It’s no secret that plant-based eating has exploded in the last decade. More than ever before, people are aware of the health benefits of adopting a more plant-forward lifestyle. In fact, plant-based foods are currently a 40 billion dollar industry set to hit 72 billion dollars by 2028.
So, whether you’re looking to improve your health, save money, or do your part for the planet, there are plenty of reasons to eat more plants. Here are five reasons to start adding more plant-based foods to your diet today!
5 Reasons To Eat More Plant-Based Foods
1. It’s Good for Gut Health
Most people know that a plant-forward diet is excellent for health, but don’t realize how beneficial plants are for gut health. That’s because vegetables are filled with gut-benefitting fiber called prebiotics that our bodies can’t digest, but the microbes in our gut can.
The more fibrous plant-foods we eat, the more prebiotics we deliver to our guts. This creates a better-balanced ecosystem for good bacteria to thrive, and it also helps weed out bad bacteria.
Some of the most fibrous, gut-friendly plant foods to add to your plate are asparagus, onions, garlic, leeks, artichokes, broccoli, banana, raspberries, peas, chickpeas, and lentils.
2. You May Lose Weight
Reducing how much meat you eat in favor of eating more plants could come with an unexpected waistline reduction. Many studies have been conducted on plant-based diets for weight loss. In one study done over an 18-week period, participants were split into two groups: conventional, omnivore eaters that kept their same diet and omnivores that switched to a plant-based style of eating for the duration of the study. At the end of the trial, the plant eaters dropped five pounds more than the omnivores lost.
In another study, participants that followed a calorie-restrictive, plant-based diet for just nine weeks lost 10 pounds more than the meat-eating control group.
3. You May Live Longer
Who doesn’t want the secret to living longer? One easy way to increase your chances is by boosting your intake of plant-based foods. In a new study published in the journal PLOS Medicine, researchers found that eating less meat and more fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, and grains could extend life up to 10 years.
Plant-based diets have long been associated with the potential to lower the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and some types of cancer. Filling your plate with a colorful array of whole-foods on a regular basis is also a proven path to better immunity.
Not only do plant foods help to quell inflammation in the body, they are also loaded with phytochemicals and antioxidants that help to mop up free radicals in our system – protecting our overall health.
4. You’ll Save Money
Let’s face it, animal proteins are expensive. Therefore, eating more plant-based foods will benefit your bottom line.
For inexpensive plant-based proteins, fill your cart with dried or canned beans, lentils, nuts and nut butters, seeds, edamame, tofu, tempeh, quinoa, and chia seeds.
For regular produce, be sure to eat with the seasons to save on food costs. The reason for this is because seasonal produce is in high demand. So, it’s sold at reduced prices to maintain that demand.
Seasonal produce also has less distance to travel, which lowers its cost. One way to look at it is, if you’re buying cantaloupe in the dead of winter when it’s not in season, you’ll pay a lot more for it because it was likely grown in Mexico and then shipped to the US, meaning it had to travel many miles to your local grocery store.
Another tip for saving money on produce is to hit up your local farmers’ market at the end of the day when farmer’s are clearing out their stands for next to nothing so they don’t have to cart everything back with them.
5. You’ll Help The Planet
Prioritizing plants does a huge service to our planet in a multitude of ways. It reduces greenhouse gas emissions from commercial livestock agriculture, which takes up approximately 38% of the planet’s land surface. Greenhouse gas emissions are bad news for global warming and livestock contributes to 14% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions.
Many experts also believe that hunger could be helped if more people leaned into a plant-based diet due to the inefficient use of grain crops to feed livestock that could otherwise be reallocated to make a better impact on world hunger. Livestock also takes up 80% of agricultural land. By reducing the amount needed to feed the demand, more land could be freed up for plant-based crops to help feed the hungry.
Bottom Line: There are many benefits to adding more plant-based foods to your diet and it will keep your menu more varied and interesting, too! If you’re looking for a shortcut to get even more health-improving superfoods into your diet, look no further than Purely Inspired Superfood Greens to get a whopping 13 fruits and veggies in a single scoop that you can add to smoothies and recipes.
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