vegetarians. Other studies show that over a 17 year period, non-vegetarians were 74% more likely to develop diabetes than vegetarians. Prevention and treatment of diabetes can also be aided on a wholefoods, low fat plant-based diet, by improving insulin sensitivity and decreasing insulin resistance.
7. Reduced incidence of cancer
There are 128,000 new cases of cancer diagnosed in Australia this year and by 2020 this number will rise to 150,000. 1 in 2 Australian men and 1 in 3 Australia women will be diagnosed with cancer by the age of 85. There are many scientific studies that show that a vegetarian diet provides protection against cancer. Eating more plants will increase the amount of cancer protecting phytonutrients in your diet. The Seventh Day Adventist study showed significant reductions in cancer amongst non-meat eaters. Various Harvard studies that included tens of thousands of women and men have shown that regular meat consumption increases colon cancer risk by roughly 300 percent. A plant based diet is a great way to improve overall health without the intervention of pharmaceuticals. An article published in Permanente Journal, 2013 stated, ‘Physicians should consider recommending a plant-based diet to all their patients, especially those with high blood pressure, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, or obesity.’