Last year, Burger King brought a healthier option with its first-ever plant-based Whopper. Foodies went wild with the idea of a burger patty made from soy protein. Well, some of the people we know said that it tastes just like the regular Whopper. This burger is just a sample of the food you can eat if you are on a plant-based diet.
Loading more on the veggies, seeds, nuts, and plant protein
So what is a plant-based diet all about? Plant-based eating patterns focus on foods primarily from plants. This includes not only fruits and vegetables, but also nuts, seeds, oils, whole grains, legumes, and beans. Remember that you can still eat a bit of meat and dairy since you are not vegetarian or vegan. Somehow, you are proportionately choosing more of your foods from plant sources.
Advantages of a plant-based diet
This kind of diet entails a lot of health benefits instantly, and in the long run of course. Here are just a few of them according to MD Anderson Cancer Center:
It supports your immune system.
Plants have essential nutrients that you cannot get from other foods. The vitamins and minerals, phytochemicals, and antioxidants in plants help keep your cells healthy and your body in balance so that your immune system can function at its best. A plant-based diet strengthens your immune system to protect you against germs and microorganisms. A healthy immune system is essential for reducing your risk for cancer because it can recognize and attack mutations in cells before they can progress to disease.
Plant foods reduce inflammation.
Plants’ essential nutrients work to resolve inflammation in your body. The same tiny phytochemicals and antioxidants that boost your immune system also go around your body neutralizing toxins from pollution, processed food, bacteria, viruses, and more. Prolonged inflammation can damage your body’s cells and tissue and has been linked to cancer and other inflammatory diseases like arthritis. A plant-based diet may protect you because it removes some of the triggers to these diseases.
A plant-based diet helps maintain a healthy weight.
Staying at a healthy weight is one of the most important things you can do to reduce your risk for serious diseases. Excess weight causes inflammation and hormonal imbalance. If you are overweight or obese, your risk is higher for fatal diseases like diabetes, heart attack, and even cancer. If you eat mostly plants, you remove many of the foods that lead to weight gain. Add in exercise and you’re on a path towards weight loss.
Plants are high in fiber.
Fiber is present in all unprocessed plant foods. It is what makes up the structure of the plant, and if you eat more of it you access a whole host of benefits. Eating a plant-based diet improves the health of your gut so you are better able to absorb the nutrients from the food that support your immune system and reduce inflammation. Fiber can lower cholesterol and stabilize blood sugar and it’s great for good bowel management.
Starting to go on a plant-based diet can be challenging especially if you crave meat and junk foods. But remember, all of the benefits mentioned above will make your body thank you in the future.
Queenie Lasta got her bachelor's degree in Communications Research from UP Diliman. In her free time, she likes to read thriller novels, psychology books, and mangas. She believes in the importance of grit, hard work, and passion to become a great writer in the future.