Now, maybe more than at any point in human history, gigantic numbers of people are turning to a mostly plant-based diet – or giving up meat entirely – all in an effort to boost and improve their health across the board.
For those who are still in love with meat, trying to make this leap can be more than a bit of an uphill battle – until you understand exactly what kinds of benefits you will be able to tap into by shifting to a plant-based diet. Whether you decide to go full on vegan or just stick to a mostly vegetarian diet is entirely up to you, and is absolutely no rule that says you have to go “whole hog” when shifting to a plant-based diet as well. The slow transition is just as effective as going cold turkey, whatever you are most comfortable with.
Understanding the importance of a plant based diet
There are a lot of myths and misconceptions out there about shifting to a plant-based diet, and the most common one probably has to deal with whether or not you’re able to get all of your essential vitamins, minerals, and nutrients from plants only.
This myth has been be debunked time and time again (for decades, in fact) – but still has a bit of staying power. Luckily, more people are looking into the facts behind shifting to a plant-based diet and just listening to propaganda pushed on us or holding fast to do a tradition that may or may not be dangerous and deadly to your health – and reaping the benefits because of it.
A plant-based diet has the potential to completely and totally change the way you go about your day to day life, in ways that you probably haven’t considered before. While were going to talk about the top 10 reasons to go on a plant-based diet, doing a little bit of extra research and due diligence after we’ve broken down all of the details will be immensely helpful for you moving forward.
The critical thing about this entire transition is that you are focused on the end results and major benefits rather than how difficult it may be to give up meat and meat products entirely. If you understand completely that the food you put into your body is actually the fuel you’ll be using on a daily basis – and not just some tasty snacks that you’ll be stuffing into your mouth from time to time – the change becomes that much, more simple.
However, that’s not what we are here to talk about right now – let’s dive right into the top 10 reasons to go on a plant-based diet!
#1 – Dramatically reduce the risk of the world’s number one killer in heart disease
One of the most amazing things about a plant-based diet (and a big reason that so many people make the shift in the first place) is because you’re able to dramatically reduce the risk – not eliminate, but certainly reduce – for heart disease.
Widely regarded as may be the number one killer around the world, the reality is that millions and millions of people each and every year succumb to health complications and fatal medical issues resulting from heart disease – almost all of it caused by diets that are through the roof in saturated fats, cholesterol’s, and other byproducts from a mostly meat diet.
Science and research has proven time and time again (and continues to do so through clinical studies and research focuses) that plant-based diets – vegetarian and vegan alike – dramatically lower the amount of saturated fat and cholesterol that you’re pumping into your body. Some studies have shown that there is a 24% lower risk of dying from heart disease when you shift to a plant-based diet, a big reason to take this seriously.
#2 – Plant-based diets may be able to kick the tail end of cancer
While research and study is still necessary, the reality of the situation is that there are an overwhelming amount of medical professionals, nutritionists, and other researchers that firmly believe vegan diets cripple cancers ability to multiply throughout the human body.
Studies have continued to show that animal proteins are just jampacked with saturated fats and other carcinogenic compounds – especially meats that aren’t organic or raised in a natural way – that further help to promote cancer cells throughout the body. High fat diets have also shown two different hormone productions that can boost cancer cells (most specifically breast and prostate cancers), where plant-based diets all but entirely a limited on those issues.
While maybe not the cure for cancer, it’s beginning to look like plant-based diets may have a crippling impact on its ability to move throughout your body and to grow to a size that threatens your health. Also animal products impair the immune system’s ability to fight runaway cancer cells.
#3 – Lose weight and lose it fast when shifting to a plant-based diet
One of the most amazing and nearly instant benefits that you’ll be able to enjoy the moment that you switch to a plant based diet is the ability to lose weight quickly, and then keep it off almost indefinitely.
Definitely a big reason that some of the people continue to choose a plant-based diet almost over all others, vegetarian and vegan diets have long been regarded as some of the most effective when it comes to losing fat.
Obviously, you’ll need to make sure that you’re still getting all of the critical nutrients and vitamins that you need – but eating nutrient dense fruits and vegetables should be able to supply you with everything that you’re looking for. We emphasize plant based diets over being a vegan since vegans can possibly eat many unhealthy fattening foods like pasta, bread and rice.
#4 – Promote a longer life and stunt the aging process
A 12 year study published by Oxford University in the British Medical Journal has shown that plant-based diets are able to promote a much longer life and stunt the aging process when compared to those who enjoy meat-based diets. The research points to the fact that vegetarians and vegans who were part of the study were able to live (on average) six years longer than those who ate meat. And while there are certainly those who argue with the study’s findings, the truth of the matter is that this research fits perfectly in line with much of the anecdotal evidence provided about the subject.
