Plants based foods such as fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts, sprouts, herbs, and algae, are probably the most underestimated nutritional sources available to us today.
Plant Based Diet Benefits for a Healthy Life
With a small amount of effort and expenditure, we could improve our diet beyond recognition, and treat many of the common health conditions which we frequently suffer from when we eat processed food and or a meat based diet. The benefits of a plant based diet remain a mystery to the majority, however, once you understand what a plant based diet has to offer, you will soon see the benefits.
Why Not a Meat Based Diet
Meat based diets are not only high in fats, but they also contain certain toxins which can seriously affect the way our bodies work. The common use of antibiotics in farming can cause liver damage, and parabens found in animal feed, are passed down the food chain until they end up in human food. They are stored in fatty tissue, and the liver, and can cause health problems such as diabetes type 2, inflammation, and glandular health issues such as prostate disease. In fact, our immune system does not know how to process parabens and has a hard time with antibiotics.
A Brief History of The Benefits of Eating a Plant Based Diet
The health benefits of a plant based diet have been known to us for ages. In fact, the Ancient Egyptians were one of the first old people to make use of a plant based diet. Egyptian doctors knew certain health conditions could be treated with a change of diet and did not only recommend their patients to eat fruit and vegetables. They also recommend herbs, nuts and common plants which we may think of as weeds, to be included on a daily basis. For instance, Egyptian doctors recognized the existence of iron deficiency and recommended a soup made from stinging nettle ( Urtica dioica). This humble plant is richer in iron and vitamin B12 than any red meat. You will even see benefits if you use a short 2 week plant based diet.
Why Is a PlantBased Diet Beneficial To Me?
You may not be suffering from any illnesses at the moment, but as our world is full of environmental pollutants, you may have problems with tiredness and little energy. Problems with getting a good night’s sleep often go ignored, but they could be the start of something. Did you know people living with type 2 diabetes may complain about an erratic sleeping pattern, and poor digestion, years before other symptoms become apparent?
These symptoms are caused by inflammation of the liver, and scientists know that if we can keep the liver healthy, we are much more likely to stay healthier throughout our lives. A plant based diet will help to keep your liver healthy as it can much more efficiently process plant based foods and extract the nutrition the body needs from them. If you like, a plant based diet is a way of immunizing against a range of health problems.
The Liver’s Function in The Human Body
The human liver consists of two parts, and its function within the body is to cleanse the blood, and aid with digestion. It synthesizes at least four hormones we know of, but the problem is that we have not studied the liver sufficiently to know all its functions. Understanding how the liver works, and how it helps us to achieve better health, is an important part of appreciating how our daily diet can affect our health.
We often talk about how important it is to detox the liver, and various detox plans are available. However, the may do more harm than good, and eating a plant based diet is a gentle, natural way to ensure a healthy liver.
Healthy Compounds and Ingredients in Plants
Plants can are small factories which manufacture compounds which can help to keep you healthy. The majority of these compounds are not found in meat, and the best thing we can do is to include plants, or the fruits of plants, in our diet. Plants pass on the compounds found in their stalks to their fruits. Did you know a broccoli stalk is packed with more vitamin C and calcium than the florets? We often discard the stem and eat only the florets.
He is how all plants work. The compounds which form the benefits of a plant based diet are always produced in the “inner workings” of the plant, and then cleverly distributed to the rest of the plant. Sometimes even the roots of the plants are packed with nutrients which can be eaten. Ginger and garlic are both prime examples. Many of the properties which are found in garlic and ginger, such as their anti-blood clotting compounds, cannot be synthesized in a lab, but they are vital to good health as they can treat health conditions without any side effects. Also, they are stronger and more effective than any artificial compounds, such as statins or warfarin based blood thinners.
What Healthy Compounds Can Be Found in Plants?
Enzymes are only one of the groups of health giving compounds which can be found in plants. It was not until recently we realized enzymes have a positive effect on our health, and the more we study them, the more valuable they become. Enzymes are one of the top reasons you should learn about a plant based diet benefits.
There are several of hundred of enzymes which can be found in plants, and they fall into three broad categories.
Amylase is an enzyme which helps the body to break down starch into sugars. As we don’t get enough amylase when we eat a meat based diet, we often feel the effects of not having enough slow release sugar for energy. In turn, this makes us crave sugar, and many of us can’t resist reaching for candy or chocolate bar. It is one of the worst things we can do, as it slows down the digestive process and makes us feel tired in the long run. This is also why type 2 diabetes is more common today.
Lipase is another enzyme which is essential to our digestion. This enzyme helps the liver to convert fats into essential fatty acids. When this process does not work efficiently in the body, we start to suffer from excess blood fats which can, in turn, lead to cardiovascular disease.
