Going plant-based seems to be the next big thing and there are many legitimate reasons why doing so can be amazing for you. For some inspiration and a peak at what benefits you can expect from going meat-less, check out our list below:
You’ll reduce inflammation in your body.
Eating meat, cheese and highly processed foods significantly increases the chance that you will suffer from chronic inflammation in your body. While short-term inflammation after an injury is normal, long-term inflammation that lasts over a month is not. Having this condition can lead to a variety of issues including atherosclerosis, heart attacks, strokes, diabetes, and autoimmune diseases among other conditions. Alternatively, plant based diets are naturally anti-inflammatory because they are high in fiber, antioxidants and other phytonutrients.
Your blood cholesterol levels will plummet.
Two of the leading causes of death in the United States are heart disease and strokes. Both are caused by elevated blood cholesterol levels. Your blood cholesterol levels tend to shoot up after consuming products with saturated fats such as meat, poultry, cheese and other animal products. It looks like a no-brainer that cutting animal-based foods from your diet will lower your blood cholesterol levels significantly. Many studies have also proven this by showing that when people go plant based, their blood cholesterol levels drop by up to 35%. These percentages are often equal to drug therapy results.
You’ll give your microbiome a makeover.
Our bodies are home to trillions of microorganisms, collectively called the microbiome. More and more we are realizing how crucial these organisms are to our overall health. They help digest our food, produce critical nutrients, train our immune systems, turn genes on and off, keep our gut tissue healthy, and help protect us from cancer. Eating plant foods help give our microbiome what it needs. The fiber from plant based foods promotes the growth of “friendly” bacteria in out guts and intestines. On the other hand, meat and animal based products foster the growth of disease-promoting bacteria that we definitely don’t want in our bodies.
You’ll change how your genes work.
In recent times, scientists have come to the remarkable conclusion that environmental factors do in fact influence our genetics and have the ability to turn certain genes on and off. People with plant based diets have been proven to be able to change gene expression and optimize how their cells repair damaged DNA. Research has also shown that a plant based lifestyle can decrease the expression of cancer genes in men with low-risk prostate cancer.
You’ll dramatically reduce your chances of getting type 2 diabetes.
Study after study has proven that red and processed meat increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. At an estimated 38% of the American population having pre-diabetes, its safe to say we’re better off going plant based now more than ever. There are several reasons why meat causes type 2 diabetes. Animal fat, animal based iron and nitrate preservatices in meat have been found to damage pancreatic cells, worsen inflammation, cause weight gain and impair the way our insulin functions.
You’ll get the right amount—and the right type—of protein.
“Where will I get my protein?” seems to be the biggest concern for meat eaters to go vegetarian, but that question has been proven to be irrelevant as protein from animal based sources was shown to be a major cause of weight gain, heart disease, diabetes, inflammation and cancer. Alternatively, protein from whole plant foods was found to protect us from many chronic diseases. On a plant-based diet, there is no need to track you daily protein intake. As long as you are meeting your daily calorie needs, you will get plenty of protein.
You’ll make a huge impact on the health of our planet and its inhabitants.
The meat industry is the single largest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions and a leading cause of land and water use, deforestation, wildlife destruction and species extinction. Even more so, the current food system based on meat and dairy production contributes to world hunger because the majority of crops grown worldwide go toward feeding livestock instead of feeding people. Stop contributing to this destructive phenomenon and do your part by going plant-based to save the planet.