Plant Based Diet Health Benefits. What is Plant Based Diet?
In my previous articles, I have covered popular diets, like Ketogenic diet, Mediterranean diet and intermittent fasting. This time I would like to talk about Plant Based Diet Health Benefits and what plant-based diet is? This diet is getting more and more popular these days, because we can find many different research and statements telling us that processed meats are unhealthy, red meat can cause cancer, dairy products are not good for us and etc.
After seeing all these statements people are worried about their health, especially when it’s so many diseases and illnesses around us. Many of us are trying to find healthier alternatives in our diet, which can help to improve the most important thing we have in life – our health. This is the reason why I want to introduce you to a Plant-Based diet and explain what plant based diet health benefits are.
What is Plant Based Diet?
Plant Based means food that comes from plant sources such as fruits, nuts, vegetables, grains, pulses, legumes, soy products and doesn’t contain animal origin ingredients like eggs, meat, dairy products, honey, fish, and seafood.
Some people like to include small amounts of fish in their diet while mainly focusing on plant-based foods. People following a plant-based diet find it easier to meet their five a day target, because this diet is based on a wide variety of fruits, grains, vegetables and pulses.
Is Plant Based Diet Healthy
Plant based diet can be very healthy, but it can be harmful too. You have to do plenty of research, before choosing a plant-based diet. The diet has to be well-balanced and meet your daily nutrients goals. You must to get enough protein, fat, carbs and fiber from plants and sometimes it might be challenging, especially if you don’t have enough knowledge about it.
As an example, if you will eat only vegetables and won’t include any pulses, nuts or grains, you might get very weak and even get sick, because you won’t get enough carbs and protein consuming only vegetables. You must eat all sorts of plant-based foods to get all the nutrients you need.
Daily protein goals might be most challenging to collect from the plants, especially if your goal is to build muscle, your daily protein goals have to be higher. It is very important to consume enough pulses such as chickpeas and beans as they contain lots of protein. You can have a vegan protein powder as well as an extra protein source.
However, plant-based food doesn’t necessarily mean healthy, because it can contain products like sugar, white flour, or it can be processed or canned.
Plant Based Diet Health Benefits
Like any diet, plant-based diet health benefits depends on the quality and type of foods in our diet. If you will change your regular carbohydrates to wholegrain, avoid sugar and sweetened drinks and focus on quality food to get enough of healthy fats, protein, fiber and carbohydrates, plant-based diet health benefits can be very tangible.
This diet health benefits are:
- Lower blood pressure – potassium helps to lower blood pressure and plant-based diet has more potassium-rich foods, which is why it can help to reduce your blood pressure.
- Lower bad cholesterol level – plants contain no cholesterol and plant-based food as seeds, nuts, vegetables, wholegrain and fruits can help to lower cholesterol level and reduce risk of heart diseases.
- Lower blood sugar – the best way to lower blood sugar is to eat more fiber and most plant-based foods contain fiber.
- Reduced risk of cancer – processed and red meat are linked with increased risk of cancer and changing them to plant-based food can reduce your chances of getting cancer.
- Weight loss – plant-based diet contain more fiber, vitamins, minerals and healthy fats, which can help to lose weight.
Is Plant Based Diet Suitable for Weight Loss?
Yes, plant-based diet is suitable for weight loss, however, you have to be aware and cautious what products are best to consume when trying to lose weight.
Consume whole grain, instead of regular carbohydrates, eat plenty of green vegetables, have lots of pulses to get enough protein and don’t forget to eat olives, nuts, and avocado to get your daily healthy fats.
Makes sure that you eat clean, fresh, whole foods and get enough variety in your diet to get all important nutrient you need. Avoid sugars, processed products and prepared meals. Following these steps, you will start seeing weight loss results very soon.
Is Plant Based Diet Suitable for Muscle Growth?
The answer is yes. There are many vegan bodybuilders which have very muscular bodies. Also, a good example is animals like gorillas, and horses, which proves that meat is not necessary to be strong and muscular.
This diet is suitable for muscle growth and it might be easier than you think once you know what you are doing. If you trying to build muscle, make sure that you consume more protein-dense foods like beans, seeds, whole grains and nuts.
It is very important to track your calories and be in calorie surplus which means you have to consume more calories than you burn throughout the day. Healthy fats like avocados and nuts are necessary for muscle growth too. And last but not least you must lift weights to demand your body to grow more muscles through hard training and adequate recovery.
Plant Based Diet Food List
- Goji berries
- Acai berries
- Brussels sprouts
- Artichoke hearts
- Sweet potatoes
- Swiss chard
- Black beans
- White beans
- Black-eyed peas
- Adzuki beans
- Kidney beans
- Mung beans
- Lima beans
- Navy beans
- Fava beans
- String beans
- Split beans
- Pinto beans
- Whole-wheat flour
- White Flower
Nuts and seeds:
- Brazil nuts
- Macadamia nuts
- Pine nuts
- Chia seeds
- Hemp seeds
- Sesame seeds
- Pumpkin seeds
- Sunflower seeds
- Plant-Based diet comes from plant sources such as fruits, nuts, vegetables, grains, pulses, legumes, soy products and doesn’t contain animal origin ingredients like eggs, meat, dairy products, honey, fish, and seafood.
- This diet can be very healthy if you have enough knowledge on how to eat balanced food and get all the necessary nutrients.
- Plant based diet can be very harmful too, if you don’t have enough knowledge on how to make a balanced meal plan.
- This diet health benefits are lower blood pressure, lower bad cholesterol level, lower blood sugar, lower risk of cancer and weight loss.
- Plant based diet is suitable for weight loss, however, you have to be aware and cautious what products are best to consume and what products to avoid when trying to lose weight.
- This diet is suitable for increasing muscle mass if the diet is balanced right. For growing muscle mass you have to consume more protein-dense foods like beans, seeds, whole grains and nuts.
This diet has great health benefits and if done right it can be suitable for both, losing weight and increasing muscle mass. Follow my advice and do good research before trying a plant-based diet, because if done wrong it can be very harmful too.
Like any diet plant-based diet have to be balanced and give you all nutrients your body needs to fully function and be healthy.
As always, if you ever need a hand or have any questions, feel free to leave them below and I will be more than happy to help you out.
All the best,
Founder of ihealthylifestyle