Powerful things happen when you are living on a plant based diet! Many people immediately think that living a plant based lifestyle means becoming vegan but this is certainly not true.
Becoming vegan is becoming more and more popular as people discover the healing power of plants and just how amazing their body feels.
Having a plant based diet means adding in lots of fruits, vegetables, legumes and whole grains to your diet. It's a personal choice as to whether you add in meats or not.
When you provide your body with all the nutrient and super foods it needs, your cells get rejuvenated and then so do you.
So what happens when you lead a plant based diet?
1. Reduce the signs of aging
We all grow old but the important part is to grow old gracefully. As we age our cells die and we rebuild new ones. We need a variety of nutrients to form healthy new cells including healthy fats and vitamin C. These are found in high amounts in fruits and vegetables.
Wholesome foods also means unprocessed. During processing a lot of nutrients are stripped away. For example the hull on rice grains are high in vitamin B's. You can choose wild or brown rice instead of white for this reason.
2. Have a healthy acid, alkaline balance
Our body is always striving to have a healthy acid to alkaline balance. Our kidneys are the main organ in charge of making sure that we have this balance. When we have too much acid, we draw alkaline salts from our tissues (including our bones) in order to maintain the right balance. Acidic foods include meats, processed foods and sodas for example. Alkaline foods include fruits and vegetables and wholesome legumes and grains. When your diet is too high in meats and processed foods you increase your acid levels. Your body corrects this by drawing minerals from other places which puts you at risk for certain conditions like osteoporosis and osteopenia.
3. Healthy Heart
Ever notice that as you get older, you hear about more and more people having heart disease? Whether high blood pressure or high cholesterol?
The most proactive thing you can do to reduce your risk of heart disease is to increase your plant foods in your diet. But aside from reducing your risk you also want to just give your heart all the right nutrients for optimal performance.
For starters your plant foods have less saturated fats and have more fiber which bind to your unwanted fats. Plants foods also tend to be higher in omega 3's which increase your HDL (the good fat).
4. Increase your metabolism
Plant foods are high in nutrients necessary to support your thyroid which is the master of your metabolism.
Zinc, selenium and iodine are specifically important for thyroid health as they support the conversion of T4 to the active thyroid hormone T3. Zinc and selenium are found in a lot of the nuts and seeds and iodine is found in your seaweeds.
5. Boost Your Immune System
Vitamin C is essential for your immune system to function and fight off bacteria and viruses.
In addition to Vitamin C, your immune system needs a lot of anti-oxidants to combat free radicals which are often produced though . Free radicals are formed when our immune system is fighting any virus or bacteria.
Your colorful fruits and veggies are loaded with anti-oxidants. Your orange fruits and veggies are full of beta-carotene which is a powerful anti-oxidant.
6. Stress Management
Did you know that humans are one of the only species that don't produce their own Vitamin C. Many other animals do.
Your adrenal glands are small glands that sit on top of your kidneys and produce cortisol when you are stressed. Your adrenal glands need a lot of vitamin C to function really well.
What researchers have found is that Vitamin C reduced the psychological and physical effects of stress.
They have found that animals that produce their own Vitamin C (such as goats) actually produced more Vitamin C when they were under stress.
Vitamin C also reduced the amount of cortisol that is produced by the adrenal glands. Eating a plant based diet gives you lots of vitamin C so you support your adrenals and reduce the effects of stress!
7. Reduce Your Risk Of Cancer
This is a big one. When you eat a plant based diet you reduce your risk of colon cancer and many other cancers.
The fiber, lignans, flavonoids and other phytonutrients found in fruits, veggies, legumes and whole grains are all cancer fighting.
They also support your liver so you can detox in both the phase 1 and phase 2 pathways. These 2 pathways need separate nutrients. Phase 2 especially needs nutrients from the cruciferous family (cauliflower, broccoli, brussel sprouts). Having the correct nutrients founds in these foods allows for detoxification.
Proper detoxification is necessary to reduce cancer risk in general but is especially important for hormonal cancer such as breast and ovarian.
Simone Gentles is the Founder of Perfect Health Blueprint - Discover the power of plant based eating!