Five Reasons to Consider a PLANT STRONG (Vegan/Vegetarian) Diet

Five Reasons to Seriously Consider a PLANT STRONG (Vegan/Vegetarian) Diet

1 EAT KARMA

Even if you’re not interested in becoming a vegetarian or vegan, there are plenty of reasons to up your intake of plant-based meals. In my private practice, more of my clients are experimenting with meatless cuisine than ever before, and they’re reaping the rewards. Here are five powerful benefits to embracing your inner herbivore–even part-time.

Better health: A study out this year, the largest yet to compare heart disease rates between vegetarians and meat eaters, found that a vegetarian diet can reduce the risk of heart disease (the No.1 killer of both men and women) by a third. Another 2013 study, from researchers at Loma Linda University, followed over 70,000 adults in their mid to upper 50s, and found that over a six year period, the death rate from all causes was 12 percent lower for vegetarians than for meat eaters. And according to the American Institute for Cancer Research, vegetarian and vegan diets significantly reduce cancer risk, including stomach, colon, pancreatic, breast, uterine, and ovarian cancers.

In addition to these long-term health benefits, I’ve seen immediate improvements among my clients in cholesterol profiles, blood pressure, blood sugar levels, immunity, and digestive health. Many have also reported fewer aches and pains, likely due to the anti-inflammatory effect of consuming more plant foods, which may also fight aging, as well as conditions like Alzheimer’s.

Weight loss: In an Oxford University study of nearly 38,000 adults, researchers found that meat-eaters tended to have the highest body mass index (BMI) for their age and vegans the lowest, with vegetarians and semi-vegetarians in between. Another published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition compared over 10,000 vegetarians and nonvegetarians, and found that BMI values were higher in nonvegetarians in all age groups for both genders. In addition, weight gain over a 5-year period was lowest among people who adopted a diet containing fewer animal foods.

The reason? Plant-based meals tend to be richer in antioxidants and fiber, which are both tied to weight loss, and researchers have seen an increase in calorie burn after vegan meals. Just be sure your veggie-derived meals are made from whole, nutrient-rich foods, not processed “junk food” like vegan versions of hot dogs, cookies, and donuts.

Improve your mood: In addition to transforming your body, eating more plants can have a powerful impact on your mind. In a study published in the British Journal of Health Psychology, nearly 300 young adults completed daily food diaries for three weeks, which included mood ratings. Scientists found that a higher intake of produce resulted in more energy, calmness, and greater feelings of happiness, effects that positively impacted the volunteers not only on the days they ate fruits and veggies, but also throughout the following day.

According to the latest data, roughly 75 percent of Americans fall short of the minimum recommended five daily servings of produce. Eating more plant-based meals can help fill the gap, and then some.

Look better: In my previous post about how to get gorgeous skin, I shared research about how a higher intake of produce can literally create a healthy glow, because antioxidants improve circulation, and alter skin pigment.

Eating more fresh, raw veggies can also help you avoid nasty substances called advanced glycation endproducts, or AGEs, which are produced when food is cooked to high temperatures using dry heat. AGEs have been tied to premature aging, wrinkles, and in a recent animal study, an increase in belly fat.

Better sex: Eating more veggie-based meals can help you shrink your shape, and studies show that losing just 10 pounds is enough to boost sex hormones and improve your love life. In addition, the most powerful libido-boosting foods are plant-based (check out our list of libido-boosting foods). And avoiding meat may be the key to improving your “aromatic appeal.”

A Czech study compared body odor pads collected from meat-eating and non-meat eating men, and found that samples from the latter group were rated as significantly more attractive and pleasant.

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About the fitness underground

Los Angeles based Co-Founders of The Fitness Underground, Texas and Markus have drawn off their years of experience as certified personal trainers, an elite yoga instructor, a professional athlete and accomplished mixed martial artist, to create a new and innovative approach to health, fitness and well-being that not only enhances the body, but also enriches the mind. With a loyal following in the Los Angeles area, their powerful message of good health, clean living and the importance of exercise is changing people’s lives and in some cases, saving lives. It’s their strong belief that good health is the greatest gift we are given in life, one that we should always be mindful of, be incredibly grateful for and never take for granted. Life is too short not to listen to their powerful message. Start moving in a healthier direction today.
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