There are too many things in the world we can't control. The guy on the bus who wears his mask around his wrist? Can’t control it. Your favorite store hasn’t restocked hand sanitizer in weeks? Can’t control it. But what’s at the end of your fork is something you can control—and it turns out it’s a secret weapon for wellness.
In a world where it seems like we control so little, a more plant-based diet can be the immune booster you need to get, and stay, well. Eating more plants won't keep you from getting sick, but it will keep you in tip top shape to help fight off any illness that comes your way.
1. Revamp Your Vitamin Intake with Veggies
Vitamins A, C, and E are all immune boosters that stimulate the creation of antibodies; help protect your skin, gut, and respiratory system from infection; and are found in antioxidants that slow the damage of cells in your body. You can find these vitamins in things like dark leafy greens, citrus, nuts, seeds and vegetable oils.
More healthy cells = more healthy living!
2. Say goodbye to saturated fats
One of the bonuses of plant-based diets is that most are extremely low in saturated fats, which are largely found in animal products. Saying adios to saturated fats means lowering your risk for heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, and even colon and breast cancers. Replacing these with healthy fats such as avocado, nut butters, and olive oil help you keep flavor and nutrition at the forefront of your plate.
3. Fiber for a better sleep
Rest and a full night's sleep are integral to staying healthy and keeping your immune system strong. Studies show that diets high in fiber and low in saturated fats, like plant-based diets, help overtime with longer and more restorative sleep. Try focusing on complex carbs at dinner time to support serotonin production and lull you to sleep as you count ethically-farmed sheep.
4. Pass on the processed, enemy to whole grains and whole foods
The worst enemies of our health are often the things we don’t know we’re eating! Processed foods make it their mission to sneak in sugar, saturated fats, and cholesterol that weighs you down and slows healing. Sticking with whole grains and whole foods ensures we’re getting all the nutrition and none of the guesswork like in processed packaged foods. When those foods are plant based, it makes for even easier decision making. When in doubt,- Pick Produce!
5. Microbiome Mecca
Did you know there is an entire metropolis in your gut? It’s full of bacteria, yeast, and even mold that lives inside us every day. The hallmark of a plant based diet is a healthy gut. Plant-based nutrition is chock full of vitamins and minerals that encourage good bacteria growth in your gut that leads to better digestion in general. Antibiotics can also lower your microbe diversity, so making up for that when you can through a plant-based diet is a boost to your immune system. Higher microbial diversity means better gut health and lower chances of diabetes.
Whether you are an animal advocate, activist, foodie, or health nut- there is a seat for everyone at this plant-based table. So pull up a chair and fill up a plate, because these five healthy reasons for a more plant-based diet are just the tip of the iceberg… lettuce. (Sorry, I couldn’t help myself).