A diet rich in plant-based foods provides many health benefits.
First, minimally processed plant foods are richer in “good things” like essential fatty acids, fiber, vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals.
Second, plant-based diets are linked with a decreased risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, cancer and other chronic diseases. According to the Harvard-based Nurses’ Health Study and Health Professionals Follow-Up Study, “The higher the average daily intake of fruits and vegetables, the lower the chances of developing cardiovascular disease.”
Third, many plant-based foods like chia seeds, hemp seeds and quinoa are complete proteins, which provide all 9 essential amino acids to build muscle tissue that our body cannot produce itself.
Finally, healthy weight management is also made possible by consuming a diet rich in minimally- processed, whole plant foods. Research suggests that vegetarians tend to consume fewer calories and have lower body mass indexes than non-vegetarians. As Michael Pollan explains, “…by eating a plant-based diet, you’ll be consuming far fewer calories, since plant foods (except seeds) are typically less “energy dense” than the other things you might eat.”