In simple terms, a plant-based diet is food that is derived from plants with few or no animal products.
What Does This Mean?
To me, a plant-based diet is a nutritious and natural way of eating. It means being health conscious and mindful of what you are putting into your body.
I personally follow a strict plant-based diet meaning I consume only foods derived from plants with no animal products (also known as a vegan diet). In addition, I try to eat a healthy variety of whole plant foods and limit processed foods.
Is it Healthy?
When done properly, a plant-based diet is arguably one of the most beneficial diets out there. It is full of a whole plant foods such as vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, legumes, and whole grains. These foods are full of natural goodness and essential vitamins and minerals that are necessary for optimal human health.
There are so many reasons to follow a plant-based diet. I will touch on a few of them here. As mentioned above, a plant-based diet can be extremely healthy and may lead to the following benefits:
- Healthy Weight Loss
- Strong Hair and Nails
- Reverse and Prevent Heart Disease
- Lower Risk of Some Cancers and Diabetes
- Increase Energy and Sex Drive
- Better Digestion and Clearer Skin
And that is only the beginning! The benefits of a plant-based diet may vary from better body odor to helping with depression.
Apart from health benefits, a plant-based diet is also considerate of others. You help the entire planet when you abstain or limit animal products. Animal agriculture is the leading cause of deforestation and green house gas production. When you go plant-based, you also go green!
Lastly, a plant-based diet helps end animal cruelty. If the general public was properly educated about how their meat and dairy was produced, I am certain they wouldn’t eat it. The horrific lives and deaths of animals for the sake of the taste of their flesh is an unspeakable tragedy. I encourage you to educate yourself on this matter and be part of the solution.
How is This Different From a Vegetarian or Vegan Diet?
Although both vegetarian and vegan diets can be plant-based, they are not always. For example, many vegetarians still consume massive amount of dairy products which does not follow the plant-based philosophy of “few or no animal products”. While vegans do not consume any animal products, they may still consume lots of processed foods and do not always follow the plant-based philosophy of eating whole and nutritious foods.
Does This Mean I Can Only Eat Green Stuff?
Absolutely not! There are so many delicious plant-based recipes and even restaurants out there. I highly recommend you include a wide variety of whole plant foods in your diet, but there is much more to a plant-based diet than that. There are plant-based sandwiches, pizzas, soups, stir-fries, tacos, pastas, and more. It can be a lot of fun experimenting with these new possibilities in the kitchen. You can also check out a plant-based cookbook from your local library or find recipes online. Make sure to check out my own recipes on this blog as well.
I’m Not Sure I Believe You.
Good for you! I was the same way. I grew up eating a typical southern American diet with lots of butter, cheese, milk, and meat. It wasn’t until my second year of college that I chose to convert to a plant-based vegan diet. I have now successfully been plant-based for over three years. It was the greatest decision I ever made.
Although I can personally vouch for the wonders of this diet, I want you to see for yourself. I strongly encourage you to do your own research. You can read blogs, watch documentaries, study books, and even look up scientific research on the subject.
Let me know what you find! I’m anxious to hear what YOU think about the plant-based diet and the benefits associated with it.