With research linking the consumption of high amounts of red meat with heart disease, cancer, and kidney disease, more and more people are moving to a plant-based diet in the hopes of achieving greater health. This is good news since there are many benefits of eating a diet that consists only of plants and foods derived from plants, ultimately making the decision to cut out animal byproducts a great choice when it comes to total body wellness.
Here are 5 major health changes to expect if you’re ready to make the shift.
1. Lower Cholesterol
Eating a plant-based diet has been found to have a positive effect on cholesterol levels. In fact, in one article published in The Permanente Journal, the authors discuss a case study that was conducted on a 63-year-old male whose total cholesterol was 283 mg/dL, which is more than 100 mg/dL higher than what the American Heart Association recommends. After just four months on a plant-based diet, however, his cholesterol lowered dramatically to just 138 mg/dL, more than 140 mg/dL lower than when he started. This placed him well into the healthy range, lowering his risk of heart disease and a heart attack.
2. Improved Digestion
When you skimp on the number of fruits, veggies, nuts, and seeds that you eat, you’ll likely see the results with your digestive system because you’ll lack the fiber that is needed for regular, healthy stools. Plus, when you eat a lot of meat and other animal products, it’s not uncommon to experience more issues with bloating, gas, and heartburn. So, leave the animal-based products behind and your bathroom time will be more productive and pleasant. (To learn more about this, you might want to read Pooping Every Day Is Your Friend)
3. Better Blood Sugar Control
If you have type 2 diabetes and want help managing it, or even if you don’t have it and want to decrease the risk that you’ll ever get it, then eating a diet based on plants is one option to consider. According to the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, this is due to this type of diet improving insulin sensitivity, which keeps your blood sugar more stable all day long.
4. Clearer Skin
It’s often said that your skin is a direct reflection of your diet, and this couldn’t be truer when it comes to a plant-based diet. By eating primarily plants versus meats, most people notice a cleaner, clearer complexion within just a couple of weeks. And in a post on Intent Blog, one woman shared how juicing and healthy eating even helped her get rid of her skin condition by clearing up the dark spots that had been appearing.
5. Higher Energy Levels
In this day and age, we tend to “burn the candle at both ends” while trying to keep up with our responsibilities at home, at work, and with the family. This generally results in increased feelings of fatigue, an issue that can be rectified by eating a plant-based diet according to Brendan Brazier, a performance nutrition consultant who works with elite athletes in football, hockey, baseball, and even the Olympics. Brazier knows this personally, as he quit eating animal products more than 20 years ago, and even published his own cookbook to help others learn how to do the same.
Eating a plant-based diet offers a number of health benefits and these are just five to consider. Try it and your health will thank you.