Protease is the enzyme responsible for turning protein in amino acids. Without amino acids, our muscles would not be able to function. But, that is not the only function amino acids have in the body, they also control our mood and strengthen the immune system.
These are just three reasons why the health benefits of a plant based diet outweigh the benefits of a meat based diet.
Eating Liquid Sunshine With a Plant Based Diet
We often say wine is the nectar of the Gods, but in fact, the Ancient Egyptians said green plant juice was the nectar of the Gods. What did they mean? They were talking about chlorophyll which can be found in all green plants. When you stop and think about it, it is amazing that we have spent thousands of years ignoring their health advice.
So, what is so special about chlorophyll? By analyzing it, we have learned it has some fantastic properties which we just cannot synthesize in a lab. For instance, it rejuvenates the liver quickly. It is one of the strongest anti-inflammatory compounds found in nature and can treat arthritis, pancreas problems, and skin conditions.
Chlorophyll can activate the enzymes which exist naturally in our bodies to produce a range of vitamins including vitamin K, and vitamin E. It will protect against carcinogenic (cancer-causing) substances and protect against radiation. It can occur in combination with apigenin, another compound found in plants, help to treat diabetes type 2.
How To Include More Plant Based Foods in Your Diet
Including more plant based foods in your diet, is not difficult, but it is vital to know how you can achieve the health benefits of a plant based diet.
The first step is to create a plant based diet meal plan that is easy to follow and simple to use.
It is not complicated. However, it may mean going back to basics. Before you start a plant based diet, it is crucial you are committed to your new diet. It means eating more fresh food, and unless you are planning to grow all your foods, it could involve going to the supermarket more often. At the same time, there are many plant based foods which you can grow at home, and sprouts are the ideal example. They are easy to grow, and perfect when you live in a town or city, and may not have outside growing space available to you.
Eating fruit before noon is part of a plant based diet. More and more scientists talk about the importance of eating protein as part of your breakfast, and may even recommend you eat some meat. But, eating meat is not necessary to get your early morning protein. Dried fruits are rich in protein, and you will also get the health benefits of all of the antioxidants they contain. The best fruits are apricots, dates, prunes, and the dried versions of blueberries and raspberries. Best of all is that you can combine them with oats, and even almond milk to make sure you obtain enough calcium in your diet.
Lunch can be a salad, and you can always add meat if you would like to. However, there is no need to. The beautiful thing about plants is that they can be enjoyed in all their forms. Bell peppers can be roasted, and roots like a sweet potato can be filled with a choice of fillings.
Dinner can be made up out of a variety of fresh foods such as sprouts, or soups made from algae. It may not sound very appetizing at first, but there are some great ways to cook with both algae and sprouts. As a matter of fact, making garden burgers from sprouts and lentils is easy to do and only takes a few minutes. For once, a healthy fast food.
The Ultimate Health Benefits of a Plant Based Diet
Can a plant based diet cure diseases? Yes, a plant based diet can cure many diseases and health conditions. We often are too quick to pop a pill instead of looking at our food.
Some of the most common health conditions encountered by doctors today can indeed be treated by eating a plant based diet. Diabetes type 2 is a good example, but there are many other examples.
Asthma can be treated when including more plants in your diet, and depending what is causing your asthma; it is estimated a dietary change can improve your asthma in about six weeks.
Inflammation causes arthritis. Indeed there are some fruits you should avoid when you have arthritis such as oranges, but in general, arthritis sufferers will benefit from a plant based diet. The meat in supermarkets already contains inflammatory properties such artificial hormones.
Organic Plants Based Diet VS Commercially Produced Plant Based Foods
Not all of us will be lucky enough to find organic fruits, vegetables and plants, however, if we can find them, we should try to invest in them. Commercially produced plant based foods may have been grown hydroponically, and as they are not grown in natural soil, they only absorb the nutrients they are given. The process may not produce all of the health-giving compounds which will benefit you and is one of the main reasons you should aim for an organic diet.
Commercially grown crops are grown using certain pesticides and often genetically modified to resist diseases. That sounds great, but the pesticides are bad for you, and there are many question marks over genetically modified foods. That lovely looking carrot may be great at avoiding carrot fly, but you need to ask yourself how many health giving compounds were destroyed during its “development.”
Finally, the health benefits of a plant based diet, do not only to improve your health, but it can improve the health of others around you at the same time. Our natural environment benefits from more plants being grown, and even the smallest plant will help to remove carbon dioxide from the air.
The options for a plant based diet protein are rather limitless, and when we want to live a life full of energy and stay healthy in our modern world, perhaps it is the best dietary option for all of us.