What is a plant-based diet?
Following a plant-based diet is not the same as being vegan. A plant-based, aka plant-forward diet, is an eating pattern that focuses primarily on plant-derived foods. This includes not only vegetables and fruits but also all sorts of grains, seeds, oils, nuts, legumes, and beans. Meat and dairy are also allowed in this diet but in minimal proportions compared to food from plant sources. Science is continuously providing us with evidence against diets high in meats (especially red meat), eggs, and dairy. It shows us over and over again that the more we eat from these foods, the more risk we have for diabetes, strokes, and heart diseases.
Inversely, the more vegetables and fruits we eat, the lower our chances of developing these diseases. Regardless of these observations, meat is an essential food. It contains fundamental elements that can hardly be found in most plant food. Plant-based regimen keeps meat consumption within healthy limits. It emphasizes vegetables and fruits and is environment friendly as well.
Why adopt a plant-based diet?
With all the evidence science has provided us, it is clear that eating food from plant sources is one of the healthy lifestyle sentinels. Avoiding red meats, replacing them with lean proteins (beans, lentils, yogurt, and fish) and incorporating veggies and fruits are the acts shown by clinical trials to support health. Mainly through the lowering of sugar and LDL (bad cholesterol) blood levels, reducing calorie intake, and maintaining a healthy weight.
these are some sound reasons backed by science for why you should adopt the plant food regimen:
- postpones aging process: all causes of mortality are reduced by 25% when the plant regimen is followed for sustainable periods. The plant-based diet is packed with antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins, essential elements that help combat the harmful spurts of the environment on the body, ultimately strengthening the health of vital organs, including the heart, kidneys, bones, nervous system and the skin as well.
- It lowers the risk of heart diseases, diabetes, metabolic syndromes, and certain cancers.Clinical trials showed that a balanced diet containing plenty of colorful veggies and fruits was associated with lower blood pressure levels, reduced insulin resistance, decreased inflammation, and improved arteries structure, Leading to healthy heart function. Moreover, the Mediterranean and other vegan diets showed to reduce the risk of developing certain cancers, including breast, colon, and lung cancers.
You can save the planet by eating less meat.
In addition to the endless health benefits, converting to plant-based food is environment friendly. The global demands for food are continually growing with the increasing numbers of the population. The ongoing need for more feed is putting tremendous leverage on our planet to provide more space, agricultural surfaces, and better climate conditions. However, natural resources are becoming scarce, and there is no escaping the limitations in our environment. In realizing that, our food production system must change its course to match the future population explosion demands.
Get healthier and save money by growing your own food
The quality of food that you find in the grocery store is getting increasingly compromised. Concerns are about pesticides, chemical residues and biological contamination with certain inimical microorganisms like salmonella and E. coli. What is a better way to assure your feed's safety than growing your own vegetables and fruits?
Home gardening is not restricted to large areas in the backyard. You can do it inside your apartment and other urban areas. Using well-draining pots in small spaces and even used plastics, you can grow a variety of plants such as salad greens, herbs, strawberries, and even carrots.The toll of home gardening exceeds the benefits of the overall physical health. It also serves mental health and the environment.
Besides the yielding of fresh, nutritious plants and the boosting of the variety in your food, home gardening comes with the following perks:
- Vitamin D:plants need the sunlight and so do you, while taking care of your plants, your skin is absorbing UV rays to make the vitamin D which is a vital element for your bones and teeth.
- Staying active:the amount of physical activity required for gardening could be compared to regular aerobic exercise, except that gardening is more fun and enjoyable. Thus, in addition to improving heart function and immune system, gardening enhances mental health as well. It is a great habit to reduce stress and anxiety.
- It saves money and the environment:home gardening will cut a big part of your monthly bill's grocery costs. Moreover, the foods that usually purchase have come to a long-distance through transportations that emit harmful gas emissions. Thus, by growing your own food, you are indirectly helpful to nature.
So how does the plant-based diet assist with global food sustainability?
Eating less meat is the answer. A man's desire for animal meat is a vicious motive exhausting the earth's natural reserves. Animal agriculture, despite it being ineffective and cost-prohibitive, still dominates the world's food system.
The livestock industry damages the environment in the following ways:
- large areas of the earth's surface are bound to this industry: grazing livestock is taking over 26% of the land worldwide. 33% of the land is dedicated to growing livestock feed.
- masses of grain and water are required: 70% of freshwater reserves are allocated for agriculture, around the third of water supplies are used for livestock feed.
- it adds to the global gas emissions: 18% of human-produced global gas emissions are attributed to livestock production. Exceeding the fraction of emissions produced by cars, trucks, buses, ships, planes, and all other transport.
“Where livestock are expected to contribute more and more to food security and better nutrition. Direct impacts of climate on livestock production range from thermal or water stress and reduced yields to higher mortality during extreme climatic events, such as droughts and floods. Climate change also affects the sector indirectly through productivity and quality of forages” nations food and agriculture organization.
Growing your own vegetables and fruits is not only an alternative solution for food security and sustainability, but it is also good for the environment. Indirectly, getting your food from your garden reduces the gas emissions associated with food transportation. Additionally, when growing your plants, you avoid excessive use of chemicals, pesticides, and hormones that could damage your health.