Just recently, I have embraced the whole foods plant-based (WFPB) diet lifestyle. At first, my reasons centered on longevity and decreasing the risk of getting sick. Although I was well aware that the benefits far exceeded weight management, I don’t think that I was prepared for how awesome this new lifestyle would make me feel.
I want to quickly discuss two disclaimers before we get started.
- Of course, I am not a medical doctor or a licensed nutritionist. It is your responsibility to seek out these professionals on your own.
- I am sharing my particular journey. One that I stumbled on, yet was quite intuitive. In other words, everything is not for everybody. There are many ways of eating healthy that have tremendous benefits. My advice to you is to listen to your body and determine what’s best for you. That’s exactly what I did. But if you are curious and thinking about trying out this way of life, read on.
What Does Whole Foods Plant-Based Mean, For Real??
Going plant-based is more of a general approach to eating versus an actual “diet”. I see it as choosing a gentler eating lifestyle. Of course, there are different interpretations of WFPB that include: vegan, vegetarian, flexitarian, and raw vegan.
To simplify, whole foods are foods that are minimally processed. For purposes of this article, think apple, versus, apple sauce in a jar. Plant-based, simply means some version of focusing on fruits, vegetables, legumes, root veggies, and whole grains (if you like), versus animal products. You can also enjoy nuts and seeds. Keep in mind, that this is your journey, so if you want to eat eggs and honey, you’re still on the right track.
Now that we know the definition of WFPB, let’s dive into some of the scientific benefits this lifestyle can provide.
5 Powerful Benefits (Backed by Science) of a Whole Foods Plant-Based Diet:
Heart Disease Prevention: A WFPB diet has been shown to potentially keep your heart healthier. According to a study published 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.
Lower Blood Pressure: A WFPB diet may lower your blood pressure. Several studies show that following a WFPB diet can reduce hypertension. A study published in the journal of Hypertension, that vegetarians had a 34% less chance of developing high blood pressure than non-vegetarians.
Healthy Weight Management: No surprise here. One of the main reasons (and there are many) why a WFPB diet will help you lose weight and keep it off is because of your increased fiber intake. Not only is this awesome for elimination, but it also helps you to feel fuller faster. So you might not eat as many empty calories. People who eat a plant-based diet tend to be leaner than those who don’t. This lifestyle has been proven to lessen weight and while allowing you to keep it off.
Boost Your Immune System: Also, eating plant-based can improve the health of your gut, which allows you to absorb nutrients much better. According to a recent article explaining the benefits of a plant-based diet on your gut health, “Plant foods containing fiber are the best fuel for your gut bacteria. That is why a plant-based diet that includes a variety of whole grains, legumes, vegetables, and fruit is beneficial for your gut health—and, as a result, for your overall health and wellness—since it increases the diversity of your gut microbiota. In other words, the more diverse the gut microbiota, the more resilient it will be. This can lower inflammation (a symptom of obesity) and improve your immune function!
Boost Longevity: We are all here for boosting longevity, especially these days. It turns out that embracing a WFPB diet for the long haul may help you live longer. It makes sense when you think about it.
Heart disease prevention + lowered blood pressure + healthy body weight + boosted immune system + many more health benefits not expounded on in this article like lowered risk of type 2 diabetes, possible decreased cancer risks, improved cholesterol, improved brain health = boosted longevity!
In a study published by the American Heart Association, a WFPB diet “resulted in a 25% lower risk of all-cause mortality. Higher intakes of fiber and micronutrients and lower intakes of processed meat and saturated fat on a plant-based diet may account for the decreased risk of death.”
Choosing a WFPB is one of many healthy approaches to eating. As you can see, the health benefits are super amazing, but what’s even more amazing is when you’re feeling good. You begin to approach everything in your life from a more healthy and positive perspective.
Even if your choice to go plant-based didn’t begin with the environment, you will become more aware and grateful for our environment and not take it for granted.
If you are searching for a great way to boost your overall health, adopting a plant-based might be worth a try.
Be well + prosper,