New Study Finds More Health Benefits of a Plant-Based Diet

We all know we need to eat more fruits and vegetables. Most of us are even aware of the many health benefits of doing so, including in the prevention and treatment of many serious health conditions. But, according to new research there are even more benefits of eating a plant-based diet, replete with fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes and whole grains.

In the study published in the journal Nutrients, researchers randomly divided 60 study participants who were either diabetic (type 2), obese or healthy (20 of each) and gave them either a vegan meal with tofu or a meal of processed meat and cheese. Both meals had the same number of calories, protein, carbohydrates and fat. The researchers found that regardless whether the men were healthy, diabetic or obese those who ate the vegan meal had a higher level of beneficial gut hormones than those who ate meat and cheese.

According to the scientists, eating a plant-based diet helps to regulate hormones via the gut, which also had the effect of improving blood pressure levels. Conducted by scientists from the Institute for Clinical and Experimental Medicine and the Institute of Endocrinology, along with the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, the findings further indicated that the change in hormones caused a person to feel full sooner, suggesting the vegan dietary approach will be beneficial for weight loss as well.

As if that wasn’t enough reason to consider foregoing meat or cheese at your next meal, consider that the beneficial gut hormones resulting from the vegan meal also have the effect of regulating blood sugar levels, insulin production and energy levels. Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas in the abdominal region, which regulates blood sugar levels and metabolism. The health benefits of the vegan meal were likely due to the higher fiber content, which helps to keep people feeling full longer, as well as the plentiful amounts of over 3000 possible phytonutrients—plant-based nutrients—found in fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes and grains. No animal foods contain these potent anti-cancer, heart-disease prevention and other compounds.

An earlier study published in the journal Progress in Cardiovascular Diseases found that a plant-based diet drastically slashes mortality risk from heart disease by 40 percent. In other words, eating a plant-based diet may be the best thing you can do to improve your heart health and prevent a heart attack.

Don’t worry: you don’t have to just eat bland iceberg lettuce with starchy tomatoes. Today’s plant-based meals are far more flavorful and have the potential to be sophisticated, gourmet dishes that outshine their meat and cheese counterparts.

Start by enjoying salads that are gourmet, flavor-packed food adventures. Top leafy greens with roasted beets, carrots or caramelized onions, cooked quinoa or brown rice, pumpkin or sunflower seeds, fresh berries, green apple slices or any number of other possible ingredients that ramp up flavor.

Discover the flavor-boosting power of roasting vegetables by chopping them and tossing them in extra-virgin olive oil and baking on a sheet pan at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes or longer for firmer vegetables, until they are lightly browned and softened. This technique enhances the natural flavors of beets, carrots, parsnips, turnips, squash, pumpkin and other vegetables, making them delicious additions to your meal. Or toss the cooked roasted vegetables in a little balsamic vinegar, sea salt and pepper, and top with some roasted pumpkin seeds for an excellent warm salad.

If you still can’t imagine foregoing meat, start with Meatless Mondays and then gradually add another meatless day to your week. Every meal counts.

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Dr. Michelle Schoffro Cook, PhD, DNM shares her food growing, cooking, and other food self-sufficiency adventures at FoodHouseProject.com. She is the publisher of the free e-newsletter World’s Healthiest News, founder of Scentsational Wellness, and an international best-selling and 20-time published book author whose works include: The Cultured Cook: Delicious Fermented Foods with Probiotics to Knock Out Inflammation, Boost Gut Health, Lose Weight & Extend Your Life. Follow her work.

 

55 comments

Christina C
Christina C20 days ago

Good information, thank you!

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Caitlin L
Caitlin L22 days ago

thank you

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Naomi Dreyer
Naomi Dreyer22 days ago

The Baha'i Faith (www.bahai.org) states: ''Thou hast written regarding the four canine teeth in man, saying that these teeth, two in the upper jaw and two in the lower, are for the purpose of eating meat. Know thou that these four teeth are not created for meat-eating, although one can eat meat with them. All the teeth of man are made for eating fruit, cereals and vegetables.''

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Marija M
Marija M22 days ago

tks

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David C
David C23 days ago

do your best

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Janis K
Janis K23 days ago

Thanks for sharing.

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Paulo R
Paulo R23 days ago

ty

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Tabot T
Tabot T23 days ago

Thanks for sharing!

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Leo C
Leo Custer23 days ago

Thank you for sharing!

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Leo C
Leo Custer23 days ago

Thank you for sharing!

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