Are Plant-based Diets Actually Good For You?

A plant plant-based diet is essentially a diet that contains plant-based food products such as vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts and grains as its foundation.

There are many reasons that compel people towards following a plant-based diet with concern for animal welfare, health benefits and the environment being the more popular reasons.
The general assumption is that plant-based diets would mean being vegetarian or vegan. Yet, it could vary depending on the nutritional needs of those following it and at which transitionary point people are at in their plant-based food journey.

Here are the categories for those who follow plant-based diets.
  • Vegans - Excludes all animal products which also includes bees honey
  • Ovo-lacto vegetarians - Consumes eggs and dairy products. Diet contains no meat, poultry or seafood
  • Ovo vegetarians - Consumes only eggs with no dairy or animal food products
  • Pescatarians - eats fish and/or seafood
  • Flexitarian or Semi-vegetarians - Eats meat, seafood, eggs and dairy occasionally

Whichever plant-based diet you may follow, research suggests that it promotes sustainable eating habits and is healthy and beneficial for both our bodies and the environment.

Builds Immunity

The vitamins, minerals and antioxidants found in fruits and vegetables boosts our immunity and helps our bodies fight against germs and microorganisms.

Reduces Inflammation

Antioxidants and polyphenols found in vegetables and fruits such as tomatoes, olives, leafy greens, blueberries, apples and oranges will help to reduce inflammation in our bodies. Prolonged inflammation could also result in arthritis and even cancer

Improves Gut Health and the Digestive System

Plant-based diet improves gut health allowing our bodies to absorb all the nutrients needed to build up our immunity and reduce inflammation. Plant-based food is filled with fiber that keeps the digestive tract healthy and flowing.

Helps Reduce Weight Gain

The consumption of fruit, vegetables, grains and legumes rather than heavily processed meat and dairy items is a great way to reduce harmful fats and extra calories in our diet. Teamed with plenty of water and exercise, a plant-based diet can result in not only losing weight but to sustain a healthy weight.

Healthy Heart

Our diet has a major impact on our blood pressure, cholesterol and diabetes levels and these risk factors must be kept at optimum levels to maintain a healthy heart. A diet rich with plant-based food such as vegetables, fruit and whole grains would mean that the body will absorb nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, fiber and good fats without consuming unhealthy fats and added sugar and salt that can be found in processed animal products.

It is also important to learn healthy cooking methods so that we are able to retain maximum levels of nutrients of our plant-based products. Deep fried food, chips and sugary desserts are a definite no and wholewheat pastas, brown bread and rice over regular pasta, white bread and white rice is a must.

Reduces cognitive impairment

Research has indicated that the antioxidants, vitamins and folate found in plant-based diets reduces the risk of cognitive impairments such as a loss of memory, recognition of people, places and things as well as mood changes. High intakes of fruit and vegetables can prevent dementia and have significant benefits in cognition.

The Bottom Line

While the benefits of a plant-based diet are high, it is also important to know all the facts before making a conscious decision to switch or change our diets. Many argue that plant-based diets do not contain certain nutrients such as essential fats like Omega-3, Vitamin B12, Vitamin D, calcium and protein which are readily available in meat and dairy products. This particularly affects those who follow a strict vegan diet.

Yet, all is not lost. Many of these nutrients can be supplemented by consuming the right type of food products. Walnuts, flaxseeds, and chia seeds contain Omega-3, Vitamin B12 is available in fortified breakfast cereals, yeast extracts and plant-based dairy alternatives, Vitamin D can be absorbed by getting exposed to the sun, calcium and iron can be found in leafy greens vegetables, beans and legumes.

It goes without saying that switching to a plant-based diet has many benefits that exceed just our health but is also beneficial to the rights of the animals and the future of the health of our planet. Making an informed and conscious decision can make a difference. This is where Miditer comes in. We want to ensure that healthy living isn’t an afterthought – but your first, natural instinct. Sustainable living with Miditer is now easily accessible and convenient.