Like its name suggests, the plant-based diet is heavily focused on fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts and seeds. Animal proteins and seafood are allowed, but the idea is to reduce consumption of these ingredients for your health. The diet is great for the environment too, as farming livestock uses up much more land, water and fossil fuel than growing fruits and vegetables. Last but not least, it’s easy to follow. No need for buying strange ingredients or giving complicated orders at restaurants. It’s no wonder then, that the diet has been taking off across the globe. If you aren’t already adopting it, these top benefi ts should convince you to get started.
●A PLANT-BASED DIET REDUCES YOUR CANCER RISK
Plant-based diets are typically low in fat and calories while being high in fibre, antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals. This combination has been shown in many reports to have protective effects against different types of cancers including breast, ovarian, stomach and colon cancer.
●IT REDUCES THE RISK OF HEART DISEASE AND DIABETES
As long as you limit sugary juices, fried veggies and chips, as well as refined grains and flours (like pasta, bread, and white rice), plant-based diets can be good for managing your risk of heart disease and diabetes since it keeps your weight in check, and tends to be lower in cholesterol. If you’re eating the recommended five servings of fruits and vegetables a day, you’ll also find that you’ll be too full to crave unhealthy snacks that make you more prone to heart disease and diabetes.
●IT PROTECTS YOUR MENTAL AND PHYSICAL ABILITIES IN OLD AGE
Plant-based diets are known to reduce the level of inflammation in your body. Inflammation is linked to a host of illnesses and pains that decrease your quality of life. A diet rich in fruits and veggies has also been shown to improve your mood and, in both the US-based Chicago Health and Aging Project and the Nurses’ Health Study, high levels of vegetable intake were found to prevent mental decline. Another US report shared that vegan or near-vegan diets play a part in lowering the risk of getting Parkinson’s disease.
●IT IMPROVES YOUR LONGEVITY
In blue zones across the world, areas where people live the longest and healthiest such as Sardinia in Italy, Okinawa in Japan, Nicoya in Costa Rica, Icaria in Greece and Loma Linda in the USA, several similarities have been observed in their diets.
For starters, locals enjoy healthy, plant-based diets, and drink lots of water. They are also big on fibre- and mineral-rich whole grains such as barley, brown rice, oats and rye. A 2019 report by Harvard University revealed that just eating one cup of wholegrain cereal a day is enough to reduce your risk of early death by five per cent. Also, the long-lived denizens regularly eat five or more servings of vegetables every day, along with at least two to three servings of antioxidant- and vitamin-rich fruits. Full of fibre, protein and healthy fats, nuts and seeds such as almonds, pistachios, walnuts, sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds are also widely consumed. These centenarians are definitely onto something. Another Harvard University study confirmed that eating nuts and seeds can reduce your odds of dying early by 20 per cent. Plant power, indeed.
●CHOOSE MORE PLANT-BASED FOOD
To reap the benefits of a plant-based diet, start by including Kellogg’s plant-based Be Natural cereals in your daily meals. Inspired by the diets of long-lived people, the cereals contain wholesome plant-based ingredients that are simple yet delicious. Produced in Australia without artificial flavors, colours or preservatives, they come in three tantalising options.