7 health benefits of a plant-based diet

A growing number of people are switching to a mostly or entirely plant-based diet for a variety of reasons, including health, ethics, the environment, and animal welfare. Only one out of every five consumers consumes exclusively vegan food, but an increasing number are switching from omnivorous diets to flexitarian, pescatarian, vegetarian, or plant-based diets, even if only occasionally. So what are the advantages of a plant-based diet for your health? Our qualified nutritionists explain.

7 health benefits of a plant-based diet

Health benefits of a plant-based diet

We all know the importance of eating at least five portions of fruit and veg a day, yet less than one in five people do so. While there are mistakes to avoid on a plant-based diet, there are many more benefits to your health of going plant-based, even if only for a few days a week.

1.High in Fibre

Plant-based diets are much richer in fibre than meat based diets, and fibre has many benefits for our body

The 'good bacteria' in the gut that fiber feeds enable better digestion, regular bowel movements, stable blood sugar levels, long-lasting energy, and a stronger immune system. Diets high in fiber also result in reduced cholesterol levels, which lowers the risk of heart disease.

Find out more in How to take care of your intestines with nutrition. 

2.Better for skin health

The antioxidants in plant-based diets are excellent for healthier skin because they safeguard your DNA, which keeps your body's natural collagen production at a higher level. Lack of antioxidants in your diet might lead to premature collagen loss and skin aging.

Find out what to eat for beautiful skin and how to eat for strong nails. 

Diets based on plants have more fiber than diets based on meat.

 Because it promotes regular bowel movements, which remove toxins from the body, fiber is crucial for healthy skin.  Your body will reabsorb toxins if you don't have regular bowel movements and push them out via your skin, resulting in irritated skin, redness, and acne. Learn what the ideal poop looks like here. Your poop tells you a lot about your health. 

Additionally, diets based on plants are more likely to have lower saturated fat intake. For the skin, saturated fats are bad news. The skin cell membrane incorporates the fats you consume. Butter, fatty meat cuts, sausages, bacon, cured meats, and cheese are common sources of saturated fats, which are hard fats that reduce the elasticity of skin cells and cause flaking and sagging.

3. Beneficial to gut health
Plant-based diets provide more fiber, which nourishes the bacteria in your stomach.  Probiotics are good bacteria that reside in the body and control the growth of pathogenic microorganisms including parasites, fungus, and bad bacteria.   

More than 200 digestive enzymes are produced by probiotics, which aid in food breakdown and improve nutrient absorption. The higher amounts of fiber found in plant-based diets ensure proper carbohydrate digestion, avoid the imbalance of gut bacteria, and promote regular bowel movements that get rid of gas and bloating. 

4. Vitamin-dense
The following bodily processes require vitamin C, folate, beta carotene, vitamin A, and vitamin E, all of which are abundant in a well-planned plant-based diet:

good immune function
healthy bright skin, clear vision, strong bones, blood vessels that are producing healthy blood cells in unborn children, and many more!  Fresh, whole meals like fruits and vegetables and whole grains will have considerably higher concentrations of these nutrients than other forms of diet.

5. High in key minerals

Magnesium and potassium are consumed in higher levels on plant-based diets. Potassium is essential for healthy blood pressure, proper hydration of the body and energy production.

Magnesium is a 'Mineral Superhero', involved in over 300 chemical reactions in the body, and is essential for the production of many brain chemicals, for the onset of sleep and as an aid to relaxation. Magnesium is also vital for our bone health and is generally not found in adequate quantities in other diet types. 

6. Good fatty acids

As we previously mentioned, plant-based diets include fewer potentially dangerous saturated fatty acids that might clog arteries.  Your LDL (bad) cholesterol is increased by saturated fats, which also raises your risk of cellular stress, cardiovascular disease, and stroke. 

Your body benefits from the absorption of good HDL cholesterol from foods like avocados, oils, nuts, and seeds, which then transports the absorbed cholesterol back to your liver for elimination.  Higher HDL cholesterol levels thus lower the risk of heart disease and stroke.  Although your diet can assist, you can also increase HDL cholesterol by working out, losing weight, and drinking less alcohol.

7. Top-notch antioxidants

Antioxidants like beta carotene, which is transformed into vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, and numerous other plant components with antioxidant action are abundant in plant-based diets.

In addition to being crucial for a healthy immune system, skin, and helping your body fight diseases like heart disease and some malignancies, antioxidants also shield cells from DNA damage. Free radicals are molecules that can cause disease.

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