Why You Should Choose a Plant-Based Diet

Why You Should Choose a Plant-Based Diet

Hi, Somi here! I’m so excited that you’re curious about the plant-based way of eating. I have been eating this way for over 18 months, and I can whole-heartedly tell you that it has transformed my health and the way I think about food.

Over the next five days, you will learn about

  • the benefits of eating a whole foods plant-based diet
  • the plant foods that provide essential nutrients including vitamin B12, calcium and iron
  • the foods to eat in abundance, and those to avoid/eat sparingly and
  • alternatives to your non-vegan staples

You will also receive a sample 7 day meal plan to kickstart your new plant-based lifestyle. Let’s get the ball rolling!

The Benefits of a Plant-Based Diet

Reduce your risk of lifestyle diseases such as heart disease and diabetes

Heart disease, diabetes and cancer are the leading causes of illness in today’s society. Research now points to diets rich in animal products, processed foods and saturated fat as crucial risk factors for these conditions.

Whole, plant-based foods are naturally low in saturated fat, but rich in vitamins, minerals, polyphenols and antioxidants. These health-promoting compounds efficiently lower your risk of developing these diseases. Some studies even show that whole, plant-based diets, when eaten consistently, can reverse diabetes and heart disease.

Shed excess fat and maintain a healthy body weight

Whole, plant-based foods have a lower calorie density than foods of animal origin. They are also naturally low in fat and rich in fibre. These characteristics mean that you can eat a lot more plant-based foods, feel satisfied and still consume much fewer calories compared with an animal-based diet.

The EPIC-Oxford study comparing the body mass index (BMI) of vegetarians, vegans and non-vegans showed that vegetarians and vegans, have on average, much lower BMI’s than non-vegans. The vegans who achieve weight loss effortlessly tend to eat diets that are high in carbohydrates and low in fat. They also tend to eliminate free oils such as coconut oil, avocado oil, olive oil etc. from their diets. Instead, they rely on the whole food, i.e. coconuts, avocados, olives, and nuts and seeds for healthy fats.

Unlike other eating patterns where you gain weight and lose weight sporadically, a plant-based diet facilitates a healthy body weight. The same way you eat to lose excess weight is the same way you need to eat to maintain your new weight. Yoyo dieting essentially becomes a thing of the past!

Health is more than the absence of disease. Health is a state of optimal well-being.
Boost your immunity

Inflammation and oxidative stress are the major underlying causes of disease. They are the primary reasons why we suffer from minor conditions like allergies and more severe conditions such as asthma, cancer, diabetes. Diets rich in animal-based products are rich in inflammatory compounds like omega-6 fatty acids. These fatty acids increase the inflammatory status of our bodies by promoting the production of other inflammatory compounds that facilitate disease.

Whole foods plant-based diets are rich in antioxidants such as vitamin C, vitamin E, carotenoids and flavonoids like quercetin that significantly reduce the production of these inflammatory compounds and prevent oxidative stress. A whole foods plant-based diet, therefore, keeps you healthy from within by boosting your immunity.

More energy and mental sharpness

Whole foods plant-based diets are high in carbohydrates. You know that carbs are the fuel that your brain and practically all of the tissues in your body prefer to use for energy.

Your body will receive energy and dense nutrition in plentiful supply with this way of eating. Gone will be the days of sluggishness and fatigue. You will feel more mentally alert, and able to do mentally-demanding tasks for more extended periods. You’ll also notice a vast improvement in your stamina and endurance especially if you perform physically demanding exercises regularly.

Clearer skin

You get acne when your skin produces excessive amounts of sebum. The excess sebum causes your skin cells to grow too quickly and block your pores. Bacteria thrive in these follicles, causing inflammation.

Several studies show that dairy, high-sugar, high-fat, and omega-6-rich diets can promote excess sebum production. A whole-foods plant-based diet is dairy-free, low in sugar and fat, and very low in omega-6 fatty acids.

Animal welfare and the environment

Earthlings, Cowspiracy, What The Health, and many others show the awful conditions that livestock animals live in and the brutal manner in which they die just for our consumption. *Earthlings is a very profound movie. I had nightmares for several weeks after watching it, and I regret watching it to date. If you have the stomach for horror, I’ll recommend you watch it. If not, I’ll suggest you skip it.

