There are a rising number of people switching to plant- based diets. Science has determined both short and long term health benefits to both vegetarian and vegan lifestyles. Here are a few of the many positive health improvements plants can help you achieve.
Lower Blood Pressure
A large percentage of the population suffers from high blood pressure (also known as hypertension). There aren’t typically any symptoms relating to this condition until it’s been plaguing your body for a significant amount of time. Prolonged exposure can increase your risk of strokes, and type 2 diabetes. Don’t worry though! Plants cam help. A vegetarian or vegan diet can significantly reduce your high blood pressure by about 34%.
When you have high cholesterol, it means you have a large amount of fat deposits in your blood. This causes restrictions with your blood flow and can even lead to blockages. These issues can cause strokes, heart attacks or even heart disease. When you switch to a plant-based diet, you can potentially lower your cholesterol by about 15%. However, according to studies done for the American Journal of Cardiology, if you switch to a vegan diet, that number jumps to about 25%.
Did you know a plant-based diet has been shown to improve brain function? Moira Lawler, a writer for everydayhealth.com explains by saying, “The physiological benefits of following a plant-based diet are many, but there are some possible mental ones, too. “There is some compelling research examining plant-based diets and their role in slowing the progression of Alzheimer’s,” Feller says. A review of nine studies, published in 2017 in Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, found that eating an extra 100 grams of fruits and vegetables per day (about one-half cup) led to a 13 percent reduction in the risk of cognitive impairment and dementia. The likely reason: Fruits and vegetables are rich in polyphenols, which an article published in August 2018 in Nutrients notes are in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains (aka, the cornerstones of a plant-based diet).” An increase in cognitive function as you age is a tremendous gift. It’s a compelling reason to start moving away from meat.
Consuming more vegetables is a great way to keep your heart healthy. The above mentioned article also states, “Meat contains saturated fat, which can contribute to heart issues when eaten in excess. So by cutting back on meat and loading up on plant-based foods, you’re doing your ticker a favor. A study published in August 2019 in the Journal of the American Heart Association found that eating a plant-based diet may reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular disease by 16 percent and dying of this health condition by about 31 percent.”
Most Americans don’t incorporate enough vegetables into their meals. Be more cognizant of your veggie intake. Science has shown that a plant-based diet contributes to a longer, healthier life. Do your body good by making the switch.