#5 – Avoid (for the most part) toxic food, chemicals, and other contaminants
While there are certainly a number of debates going on all over the world in regards to the chemicals, pesticides, and other genetic mutations (GMO) that have been going on with plants and farmers for years and years now, the truth of the matter is that you’re at a much lower risk for contamination when eating a plant based diet than a meat-based one.
Just by their very nature, plants hold a very small amounts of the hormones, herbicides, pesticides, and other contaminants. On the other hand chemicals are stored and concentrated in animal fat for long periods of time which are passed along to you each and every single time you put them in your mouth.
There are also a number of other foodborne illnesses that can come from eating contaminated meats or meats that have gone past their date of freshness or were handled improperly. Botulism, E Coli, Salmonella are just some of the illnesses that are a constant threat with animal foods.
#6 – Help to reduce global warming by shifting to a plant based diet
When you combine the amount of greenhouse gases produced by the livestock (some studies have predicted that those numbers are higher than all the cars and trucks in the world combined) as well as the need for fossil fuels to transport the majority of those meats and other animal products you’re looking at a very serious impact on the global environment.
However, when you decide to shift to a plant based diet and eat food that you can source locally, those numbers are crippled dramatically – helping you to improve the environment while also improving your overall health and well-being.
#7 – Humans are designed to eat plant-based diets
Sure we can be flexible and eat just about anything plant or animal or even man made the reality is that our teeth, digestion and anatomy are basically designed for eating plants. Until we were able to fashion tools to hunt we were a people that ate greens and fruits and occasionally we were able to scavenge meat from animals that had been dropped by bigger predators.
It wasn’t until a few thousand years ago that we really discovered agriculture which allowed us to develop civilizations rather than continue to hunt and gather. Plant-based diets are a large part of our evolutionary development – something that cannot be eliminated or eclipsed in just a few hundred years.
#8 – Help to put an end to world hunger forever
Estimates peg the number of children that starve to death all over the planet at somewhere around 40,000 each and every single day – yes, 40,000 children pass away from hunger related deaths every single day of the year. And while shifting to a more plant-based diet probably wouldn’t solve the problem overnight it will help since the overwhelming majority of the crops that are used to feed animals could instead be used to feed children all over the globe.
Some studies suggest that if every human being on the planet Earth shifted 25% of their daily calorie intake to vegetables rather than animal products, there’d be more than enough food to feed every single mouth on the globe – with a surplus left over as well.
Research also suggests that plant-based foods sources are much more sustainable than animal-based foods sources, which could lend a helping hand to developing nations looking to build themselves up from the inside out.
#9 – You’ll be able to save animals from needless slaughter when shifting to a plant based diet
If you ever want to see exactly where your hamburgers or stakes come from, make sure that you haven’t eaten for a few hours before hand.
While it certainly true that we’ve eaten animals throughout human history, the truth of the matter is that we didn’t used to have the technology on hand – or the need – to slaughter animals on such a large scale killing over a billion animals a year.
But it’s not just the slaughtering of those beasts that is the problem – we’re also talking about inhumane treatment and deplorable living conditions that animals are subject to in order to feed our society. If you’re compassionate about animals, shifting to a plant based diet is one of the very best ways to help improve the life of livestock all over the world.
#10 – Open yourself up to a world of cuisine that wasn’t accessible before
The moment that you step into a vegetarian or vegan restaurant is the moment that your entire conception about food changes forever. You’ll be absolutely amazed at the leaps and bounds that have been made in the vegan and vegetarian cuisine landscape, with so many different diverse kinds of dishes and meals being developed on a daily basis.
My meat eating friends always say the being a vegan would be boring but what’s boring about eating young coconuts, goji berries, kale chips, durian, avocado, artichokes, berries, smoothies, acai and granola bowls, chocolate and much, much more.
The truth of the matter is that it’s almost too easy to shift to a plant-based diet once you’ve had exposure to some of these dishes, and that much harder to go back once you’ve experienced all of the major benefits that this type of diet brings to the table.
Obviously, shifting to a plant-based diet isn’t for everyone – but if you’ll be willing to give it a try you’ll probably find that the benefits far outweigh the little bit of hassle it is to get into the swing of things. Start small, notice the changes for yourself, and then decide whether or not this is something that you can get excited about – but don’t be surprised if a new lifestyle change is in order for you.
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