8 Perks of a Plant-Based Diet
Plant-forward eating benefits your health and beyond
From health factors to personal values, there are many reasons why people from all walks of life are inspired to adopt dietary lifestyles that emphasize more plant-based foods and limit animal products. You may have even seen the topic of plant-forward eating and agriculture trending in the news, as experts are increasingly studying and sharing the advantages of primarily producing and consuming plants. In comparison to vegetarianism or veganism, plant-forward eating is less restrictive yet still yields powerful outcomes. Let’s explore some of the reasons why plant-forward is good for you and also good for the planet.
Personal health benefits — live well, longer
- Many meats are loaded with unhealthy saturated fats, trans fats, and cholesterol, and processed meats often contain excess sodium. Eating less meat lowers your risk for cardiovascular disease, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, obesity, type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and various cancers.
- A plant-based diet is naturally rich in many vitamins, minerals, and essential nutrients that we need to survive and thrive. Consuming a variety of plant food types and colors nourishes overall health.
- Phytonutrients, or phytochemicals, are compounds naturally produced by plants. These precious nutrients offer endless benefits to the biological systems within the human body. Commonly known phytonutrients include antioxidants, polyphenols, and beta-carotene.
- Whole grains and fresh fruits and vegetables are high-fiber heroes. Plant-based foods are often high in fiber which promotes digestion, heart health, weight control, and longevity. A fiber-rich diet also helps fight cancers.
- No meat doesn’t mean no protein. There are plenty of plant-based foods that are packed with protein, such as lentils, legumes, beans, quinoa, mushrooms, and more. You can stay strong and lean with green protein.
- Nuts, seeds, avocados, and olives are all excellent sources of healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. Butters and oils that originate from these sources are healthier than their alternatives.
Ultimately, plant-based foods are full of wholesome goodness, free of cholesterol, and low in unhealthy fats and calories. In fact, plant-based foods and olive oil are the foundations of the acclaimed Mediterranean diet, which is considered to be one of the healthiest human diets on Earth.
It’s easy to see why plant-emphasized eating patterns are good for you, but do the advantages reach beyond individual human health? Many health experts and environmentalists believe so.
Global health and sustainable solutions — perks for people and planet
- Researchers reason that reducing animal product consumption could prevent millions of premature deaths each year. Additionally, limiting animal food production would require that less crops be used for feeding livestock and could be used to alleviate hunger and provide healthier food options across many cultures.
- Environmental studies show that increasing plant-based agriculture and reducing animal food production would help to lower greenhouse gas emissions and reduce or slow the impacts of climate change. Plant-forward food source systems would also help conserve a considerable amount of freshwater and energy, preserve natural habitats, and cut down on agricultural pollution and waste worldwide.
It’s no wonder why people, organizations, and activists all around the globe are giving plant-based eating patterns serious thought and plant-forward movements are gaining momentum. The Culinary Institute of America has been working hard to get chefs around the world to focus on plant-forward cooking through sharing online recipes, webcasts and even a virtual culinary summit.
At O, we celebrate all that the plant kingdom provides. Fresh fruits and veggies, nuts, legumes, beans, whole grains, natural flavors, organic aromas, and more. We could go on and on. Plant foods are plentiful!
Freshen up your diet and eat well with O
Whether you’re simply limiting the amount of meat in your meals or striving to say goodbye to animal products for good, we’re happy to encourage healthy habits and help you elevate your home cooking. Our recipe collection has plenty of delicious plant-based dishes for you to devour. Here are just a few of our favorites:
Vegetarian Chili with O Jalapeño Garlic Olive Oil
Grilled Portobello Mushrooms with O Roasted Garlic Olive Oil
Chilled Asparagus Soup with O Fresh Basil Olive Oil
Zesty Zoodle Salad with O Oak Aged Balsamic Vinegar
Note: While this article offers a glimpse at the health advantages and potential positive environmental impact of plant-forward eating, there are many resources available for those interested in learning more. The below references are just a start.