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As environmental and human health deteriorates on average, researchers have found that our saving grace is going green in all ways possible. The latest research points out the vast benefits of making eco-friendly changes to our lifestyles to both the human body and the environment.
One important change that has been on the rise in recent years is the adoption of a plant-based diet. In the last few years, vegetarianism and veganism have been readily adopted predominantly by various youth communities. With the spread of awareness, it has now become increasingly difficult to ignore the rise of this new attitude that has found itself embedded within various social circles.
Here are some of the reasons why people are moving toward a plant-based lifestyle:
One of the biggest benefits of a plant-based diet is the massive increase in nutrition that the human body receives. Reduction of saturated fats by reducing dairy intake and getting the right amount of carbohydrates, fiber, and minerals such as potassium (necessary for kidneys as it aids in expelling toxins) and magnesium (important for calcium absorption) are all products of making the shift to a plant-based diet.
Moreover, the body gains antioxidants and vitamins C and E via grains, nuts, and dark leafy greens along with folate, a vitamin B essential for repairing cells, creating more red and white blood cells and metabolizing amino acids. It also gives the body phytochemicals that can play an essential role in healing cancerous cells, increasing the concentration of protective enzymes and working in harmony with the antioxidants in the body.
Nuts, peas, beans, lentils, and soy products are all good sources from which the body can receive the proteins it requires.
A plant-based diet goes a long way in protecting the body from various types of diseases that it might encounter otherwise. Incorporating nuts and whole grains and avoiding dairy and meat will do wonders for cardiovascular health. It also reduces cholesterol, blood pressure and the chances of getting Type 2 diabetes.
A major health benefit of adopting a plant-based diet is the prevention of various forms of cancer. Men who completely shifted to a vegan diet were able to reverse the progression of prostate cancer in its early stages, and women who incorporated fruits and vegetables in their diets reduced chances of getting breast cancer. Consuming whole grains, fruits and vegetables substantially reduces the chances of getting colon cancer as well.
Eating more fruits and vegetable also prevents macular degeneration and cataracts along with improving bone health and alleviating arthritis.
Eating green also has great physical benefits that include weight loss and eventually leads to a lower body mass index. It results in an overall increase in energy and improves skin health due to increased vitamin intake. A plant-based diet has also been correlated with having a better mood as it provides the body with antioxidants that fight chemicals in the brain to regulate mood. Additionally, a plant-based diet has been correlated with a longer life, reduced bad breath and body odor, and healthy hair and nails.
For women, a plant-based diet can alleviate symptoms of postmenstrual syndrome or PMS. Reduction in allergy symptoms and migraines has also been attributed to a dietary change toward plants. A rich plant-based diet is also great for vision.
Adopting a plant-based lifestyle is also quite beneficial for the environment. Research suggests that food system emissions make up almost one-fourth of all human emissions. A closer look at what types of foods emit the most revealed that vegan and vegetarian diets leave significantly less of a carbon footprint than meat lovers do.
Eating red meat that is contaminated is one the biggest cause of bloody diarrhea or E. coli. Going vegan completely eliminates the chances of getting E. coli and salmonella, a gastrointestinal illness that is the result of food poisoning from animal products. Like E. coli, this can also be avoided by reducing or removing meat from your diet. Additionally, meat eaters are also in danger of contracting mad-cow disease, which is incurable and fatal.
Eating meat of animals that have been given hormone growth injections can also be harmful as it can trigger the growth of tumors and cause serious hormonal issues such as polycystic ovarian syndrome or PCOS. Animals are also given antibiotics and when consumed, these antibiotics can establish resistance to bacteria.
Furthermore, a diet that heavily depends on dairy and meat suffers from ingestion of toxins that cause diseases. For example, receiving protein from grains and beans can be much healthier as it reduces the risk of getting osteoporosis. Similarly, mercury concentrations in seas and rivers has risen over the past few years, which means that when consuming fish, you are quite literally also consuming mercury.
Due to these reasons, going vegan or shifting to a vegetarian lifestyle is on the rise. People are growing more conscious of their choices and can see firsthand the impact of their choices on themselves and in their immediate surroundings. Studies have shown this change to be 3.5 times greater in the last few years than in the past decade.