A diet focused on food produced directly from plants does not mean you are a vegan or never eat meat. It is a great way to detoxify your body, maintain a healthy weight and prevent several diseases.
Food scientists and dietitians around the world have praised the benefits of eating plant-based food. From reducing the risk for heart cancer to improving your well-being, plant-forward eating patterns unlock many benefits for your body and mind.
However, eating merely plant-based products is a big decision and a daunting task for most people. Fortunately, it’s not all or nothing! You can still improve your health and reap the benefits of plant-based food by simply reducing the consumption of animal derivatives.
Start by eating meatless a few days in a row and see how your body responds to it. There’s an abundance of mouth-watering recipes and delicious meat substitutes that can make your journey towards a healthier lifestyle fun and enjoyable.
To give you extra motivation to try new, healthy and super nutritious plant-based dishes, check out our list of the top plant-based diet benefits.
1. Plant-based food helps you maintain a healthy weight
Plan eaters tend to be thinner as vegetables, nuts, fruits, legumes and whole grains are low in calories. They are also rich in fiber, so they increase satiety.
A UK study that tracked more than 21.000 meat-eaters, pescatarians, vegetarians and vegans over five years found that those who consumed less meat reported the lowest weight gain.
Another smaller study by Nutrition & Diabetes proved that 65 overweight people lost more than 9 kilos on average after switching to a whole-food, plant-based diet for one year.
Add more plant-based food to your weekly eating schedule and see the difference!
2. Plant-based products boost the immune system
Plants are full of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytochemicals and other nutrients that can fortify your immune system naturally and protect against cellular damage.
They keep body cells healthy, helping them fight against germs, microorganisms and attack mutations before progressing to disease or inflammation.
That’s why doctors urge patients to eat more fruits and vegetables – especially those in high-risk groups, including diabetic, overweight and over 60 years old.
3. Plant-based food reduces the risk for heart disease and cancer
Studies have shown that vegan diets reduce the risk of developing high blood pressure by 75% and dying from heart disease.
Plant-based food also helps reduce bad cholesterol (LDL), total cholesterol levels and blood sugar, maintaining a healthy heart.
Moreover, a wealth of scientific research links high meat consumption with increased risks of cancer. On the contrary, beans, fruits, veggies, seeds, whole grains and nuts are excellent sources of cancer-protective compounds.
Did you know that eating at least seven portions of vegetables and fresh fruits each day may lower the risk of dying from cancer by up to 15%? The types of cancer linked to more meat and fewer plant products are prostate, breast and colon cancer.
4. Plant-based food for a glowing skin
Plant derivatives are rich in water, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E and antioxidants that help the skin stay healthy, fresh and young-looking.
In addition, scientists have strong evidence to believe that avoiding dairy products improves acne.
So if you want glowing skin, try consuming more plant-based alternatives for dairy products, such as almond milk, soy creamers, rice milk and coconut beverages.
5. A plant-based diet protects your brain
Researchers have found that increased consumption of veggies and fresh fruits reduces the risk of dementia and cognitive impairment by 20%. That’s because plants are high in antioxidants, folate and vitamins that keep the body cells healthy and strong.
On the other hand, diets heavy in animal proteins increase the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.
So, try adding a cup of vegetables and fruits to your daily diet plan to protect your brain against cognitive decline.
Opt for healthy plant-based food
Eating more plant-based food is not enough to keep your mind and body strong and healthy.
You should make sure you reduce sugar consumption, exercise more and use healthy cooking methods to prepare your plant-based meals. For example, try to avoid deep-frying your favorite veggies and prefer whole grain pasta, bread and rice.
If you’re seeking the ultimate dine-out or takeaway plant-based experience in Cyprus, check out the Elysian Plant-Based Kitchen Bar at the heart of Nicosia. Plant-based gyro, burgers, pancakes and smoothies have never tasted so good!