According to the Food and Agriculture Organisation, a large percentage of global greenhouse emissions comes from livestock production. Faecal matter and waste products from livestock farms drain into clean water stores and oceans, thereby polluting our water sources and killing sea animals. Rife with disease-causing organisms like Salmonella and E.coli, this polluted water ends up in the soil where our crops grow.

By adopting a plant-based diet, you will no longer contribute to the suffering of farm animals, and you’ll play a huge role in the preservation of our environment.

 You’ll notice that I’ve focused on a whole-foods plant based diet and not a vegan diet throughout this article. A vegan diet is not necessarily a wholesome diet; it merely includes foods that are not of animal origin. If you’re adopting the vegan way of eating for health reasons, I’ll strongly suggest that you choose the whole-foods route.

In the next lesson, we will delve deeper into what the whole-foods plant-based way of eating entails. We will also cover the types of foods you need to keep in your pantry and those that you should avoid or eat sparingly.

Take Action! Next Steps…

Spend some time thinking about the reasons why you want to change your way of eating and what outcomes you wish to achieve. Think about the possible obstacles you may face and what plans you have put in place (or expect to put in place) to overcome them then share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Sharing will keep you motivated and help you stay committed to achieving your goals, plus you never know who you’ll inspire.

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10 Comments

  1. Meagan Manion
    30th January 2018 / 8:05 PM

    This is great, valuable information….My husband and I watched “What the Health” on Netflix and decided to change our eating habits. I have been eating vegan (maybe not the best vegan (which is why I found you)) for 2 weeks now, and I cant deny I feel better and my skin looks different. We need help in understanding how much of each food group we need in each day/meal to get the correct amount of vitamins and protein.

  2. DK
    8th February 2018 / 3:37 PM

    I appreciate the videos as a reference, although I am also traumatized by Earthlings. My husband and I also watched the, What The Health video and were also influenced by the video and have not been eating meat for one week now. I also shopped for vegan or plant based foods to transition into our new eating habit. I have also read in the past about foods that are healing to our bodies and this also sparked my interest in changing what I eat. I have never been a fan of meat eating, even as a child so changing has not been too difficult for me. Also, many of my paternal relatives and I suffer from a form of degenerative muscle disease and I’ve always strongly believed that I could heal myself by way of consuming the right foods.

    To date, my only rough patch is getting my family fully onboard and knowing what to buy and how to prepare it. my youngest child has been somewhat resistant and I need to get things to prepare that are similar to what he’s become accustomed to eating in order to transition him slowly. I appreciate having information such as this in order to facilitate this change I’m making for myself and family, thank you Somi.

    Mrs. Dee K.

    • 12th March 2018 / 1:55 PM

      It’s my pleasure Mrs Dee. Thank you so much for your input 🙂

  3. Tennille
    4th April 2018 / 12:27 PM

    I received lesson 1 again, for lesson 5, which should have been transitioning tips.

  4. emily zufelt
    12th May 2018 / 6:15 AM

    I’ve been a vegan for a year, but when I found out I was pregnant the doctors talked me into a vegetarian diet (in fear that I wouldn’t get enough protein). I eat cheese, but since I’m lactose intolerant, it really takes a toll on my stomach and overall health. I loved eating a vegan diet, but still lacked a little energy because I wasn’t eating all Whole Foods. I love how you take your time to explain the reasons for eating a whole food plant based diet. I think it’s amazing that you give your time to go in depth about the health risk of eating animals. We need more people to inform others of the risk and dangers of eating a diet of animal based products! I plan on raising my child on my lifestyle, of course at a certain point I’ll let my child decide cause I believe people should make a choice about their lifestyle. But with what I’ll teach my child, they won’t ever want to eat animal based products.

    • 10th June 2018 / 7:59 PM

      Oh this is such a lovely comment! Thank you so much 🙂

  5. Lachelle
    27th June 2018 / 2:12 PM

    Thank you for this mini course; I am trying to transition into vegan. I am doing it for my overall health & to drop a few pounds. I need to know the correct portions to eat & what to eat sparingly.

  6. Cheyenne
    6th August 2018 / 8:15 PM

    Thank you so much for these mini courses I am almost a week in being vegan I started August 2nd and haven’t eaten any meat since I’m still learning how to come up with all the different types of meals I am in the grocery store getting all these ingredients every other day lol but I love it , thank you again ?

    • 8th August 2018 / 12:47 PM

      Oh I’m so glad that you’re finding it useful! You’re very welcome 😉

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