Top 7 Reasons to go Plant Based
Not sure why you should start a plant-based diet? Here are our top 7 reasons why a plant-based diet is one of the best decisions you can make for your health. Read on to find out more…
Eating a plant-based diet has so many benefits for you, your wallet and the environment.
Everyone has their own individual and different reasons for going plant based.
Some of us go plant based on doctor’s orders, a friend or partner nags us into trying it, or others choose this diet because they saw a persuasive documentary or film (Think: Gamechangers, on Netflix).
Regardless of whichever route they have taken to arrive at it, no-one tends to regret transitioning to a plant based diet.
Why? – Because of all the health benefits that come with it.
So, whether you need a little inspiration or are still on the fence, we’ve put together the top 7 reasons why you should consider moving to a plant-based diet.
The top 7 reasons you should consider a plant-based diet
If we were to be succinct, we would say there are really only two reasons.
The first reason is that it’s better for your health – you’ll sleep better, think more clearly and feel more relaxed.
The second reason is that it’s better for your wallet – a whole food plant-based diet is, on average, cheaper than your average diet.
We’re going to break these two reasons down into 7 specific reasons to give you a better idea of exactly why you might want to switch to a plant-based diet.
1. Better overall health
Eating plant based meals makes for a healthier gut because the food is easier to digest. Also, you’re flooding your body with immune-strengthening nutrients every day. All of this adds up to a better overall immunity and a healthier gut.
Then there’s the detoxifying effects of plants. This, mixed with the elimination benefits of plants and combined with how easily plants are digested – means less toxins floating around your body. The benefit of which is more nutrients to fuel your lifestyle, to help make your hair look healthy, and to reduce (or even eliminate) acne and skin conditions.
Did you know that the Vitamin C in vegetables like sweet potatoes helps to boost collagen and smooth wrinkles?
Or how about the fact that tomatoes contain Lycopene which helps to protect your skin from the sun?
When we say better overall health, we mean – you’ll feel more relaxed, be able to think clearer, sleep better, have more energy and be able to lose weight and keep it off.
2. Clearer thinking
Processed foods negatively affect your mental clarity. This is, in part, due to the fact that highly processed foods increase inflammation which can mess with mental acuity (sharpness).
By eating fresh fruit, vegetables, nuts, grains and seeds you can help to reduce the inflammation and so help to clear your mind.
It’s like putting petrol in your car. You can put the cheap stuff in and your car will run fine. But when you put the premium petrol in, it cleans your car’s engine and the car runs better at the same time.
The more you reduce highly processed foods in your diet, the more benefits you will start to notice. Like better mental clarity as well as being a little less stressed and on your way to being more relaxed.
3. More relaxed
Plants provide us with three different neurotransmitters which help boost relaxation and reduce anxiety. These neurotransmitters are – Melatonin, Tryptophan, and Serotonin.
Melatonin is in fenugreek seeds, tryptophan in beans and potatoes and serotonin is in fruits, like bananas, plums, tomatoes, and pineapples.
A plant-based diet minimises your intake of saturated fats and processed meats and instead focuses on nutrient packed vegetables, grains and fruits. For that reason, it is considered to be an anti-inflammatory diet. That’s a very good thing!
By eating a balanced plant-based diet you will feel more relaxed as well as healthier. One of the perks of this is you may find you are able to sleep better.
4. Better sleep
You will sleep better on a plant-based diet because balanced nutrition is a key contributing factor towards getting a good night’s sleep.
When you get a consistent and diverse supply of nutrients, this provides your body with the necessary material for replacing ageing cells with lively, new cells. It also helps your body to relax into deep sleep by lowering your cortisol level.
Once you’ve sustained a healthy, balanced plant-based diet for a while it can also help to manage cravings, so you will feel less inclined to eat sweets and caffeinated or processed sugary drinks before bed.
The result of this diet, and of sleeping better, is that people on a plant-based diet often find they have much more energy.
5. More energy
Who doesn’t want more energy?
Changing to a plant-based diet can help you sleep better and have more energy. The diet is able to do this because, as we’ve already mentioned, plants are easier to digest than most other foods.
The nutrients contained within plants go straight into your bloodstream to give you instant energy that lasts and lasts. Also, because of the fibre in the diet you will go to the bathroom more regularly with is said to be very energising.
Sounds strange? Well, maybe not… This is because waste makes us feel sluggish and weighs us down. Get rid of that waste – lighten your load and feel your energy rise!
At this point we feel it’s necessary to point something out.
It’s not enough just to eat a plant-based diet. Obviously exercise and healthy living anchored around the plant-based diet are necessary to maximise the amazing benefits of this diet.
But a plant-based diet is a great place to start on your journey to more energy, better sleep and better overall health.
6. Better digestion
Better digestion has been covered off in a few of the points above. It’s part of the reason you’ll have more energy as well as better gut health.
To give you an analogy: the difference between digesting raw plants and processed foods is the difference between using Google Maps and using an old fold-out road map from the petrol station.
With Google Maps, you input your destination and it will get you there the quickest way possible. Once you’ve input the destination you just have to drive – it’s stress-free, hassle-free and works perfectly.
An old fold out road map is not quite so easy. You’ve got to constantly check roads and highway/motorway numbers. There’s no helpful voice telling you which turn off to take, or which exit is yours. You have to do a quite a bit to successfully navigate your way to your destination.
That is the difference between eating a plant-based diet (Google Maps) and processed foods (old road map).
With this improved digestion, improved gut health, better sleep and more energy, a plant-based diet has also been to shown to help with weight loss.
7. Help to lose weight
If we’d ranked these top 7 reasons to go plant based in any order, this would likely be at the top. But we wanted to show you the everyday benefits of this diet irrespective of your weight.
Because the plant-based diet has health benefits for most people.
How this diet helps you if you’re looking to lose weight is simple. For the most part plants are high in nutrients and low in calories. Which means you don’t have to eat as much to get all the nutrition and fibre your body requires.
You will need less, and so you’ll eat less but, you will feel fuller. Most processed foods have some form of sugar in them, and this can actually make you feel hungry – hence why you can eat a McDonalds meal and still be looking for more food 10 minutes later.
A plant-based diet will also help with regular bowel movements; which is beneficial because it can help you to stay toned and slim.
Why you should adopt a plant-based diet
If you are interested in being healthier, having more energy, getting better sleep, improving your immune system and generally feeling physically (and mentally) better – then it might be a good idea to try a plant-based diet.
These days, there is a treasure trove of information online.
You can find delicious, easy-to-make recipes for meals and snacks so you won’t have to fumble around in the dark trying to figure out where to start.
Not all plant-based diets are meat-free
Adopting a plant-based diet doesn’t necessarily mean that you also have to become a vegetarian or a vegan. You can still enjoy the occasional piece of meat, poultry or fish. And the odd dairy ice cream won’t harm you too much.
The type of plant-based diet we are talking about is one that minimises heavily processed foods in favour of vegetables, fruits, grains, nuts, seeds and so on. Minimises is the key word here – minimises, but doesn’t have to remove entirely.
Starting a plant-based diet
If you are interested in trying a plant based diet, start slowly. Remove meat and heavily processed foods from your daily meals and start to replace them with vegetables, grains, seeds and fruits.
If you’re worried that removing meat will remove iron from your diet, there are some great vegetables out there that are high in iron, such as:
While it has been said that this is more of a lifestyle choice than a diet, it still may not be a bad idea to consult with a GP or dietician before starting.
We only recommend this as everyone’s body is different and you should make sure you know exactly what your personal nutritional requirements are. It’s always useful to know in advance just how much you need to consume on a daily basis, in order to get all the fantastic benefits of a plant-based diet and live a healthy lifestyle.